Today during his customary address before praying the midday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis took up the Parable of the Sower from this Sunday’s Mass.
“The sower is Jesus,” Francis said, who “presents himself as one who doesn’t coerce, but proposes. He doesn’t attract us by conquering, but by giving of himself.”
“He scatters with the patience and generosity of his Word, which is not a cage or a trap, but a seed that can give fruits,” the pope explained.
But the parable speaks more of us, the soil, than of the sower. In this way, Jesus takes a “spiritual x-ray” of the heart, Francis suggested.
And the heart, like the earth, can be good soil, where the Word gives fruit. Or it can be hardened, so the Word bounces off.
A rocky heart allows the seed to germinate, but it cannot put down roots.
And soil with thorns keeps the seed from growing — thorns of “vices that are in disagreement with God, that asphyxiate His presence … If we cultivate these thorns,” the pope warned, “we will suffocate the growth of God in us.”
Nevertheless, Pope Francis assured, no matter the state of our soil, with courage we can remedy our hearts. “Dear brothers and sisters,” he said, “Jesus invites us today to look within ourselves: to be thankful for the good soil, and to work on the soil that is not yet good.”
Let us find the courage to bring healing to our soil, to bring “our stones and our thorns” to the Lord in Confession, Francis invited. And thus we will discover that Jesus, the good sower, is in fact happy to do additional work: to purify our hearts, and ready them to receive the Word, removing all that chokes His presence.
Pope Francis: If you’re weighed down by life, you gotta react. Here’s how.