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Angelus Address: On the Parable of the Good Seed and the Darnel

«Which Illustrates the Problem of Evil in the World and Highlights God’s Patience”

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Here is a translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Angelus
Today’s Gospel page proposes three parables with which Jesus speaks to the crowds of the Kingdom of Heaven. I will reflect on the first: that of the good seed and the darnel, which illustrates the problem of evil in the world and highlights God’s patience (Cf. Matthew 13:24-30.36-43). How much patience God has! Each one of us can also say this: “How much patience God has with me!” The story unfolds in a field with two opposite protagonists. On one hand the householder, who represents God and sows the good seed; on the other the enemy, which represents Satan and sows the darnel.
With the passing of time, darnel also grows in the midst of the wheat and in face of this fact the householder and his servants have different attitudes. . The servants want to intervene and pull out the darnel, but the householder, who is concerned above all with saving the wheat, is opposed saying: “No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them” (V. 29). With this image Jesus tells is that in this world the good and the evil are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate and extirpate all the evil. God alone can do this, and He will do so in the Last Judgment. The present situation, with its ambiguities and its composite character, is the field of the freedom, the field of the freedom of Christians, in which the difficult exercise of discernment between good and evil takes place. 
Therefore, in this field, it is about combining, with great trust in God and in His Providence, two seemingly contradictory attitudes: decision and patience. The decision is to want to be the good seed — we all want this, with all our strength, and, hence, distancing ourselves from the Evil One and his seductions. Patience means to prefer a Church that is leaven in the dough, who does not fear soiling her hands washing the clothes of her children, rather than a Church of “pure ones,” that pretends to judge before the time who is an who is not in the Kingdom of God.
The Lord, who is Wisdom incarnate, helps us today to understand that the good and the evil cannot be identified with defined territories or specific human groups: “These are the good, these are the evil.” He tells us that the boundary line between the good and the evil passes in the heart of every person, passes in the heart of every one of us, that is, we are all sinners. The desire comes to me to ask you: “Let him who is not a sinner raise his hand.” No one! Because we all are, we are all sinners. Jesus Christ, with His Death on the Cross and Resurrection, has freed us from the slavery of sin and He gives us the grace to walk in a new life. However, with Baptism He has also given us Confession, because we are always in need of being forgiven for our sins. To look always at the evil that is outside of us, means to not want to recognize the sin that is also in us.
And then Jesus shows us a different way of looking at the field of the world, of observing the reality. We are called to learn the times of God – which are not our times – and also God’s “look”: thanks to the beneficial influence of an anxious wait, what was darnel or seemed to be darnel can become a good product. It is the reality of conversion. It is the prospect of hope!
May the Virgin Mary help us to pick up in the reality that surrounds us not only the filth and evil but also the good and beautiful; to unmask Satan’s work but especially to trust in God’s action that makes history fruitful.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester] 
After the Angelus 
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I follow with trepidation the grave tensions and violence of these days in Jerusalem. I feel the need to express a heartfelt appeal to moderation and to dialogue. I invite you to join me in prayer that the Lord may inspire all with resolutions of reconciliation and peace.
I greet all of you, faithful of Rome and pilgrims of various parts of he world: the families, parish groups, Associations. In particular, I greet the faithful of Munster (Ireland); the Elisabettine Bigie Franciscan Sisters; the Symphonic Lyrical Choir of Enna; the young people of Casamassima who have engaged in voluntary service at Rome.
My thought and encouragement goes to the youngsters taking part in the Cantiere Hombre Mundo,” who are committed to witnessing the joy of the Gospel in the most disadvantaged peripheries of the various Continents.
I wish you all a good Sunday. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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