Pope Benedict XVI's Sunday Angelus Message, June 17, 2012

During the Sunday Angelus, Pope Benedict spoke about the parables of Christ in the day’s Gospel. The parable of the seed that grows while the farmer sleeps “refers to the mystery of creation and redemption, the fruitful work of God in history.” In the parable, the Pope said, the final harvest reminds us of the full realization of God’s Kingdom at the end of time. “The present time is the time of sowing, and the Lord ensures the growth of the seed. Every Christian, then, knows that he must do all he can, but that the final results depend on God. This knowledge will sustain his daily labours, especially in difficult situations.”

In his remarks to English speaking pilgrims, the Holy Father highlighted the Lord’s parable of the mustard seed: “In today’s Gospel,” he said, “the Lord teaches us that God’s kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed which becomes the largest of shrubs. Let us fervently pray that God may take our weak but sincere desires and transform them into great works of love for him and our neighbour.”

After leading the crowds in the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Benedict noted the upcoming, UN-sponsored World Refugee Day, taking place Wednesday June 20. The day is dedicated to calling attention to “the conditions of many people, especially families, forced to flee their lands, because of threats of armed conflicts and serious forms of violence.” The Holy Father assured refugees of his prayers and of his constant concern for them, and expressed the hope that their rights would be respected and that they would be quickly reunited with their families.

The Pope also spoke about the International Eucharistic Congress, concluding today in Dublin, Ireland. Reflecting on the presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the altar, he said “In the mystery of the Eucharist Jesus wanted to stay with us, for us to enter into communion with Him and among ourselves.”

Finally, Pope Benedict joyfully called to mind the beatification of Eusepi Cecilia, taking place Sunday afternoon. Eusepi, who died at the age of 18, “lived with unwavering faith, displaying great ability to offer sacrifices for the salvation of souls.” The Holy Father recalled that “in the last days of her life, in profound union with Christ Crucified, she repeated ‘It is good to give oneself for Christ, who has given everything for us’.”

Finally, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims and visitors from around the world in various languages, wishing them a happy Sunday, and leaving them with his “abundant blessing.”

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