Happy Sunday!! During this Ordinary time we hear several parables from Jesus. These are my favorite way of teaching faith to my own children because the depth of the parables grows as both they and their faith mature.
The parable of the sower or farmer - is by far my favorite. Maybe because I have fond memories of summer farm life at my grandparents, or maybe because it is such a visual for us to see just how important nurturing our faith is! The farmer is diligent in planting the seed, but the birds eat it .... then it gets scattered on rocks and scorched by the sun ... then it gets smothered by the thorns .... finally it finds fertile ground where it can flourish. There is much to note here - not the least of which is the persistence of the farmer to keep pushing forward despite the obstacles.
The obstacles to our faith now are large - never did I imagine I would be raising 5 kids in the midst of a pandemic and such unrest in our country. There are many times discouragement creeps in like the thorns, or a bright promising attitude is scorched like the sun. When that happens I am reminded that the fertile soil of our faith first begins at home, that nurturing that is so critical. Then I look at the fertile soil that is our parish - slowly reopening, finding a new way to serve...... while I am impatient and would much rather flip the lights on and return to the "pre-Covid" St. Paul - I am reminded that fertile soil needs cultivated, tended to and it is a slow and painstaking process.
I remember standing at the edge of farm fields listening to my grandpa talk about the crops, wondering if we would have enough rain, wondering if it would get too hot, knowing there was never a guarantee of a bountiful harvest. Like the farmer we will continue to weather this time - we know that life is full of thorns, rocks in the road and other distractions - but there is always a space for the seeds of our faith to take root.
This week I encourage you to go for a drive in the country - check out the farm fields - pray for our farmers, and discuss with your family how you can work towards an abundant harvest by sharing the faith!
Gospel video for this week: