“Yesterday, as today, the Kingdom of God is growing mysteriously and surprisingly in the world, revealing the hidden power of the little seed, its victorious vitality,” Pope Francis said on June 17, 2018.
His comment came before praying the noonday Angelus with 15,000 people in St. Peter’s Square under a bright sun. The Pope emphasized the “logic of the unpredictable nature of God”: “Today the Lord exhorts us to an attitude of faith that goes beyond our projects, our calculations, our forecasts. God is always the God of surprises, the Lord always surprises us. ”
Here is our translation of the words spoken by the pope to introduce the Marian prayer.
Pope’s words before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, hello!
In the excerpt of the Gospel of the day (see Mk 4: 26-34), Jesus speaks to the crowds of the Kingdom of God and the dynamism of his growth, and he does so by telling two short parables.
In the first parable (see verses 26-29), the Kingdom of God is compared to the mysterious growth of the seed, which is thrown into the ground, then germinates, grows and produces the plant, regardless of the care of the peasant, which at the end of the maturation makes the necessary for the harvest. The message that this parable gives us is this: by the preaching and the action of Jesus, the Kingdom of God is announced, it bursts into the field of the world and, like the grain, grows and develops on its own, by its own strength and according to human criteria that cannot be deciphered. Growing up and germinating in history, it does not depend so much on the work of man, but it is above all the expression of the power and goodness of God. And the strength of the Holy Spirit, who advances the Christian life within the People of God.
Sometimes history, with its events and protagonists, seems to go against the plans of the heavenly Father, who wants justice, fraternity and peace for all his children. But we are called to live these times as seasons of trial, hope and vigilant waiting for the harvest. Indeed, yesterday, as today, the Kingdom of God is growing in the world in a mysterious and surprising way, by revealing the hidden power of the little seed, its victorious vitality. In the folds of personal and social events that sometimes seem to mark the sinking of hope, one must remain confident in the stifled but powerful action of God. That is why, in times of darkness and difficulties, we must not allow ourselves to be defeated, but remain anchored in the fidelity of God, in his ever-saving presence. Remember this: God always saves, He is savior.
In the second parable (see verses 30-32), Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a small grain of mustard seed. It is a very small grain, but it grows to become the largest of all plants in the garden: unpredictable growth, surprising. It is not easy for us to enter into this logic of the unpredictable nature of God and to accept it in our life. But today the Lord exhorts us to an attitude of faith that goes beyond our projects, our calculations, our forecasts. God is always the God of surprises, the Lord always surprises us. It is an invitation to open ourselves more generously to God’s plans, both personally and at the community level. In our communities we must pay attention to small and great opportunities of good that offers us the Lord, allowing us to be involved in its dynamics of love, welcome and mercy to all.
The authenticity of the mission of the Church is not given by success and the gratification of results, but by advancing with the courage of trust and the humility of surrender to God. To advance in the confession of Jesus and with the strength of the Holy Spirit. It is the consciousness of being small and weak instruments, which in the hands of God and by his grace can accomplish great works, advancing his Kingdom which is “justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14,17). May the Virgin Mary help us to be simple and attentive, to collaborate by our faith and our work in the development of the Kingdom of God in hearts and in history.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican