Homily – June 17, 2018

This is the planting season. People are planting seeds or plants in their gardens and in the front of their homes. Planting can be an act of faith. We trust the seeds will grow, we trust the plants will take root, but we don’t know. There is a lot at stake. Will the coming months be too hot or too rainy? Will we use too much or too little fertilizer? Are we planting in good soil?

In today’s gospel Jesus tells two parables in which he describes the kingdom of God, the reign or the action of God in our lives. In the first parable Jesus tells us the farmer can do nothing to hasten to produce of hasten the process of grow of the plant; the seed will sprout and grow on its own. It doesn’t need the farmer. In the second parable he tells about small beginnings, the smallest of all seeds ending up as the greatest of all shrubs.

Both are about growth.

When we were baptized the reign of God began in our lives, the mustard seed was planted. Through our Catholic up bring, our reception of our First Holy Communion, our first Confession, our Confirmation, our religious instruction, our presence at Mass and our receiving Holy Communion, the example of family and friends plus our involvement in the life of the parish that seed, the smallest of all seeds, was meant to take root and grow. Unlike the farmer who has no control over whether or not the seed will fructify, we have a lot to do with the growth of the reign of God in our lives. God’s reign isn’t a place. It’s a condition, it’s a mindset of God’s love inspiring and guiding our lives; opening our hearts to all those who come into our lives.

We can ask ourselves these challenging questions; has the mustard seed planted in me at baptism grown in such a way that my branches are strong enough and wide enough to welcome all those men, women and children who have come into my life, regardless of where they come from, what they believe or what their life style. Are my branches strong enough to support those who need my help and understanding? Do they offer shade of comfort and relief to all who need my compassion and understanding?

These two parables are about growth, the growth of the reign of God, the love of God in our lives. Part of that growth is our willingness to be sowers of faith, kindness and social awareness ourselves. Like sowers, we scatter our activities, our tiny acts of faith and service flung out far and wide. Our acts of random kindness are taken by the wind, all landing somewhere. We sleep our nights and do our days, and the growth takes place. We may not even be conscious of the flowering but we continue the good work.

St. Paul challenged his listener to grow, grow to full maturity in Christ. That’s still our challenge, to be more Christ-like in our service to and acceptance of anyone and everyone who comes into our lives.

As we continue to celebrate our Mass we prayer for ourselves and for each other that we grow stronger in our love of God and in our love and service to one another.