By Vatican News
In his Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis examined two images used in the day’s Gospel: the mustard seed, and the attentive servant.
The parable of the mustard faith
In the first image, the Lord says that even faith “the size of a mustard seed” is able to uproot a mulberry tree and plant it in the sea. The Pope explained that Jesus wants us to understand that “nothing is impossible for those who have faith, because they do not rely on their own strength, but on God, who can do everything”.
By comparing faith to the tiny mustard seed, Jesus shows that “faith is not proud and self-confident, but in its humility, it feels a great need for God, and in its smallness, it abandons itself with total confidence to Him”.
Service: the measure of faith
But “how can we know if we really have faith?” the Pope asked. “Jesus tells us by indicating that the measure of faith is service”, using the parable of the unprofitable servant. This image, Pope Francis said, is a bit disconcerting at first glance, because of the way the master treats the servant – ordering him to prepare his meal immediately after the servant returns from working in the fields.
“But this attitude of the master”, said Pope Francis, “highlights the true heart of the parable: namely, the attitude of availability of the servant”. Jesus, he continued, “intends this to be how a person of faith should be in relation to God: completely surrendering to God’s will, without pretentions or expectations”.
The Pope said that this attitude is also reflected in how we behave towards others, finding joy in serving, without expectation of recognition or even gratitude. The expression “We are useless servants”, recommended by Christ in the Gospel, “is an expression of humility and willingness that does so much good to the Church, and reminds us of the right attitude to work in the Church: that of humble service.”
Pope Francis concluded his reflection with a prayer to the Virgin Mary, the “woman of faith”. “Let us turn to her on the vigil of the feast of the Madonna of the Rosary, in communion with the faithful gathered in Pompeii for the traditional Supplica prayer”.
[Please see accompanying article for the full text of the "Supplica", or "Petition", to the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii.]
Accompanying the Synod in prayer
Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father asked all the faithful to accompany the Synod for the Amazon in prayer, “so that it might be lived in fraternal communion and in the docility to the Holy Spirit, which always shows the paths for the testimony of the Gospel”.