The gospel this week is a continuation of the gospel from last week. The focus of our gospel readings at this time of year are on discipleship and specifically over the last two weeks on parables – particularly the parables about the sowing of the seeds. When we hear these parables often the focus is on where the seeds are sown – on the pathway, on rocky ground, or on good ground? Sometimes lost is what our role is in the sowing of the seeds and how we go about it. We are called to sow the seeds of God’s word and love. They are the seeds which Jesus gives us – the seeds of truth. It simply is not enough just to hear the Word of God. We are called to let it take root within us and to also spread it to others nourishing it by our care. It is simply not enough to go to Church. We have to be Church. It is not enough to read the bible. We have to be people of the Word.
As Vincentians, this is especially true. As we minister to those who are in crisis – often devoid of hope and bathed in despair – we must plant those seeds of hope, nourishing them as we go. Just as the master sower planted seeds in all areas – extending hope to anyone and everyone – we are called to do likewise. Pope Francis refers to it as getting the smell of the sheep on us. I like to think of it as well as tending our garden, a garden given to each of us by our Lord Jesus to care for. God looks to us to tend to the garden using whatever tools needed to cultivate good fruits wherever possible. Do we go beyond simply spreading the seeds? Do we cultivate our plot with the love, hope and mercy that our Lord provides to us?
Father, let me be your gardener, spreading the seeds of your love, hope and mercy. Give me the compassion and patience needed to allow your seeds to take root. Help me to nourish those you bring before me, tending to them with prayer, with truth, and with solidarity that we may grow together in hope. Let my harvest be bountiful that it might enhance your garden both here on earth and in heaven to come. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen