From the desk of Fr Stephen
This summer I decided to plant some tomato plants. I put them in the ground behind the garage. For me, there is nothing better tasting than homegrown tomatoes. So far, everything is going well. One of the plants already has about ten tomatoes on it, although none of them looks ripe yet. They are just doing their thing and growing just a little bit every day. It’s really fun because they started at about 6 inches tall and now they are about 4 feet tall.
I have good healthy plants under ideal circumstances, but back in Jesus’ day, the planter just threw the seed anywhere and everywhere, hoping it would find good soil and produce some fruit. As Jesus explains the story, he gives reference to the seed falling on good and bad soil. He says that this soil represents the way people receive the Word of God in their lives. Not everyone receives the Word of God in their lives in the same way. Some people are the good and fertile soil, while others are not. God’s Word cannot take place in soil that is not predisposed for growth; this is why so much of God’s Word falls on deaf ears, and no product is brought forth.
As much as anything else, as people of God, we must make ourselves available to His Word by opening ourselves to that Word. In other words, we must continuously be digging and hoeing around our area so that when the Word comes, it can take growth within us. Jesus says that we must be vigilant in awaiting the Word in our lives. When we begin to relax and let all kinds of weeds grow around us, the Word of God has to fight with the weeds for nutrients. Jesus names the types of weeds that can choke off the Word of God, i.e., lack of faith in God, worldly allurements, persecution from others. If we are not fertile ground in which the Word of God is to be planted, these things choke off God’s Word, and the Word dies. Every day it is essential for us to connect with God. Every day we must spend time in prayer; this is like pulling weeds from around the plant; otherwise, there is no Word within us.
In the next month, we will celebrating a couple of feasts that honor the Redemptorist community. Next week, we will celebrate the title of Most Holy Redeemer; this is the title Redemptorists use for themselves. On August 2nd, we will celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsus, the patron Saint of the Redemptorists. On Aug 2nd, Fr. Pete Schavitz will celebrate 50 years of being a Redemptorist – this is a long time to committing yourself to anything, and so we will remember him at this Mass. The Redemptorist community will also renew our vows to Christ, recommitting ourselves to serve the poor and most abandoned. God bless us all.