VATICAN CITY (EWTN News/CNA) — Pope Benedict called on Catholics to nourish their faith in order to “prevent evil from taking root” in their lives. His words came during his July 17 Angelus address, which took place at Castel Gandolfo.
The Pope reflected on the Sunday Gospel in which Jesus tells the parable of the wheat and the weeds, reported Vatican Radio. The Pope added that Jesus used parables to explain the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven.
“Jesus compares the Kingdom of heaven to a wheat field to help us understand that something small and hidden is sown within us which has an irrepressible life force.”
“Despite all obstacles,” he continued, “the seed will grow and the fruit ripen. This fruit will be good only if the ground of life has been nurtured according to divine will, he explained.
Therefore, he said, in the parable of the wheat and the weeds, Jesus warns us that, after the master had planted, “while people slept,” his “enemy” sowed the weeds.
“This means that we must be prepared to guard the grace received from the day of baptism, while continuing to nourish faith in the Lord, which prevents evil from taking root,” said the Pope.
He then drew from St. Augustine’s comments on the parable: “St. Augustine, commenting on this story, notes that ‘many are first weeds and then become good wheat’ and adds: ‘If those, when they are bad, are not tolerated with patience, they will never reach this laudable change.’”
The Pope welcomed the English-speaking pilgrims in attendance: “Today’s Gospel encourages us to let the good seed of God’s word bear fruit in our lives and to trust in his mysterious plan for the growth of the Kingdom. Let us work for an abundant harvest of holiness in the Church and ask to be Christ’s righteous ones on the Day of Judgment.
“Upon all of you I invoke the abundant blessings of the Lord’s joy and peace!”
Pope Benedict also addressed the severe African droughts in his prayers following the Sunday Angelus on July 17.
“I am following with deep concern the news from the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia, stricken by a severe drought and then, in some areas, even by heavy rains that are causing a humanitarian catastrophe,” the Pope said, according to Vatican Radio.
The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development recently reported that 10 million East Africans are facing starvation and death due to the severe drought. The agency noted that this year’s conditions are the worst in living memory.
Rain is not expected until October.
“I hope international mobilization grows to send timely relief to our brothers and sisters already sorely tried, among which there are so many children,” the Pope continued. “May our solidarity and the concrete support to all people of good not fail these suffering people.”