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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Looby

15th Sunday in Ordinary time 2023

The social hall of St. Mary’s Church in Evans Mills, where I once served, is encircled by a yard of barren crushed stone. It was designed so that nothing would grow around the building and cut down on the mowing.

But every spring, a small patch of daffodils pierced through the stone and bloomed, a vibrant symbol of life and hope against a stark, lifeless backdrop.

Those daffodils connect perfectly with today's Gospel—the Parable of the Sower.

The sower scatters seeds. Scatters them carelessly, generously. Seeds on a path, only to be swept away by birds—seeds representing words of faith that are heard but not taken to heart.

Seeds on rocky soil, springing up quickly, only to wither for lack of depth—just like a shallow acceptance of faith that crumbles under life's trials.

Seeds among thorns, choked as they try to grow—the distractions and worries of life that lead us astray.

And finally, seeds on good soil, growing, flourishing, producing an abundant harvest—these are the hearts that hear, understand, and live the word of God.

We, as parents, grandparents, pastors, mirror the sower.

We scatter the seeds of faith among our children, not knowing where they will land, not knowing how they will grow. And sometimes, it feels like our seeds have landed on barren, rocky ground.

'Father, we worked so hard raising our kids Catholic, and they do not even go to church anymore. My grandchildren are not even baptized! What do we do?'

If you've asked this question, remember those daffodils. Remember how faith can find a way to bloom in the most unexpected places.

So, what do we do?

First, be a living example of the faith. Show kindness to others, practice forgiveness, and live out the values you want to pass on.

Second, maintain open lines of communication. Engage your loved ones in discussions about faith. Understand their doubts, answer their questions, encourage their exploration.

And lastly, pray. Pray unceasingly. Keep them in your prayers, and let them see you in prayer. The power of prayer, my dear friends, is immense.

Remember today's Gospel. Remember those daffodils. It's not a message of despair but one of hope and perseverance. The seeds of faith we sow today, no matter how barren the soil may seem, can, with God's grace and mercy, take root and flourish.

So, keep sowing those seeds of faith. Trust in God's divine timing and infinite grace, and believe that in His time, the seeds sown on rocky ground can bloom into a beautiful display of faith, just like our brave daffodils in the stone yard.

Remember, faith journeys have twists and turns. Encourage exploration, reassure them that questions and doubts are part of the journey. The church is a spiritual home that is always open, no matter where they are on their faith journey.


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