July 11 and 12 (Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today we hear the Parable of the Sower and the Seed. Perhaps some of you have planted gardens in your yards for produce and flowers and with this exceptionally nice weather, have appreciated how quickly things have grown. Soon you will be happily reaping the fruit of your labors. Our Lord has the same anticipation and expectation. At Baptism, He has planted the word in your heart and soul. Patiently, He has nourished and tended the tender shoots with His grace. He pulls out the weeds (the Sacrament of Reconciliation); He feeds the plants with Sprigs of Salvation (the Holy Eucharist); He fortifies the soul with energy (Confirmation); and even places stalks along those plants that need strength and encouragement. The Good Shepherd is also the Good Farmer. He knows what the seed needs to grow and He gives it.
But seeds sometimes seem to have a mind of their own. Strangely, the spring up in the most unexpected places and we are astounded to find them in a small crack of payment or concrete. Sadly, the “glory “ of the seed lasts only a moment without having fulfilled its purpose that is to flourish and multiply.
What is particular about this Sower is that He has a simple requirement – receptivity and cooperation. That responsibility falls to us. Will the seed lie dormant in us and simply wither away or will we humbly ask the Sower to provide the nutrients that will yield a bountiful harvest? So, how does your garden grow?
One of the highlights of the month of July is the Annual Novena to St. Ann. Because of the prevailing pandemic, many erstwhile pilgrims will be unable to travel to the Shrine in Scranton. As usual we shall pray the novena in our parish beginning Saturday, July 18th until the feast day, July 26th. Novena prayer fliers will be available. When you take one, please keep it with you and do not return it. St. Ann will certainly be hearing our particular intentions for an end of this virus and take it into consideration.
Thanks to all for your continued prayers, cards, and good wishes as I’m slowly recovering.