Pope Francis blesses the crowd in St. Peter’s Square after praying the Angelus on Sunday, July 16, 2023. / Credit: Vatican Media
Rome, Italy, Jul 16, 2023 / 12:15 pm (CNA).
At the Angelus on Sunday, July 16, Pope Francis reflected on the parable of the sower and encouraged parents not to give in to “fashions” of the world and to continue to sow goodness and faith in their children.
From the window of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father explained that “if the word is the seed, we are the soil: We can receive it or not. But Jesus, the ‘good sower,’ does not tire of sowing it generously,” he said.
Pope Francis addresses the crowd in St. Peter’s Square in his Sunday Angelus on July 16, 2023. Credit: Vatican Media
“He knows our terrain, he knows that the stones of our inconstancy and the thorns of our vices can suffocate the word, yet he hopes, he always hopes that we can bear abundant fruit,” the pontiff noted.
In this sense, he remarked, the faithful are also called to “sow tirelessly,” and he gave three examples of how to do this, addressing parents, young people, and “the sowers” of the Gospel, such as priests and religious.
First, he stressed that parents “sow goodness and faith in their children, and they are called to do so without being discouraged even if at times they seem not to understand or to appreciate their teachings, or if the mentality of the world is against them.”
“The good seed remains,” he continued. “This is what counts, and it will take root in due time. But if, giving in to mistrust, they give up sowing and leave their children at the mercy of fashions and mobile phones, without dedicating time to them, without educating them, then the fertile soil will be filled with weeds. Parents, never tire to sow in your children!”
He then addressed young people and explained that they “can sow the Gospel in the furrows of everyday life,” as in prayer, “a small seed that you cannot see, but with which you entrust everything you live to Jesus, and so he can make it ripen.”
“But I am also thinking of the time to dedicate to others, to those most in need: It may seem wasted; instead, it is holy time, while the apparent satisfactions of consumerism and hedonism leave one empty-handed,” he said.
He also said that study “is tiring and not immediately satisfying, like sowing, but is essential to build a better future for all.”
Finally, he spoke of the “sowers of the Gospel” — priests, religious, and laypeople who are “engaged in proclamation” — “who live and preach the word of God often without immediate success.”
“Let us never forget, when we proclaim the word, that even where it seems that nothing is happening, in reality the Holy Spirit is at work, and the kingdom of God is already growing, through and beyond our efforts,” he said.
He encouraged the crowd to “go ahead joyfully” and invited them to remember “the people who placed the seed of the Word of God in our life: Each one of us, think of ‘how my faith began.’ Perhaps it germinated years after we encountered their examples, but it happened thanks to them!”
“In the light of all this, we can ask ourselves: Do I sow goodness? Do I only care about reaping for myself, or do I also sow for others? Do I sow some seeds of the Gospel in everyday life: study, work, free time? Do I get discouraged or, like Jesus, do I continue to sow, even if I do not see immediate results?” the Holy Father asked.
Finally, he prayed that “Mary, whom we venerate today as the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel, help us to be generous and joyful sowers of the good news.”
This story was originally published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.