Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The parable of the sower: Daily Mass Homily--Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 (School Mass)

            Great job to our lectors this morning as they double-teamed the first reading.
            I’d like to share with you my most embarrassing moment at St. John’s.  But first, I need to ask our first graders (who were in kindergarten last year) a special project they did with Mrs. Tessier that relates to the Gospel.  Can you remember?  I’ll give you a hint…you put something in a cup…it needed sunlight and water…something grew [at this point their hands shot up].  “Plants!”  Yep.  The dumbest thing I did happened after Mrs. Tessier asked me to water her plants in the kindergarten room.  I looked around and saw one tree and gave it some water.  As I poured water in the pot, something seemed off.  There was Styrofoam covering the dirt and water coming out the bottom.  Only then did I realize it was a fake tree!  Then I noticed the cups by the window and got your plants watered.
            What does it take to grow a plant?  “Dirt.”  “Water.”  “Time.”  (Very metaphysical of you).  “Sun.”  “Room to grow.”  “Patience.”  Okay, I think we have it covered.  Plants need a lot to grow.
            Jesus uses the parable of the sower to teach us about our faith.  Now the sower who sows in the parable is not a sewer of thread and needle.  This sower planted seeds.  The seeds fell on four different types of ground.  Which good listeners can tell me the type of ground the seed fell on?  “Thorny ground.”  Nice work.  And what happened to those seeds?  “They got choked and couldn’t grow.”  Excellent. 
            Jesus said the seeds were the Word of God—the Bible.  He is comparing the ground to our souls.  He taught that some receive God’s Word in their heart but other things can get in the way—today these could be cell phones, video games or sports. 
            What’s another type of ground the seeds fell on?  “Good soil.”  Yep.  Let me get back to that one in a bit as that shows the point of Jesus’ parable.
            What next?  “Rocky ground.”  And what happened to these seeds?  “They didn’t grow because they didn’t have deep roots.”  We must always be careful to let the Word grow deeply in us.  Sometimes we may feel very close to God or get excited in our faith—like we may feel in Adoration and praise and worship after Mass.  Yet if our faith is only about feeling, the roots of God’s Word won’t have depth.
            What’s the last ground?  “The road.”  What was the result for these?  “The birds took them.”  And who did the birds represent?  “The devil.”  Exactly.  When it comes to our faith we must have a protected place in our heart.  This is a major blessing of coming to Catholic school—we are all united by Jesus Christ.  Your friends and family are meant to protect your faith from evil.
            The point of this parable is that we must have good soil in our souls to produce fruit for God.  This is what our Catholic school is all about.  We want you to grow close to God in prayer, sacraments, learning, playing and making friends.  We pray that our experience at St. John’s School, especially during Catholic Schools Week, may bear abundant fruit.

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