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Pope Francis reflected on the two parables regarding the “Kingdom of God and its dynamic growth” from the Sunday Gospel (Mark 4:26-34) before reciting the Angelus on Sunday before thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square.
The Kingdom grows by its own power
Jesus uses the first parable (Mark 26-29) to compare the Kingdom of God to “the mysterious growth of a seed” which is sown, sprouts, grows and produces grain “independent of the care of the farmer”, the Pope said. The message is that the kingdom of God has “erupted on the field of the world”, through Jesus’ preaching and action. The Kingdom grows and develops not as a work of human labor but “of its own power, and according to criteria that are humanly speaking indecipherable…. [It] is above all an expression of the power and the goodness of God”, Pope Francis said.
The Kingdom grows mysteriously.
When human history seems to develop contrary to the will of God, the Pope said that “we are called to live this period as a season of trial, of hope and in vigilant waiting for the harvest”. The Kingdom grows mysteriously; its power is hidden in a small seed that is filled with “victorious vitality”. When times are dark, we need to trust in “God’s quiet but powerful action,” and “remain anchored in God’s faithfulness, in his presence which always saves”, he said.
The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed
The meaning of this parable is “the logic God’s unpredictability” which is not easy for us to accept. Jesus invites us to a faith that exceeds calculation and forecasts. “It is an invitation to open ourselves with greater generosity to God’s plans over our own personal … plans”. The Lord offers us occasions “to be involved in his dynamics of love, of welcoming, and of mercy toward all”. It is up to us to be aware of those opportunities.
The Pope concluded his reflection saying that “courageously moving forward in trust and humble abandonment in God” is the means by which we can judge the “authenticity of the mission of the Church”. Placing ourselves in God’s hands, aware of “being small and weak instruments”, we can accomplish great works” and allow “his Kingdom —a kingdom of justice, peace and joy in the Spirit—to progress”.
Addressing the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Wednesday General Audience, the Pope continued in his series of reflections dedicated to the Sacrament of Confirmation, calling on all faithful to never stop sharing the Holy Spirit’s gifts for the good of all.
CHRISTIANS ARE GIFTS FOR OTHERS
Reminding all Christians that they are called to be “a gift for others”, he said one of Holy Spirit’s gifts allows us to share in the life and mission of the Church “uniting the faithful evermore strongly” as living members of the mystical body of the Church.
No masters and simple workers in the Church
Explaining that we must think of the Church as a living organism, composed of people, Francis highlighted the fact that in the Church “there are no masters or simple workers”, but arm-in-arm, all together, we all share the responsibility to sanctify each other and care for each other.
GOSSIP DESTROYS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Pope Francis reflected on how the gift of the Holy Spirit, received during the Sacrament of Confirmation, is conferred upon the faithful by the diocesan Bishop in a sign of its ecclesial dimension.
And he highlighted the fact that it is the sign of peace that concludes the rite saying that in that moment we receive “the Holy Spirit and peace” and it is that peace that we must give to others.
One vice that destroys that peace, Francis continued, is the habit of gossiping, of speaking badly of others. “Gossip is war” he said describing its intention to destroy and wreak damage, while Christ’s disciples are called to be “men and women of peace,” not to destroy the work of the Holy Spirit “with the tongue”.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS INFINITELY CREATIVE
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis saying Confirmation is received only once, but “because the Spirit is creative and not repetitive, the spiritual dynamism aroused by the Holy anointment perseveres in time.”
“We who have received this Sacrament, he said, must never stop opening our hearts to the liberating breath of the Holy Spirit and fan into flame the gifts we have received” for the good of one another, of the whole Church and of the world in which we live.”