Peace and grace to all!
This weekend we hear what is popularly referred to as the Parable of the Sower. When we hear Jesus’ parables, he gives us opportunities to view things from different perspectives. If we were to focus only on the Sower, we would overlook some of the other important components included in the story like the seed itself or the soil and its different qualities as well as the thorns and the birds. We know that the seed is representative of the Word of God because that’s how Jesus describes it. The Parable of the Seed might be a better title for the story than Parable of the Sower. Each time I hear the first reading and the declaration that God’s Word shall accomplish what it was intended for, I remember what Mother Cabrini once said to her Sisters: “you too are the Word of God, spoken only once, strive to accomplish what God wills in your life and you will not return to the Father empty.” I shouldn’t put quotations around that phrase because I know it isn’t verbatim but I think it fairly represents Mother Cabrini’s mind on the matter.
I recognize her statement as a great assertion of faith. One dimension that Mother Cabrini’s statement adds to the parable is the fact that each one of us comes forth from God as a type of seed. And as a seed, each one of us needs certain conditions from the environment to nurture us and help us become what God desires for us. Not everyone has the same chances in life. Some of us have rough and rocky family conditions while some of us have smooth and balanced situations. Some of us have uphill challenges arising from physical or medical conditions due to genetics or by accident. Whether we live on the slope or on the plain, in the gravel or the rich bottom land, one thing is certain: we all need help from each other and from God. That’s why Jesus came!
This summer we will have Vacation Bible School! I love having our children here. Kids are fun to watch and interact with! But VBS is even more special because they learn about God and the teachers and helpers sow the seeds of faith and nourish it by being together while doing songs and activities. It’s times like this when I think about the incomparable value of faith and grace from God in the lives of our young people. They are going out into the world as seeds sown by the community of St. Edward. They will encounter all types of soil conditions and experience times of hardship and failure as well as peace and success. Through it all, the thing that they have that will never die and will always bear fruit, if they use it, is the faith they’ve been nurtured with here among us. God bless you all! +++ Fr Peter