A Message from Father William

If anyone knows well the parable of the sower and the seed in this Sunday’s Gospel, farmers know (Matthew 13:1-23). Indeed, farmers know the importance of preparing and having good soil for the seeds they plant. And our beloved farmers know the importance of caring for the soil, tending their crops, feeding and caring for their dairy cows, for their hogs and other farm animals. Agriculture is foundational to our country and our nation’s economy – so may we always thank God for our farmers and, in particular, family farms, praying for them each day. We can’t all be farmers, but we can all understand the parable that Jesus tells because it’s about being His good disciples. Besides, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ even explains the parable:

“Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the Word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the Word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the Word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the Word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the Word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

As brothers and sisters in Christ, may we heed the parable of the sower and the seed, and strive, by God’s grace, to be rich soil for the divine Sower, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to be instruments of His love, goodness and mercy. He first sowed His seed, His grace, in our soul at our baptism. How often since then has He given us an abundance of His grace! How often has He passed close beside us, helping, encouraging and forgiving us (Matthew 28:20)! He sows His seeds of grace (His divine help, a share in His divine Life) through His Church, Word and Sacraments, and through our prayers and the Communion of Saints. In our love for God and love for neighbor, may the soil of our soul be always disposed to receive Him, always attentive to praying for the Holy Spirit’s gifts, especially fortitude, wisdom and understanding, striving by His grace to bear and yield the good fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity (Galatians 5:22-23).

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William Vernon