Being a teacher for Sacramental prep, I feel that I have this extra responsibility to put forward an even greater effort in planning each class because I feel that I am planting the seeds of the faith. I know, that for some cases, it is the children first time attending religious classes, and so I want to make sure these seeds last- regardless how small that seed may be.
In todays Gospel, one of the three parables Jesus acclaims to the crowed is the parable of the Mustard seed. The smallest of the seed becomes the largest of trees. And in that tree birds take refuge. The smallest seed can become the largest seed.
Let this seed, the Mustard seed, represent our faith. We all have been given this seed. Whether it be by a family member, a friend, a teacher or a priest. We have been given these seeds, it is our choice if they sit there, we discard them or if we allow them to grow and become an immense tree. It is out of our own freewill if we allow this tree to grow. God isn't forcing it to grow- he is just the sower of the seed. (He is the seed that people share)
How do we let this seed grow? The seed grows in multiple ways. The first way becomes evident in the first parable that Jesus tells in todays Gospel. The Parable of the weeds. The sower plants the seeds and an evil doer comes and sows weeds. It is not until the harvest that the weeds are plucked out. At the heart of this parable is discernment; organization, de-cluttering. We must pluck out the weeds to allow the tree to grow. All the false news and teachings we hear, all the sin that we see and commit, we must pluck it out and give space and the nutrients to allow the tree to grow.
As mentioned in last Sundays post, these nutrients are The sacraments (The Eucharist to be sspecific, which is the source and summit of the Christian Life) and to read the scriptures. In both of these places we are fed and nourished.
The seed that is sown is from God, for we live by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Mt 4:4) It is our choice if this seed takes root and allows birds to take refuge. God is the initiator. Not humans. God sows all seeds through others.
May we come to pluck the weeds of our life. To transform the garden of our souls, to a garden of trees and fulfilling, food bearing wheat. May we come to allow the tree to grow. To allow the roots to be fed by the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Scriptures
Many of the students that come through the program will usually forget about it shortly after. But there are the ones that remember it and let the seed take root. I find it funny, the trouble makers in the class are the ones who normally allow it. I taught at a summer camp, and this one girl was giving me the biggest trouble. She never went to Mass and was kind of proud of it. By the end of the camp, on the last day, I heard her ask her mom if they could start coming to Mass.
Our mission is to help spread the seeds of faith-even if our very own tree is still a shrub or a stem. Both (stem and shrub) show that we have allowed it to take root and give it the importance it needs. When we show our love and dedication to making the tree grow, others will find it contagious and will most likely pick up from that example.