[Ezekiel 17:22-24 Psalm 91; 2Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34]

For a few weeks I have expressed an interest to try and grow some vegetables at home. So, I did a little bit of research and decided I would like to install some raised beds and look to start this new venture. I finally bought the raised beds and planted a variety of seeds earlier this week. Now, I have very little experience of growing anything; the best I have managed previously was to grow some tomatoes and peppers from little plants, so I supplemented my seeds with a few little tomato plants, an aubergine plant and a couple of herb plants so that I could at least see something in my beds until the seeds started to grow. So imagine my surprise when I opened the Missal to prepare for this week’s reflection and read today’s Gospel and found these words “A man throws seeds on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know.” I thought this was really appropriate for me. As I said I have very little knowledge of how these things work; and in my case at this time if they will work at all.

One of the things which really struck me was how different the types of seeds are for each of the different vegetables and herbs which I have decided to sow. I have very carefully marked which seeds have been grown and where in my little raised beds and hopefully, one day soon, I will start to see something begin to shoot and grow.

The faith we share with others is a bit like this. However, we often don’t even realise that we have planted some seeds. Through my actions or words, something may be planted in someone who observes or hears me. The same goes for you. All of the seeds we plant are planted in different ways and will look different to the eye. A kindness from me, a word of encouragement from you, someone else going way out of their way to assist someone, can cause an inner reaction in a person which prompts them to look deeper into themselves. As Jesus says in the parable, the seed is sprouting and growing and yet we do not know. As Christians our actions plant seeds, we can water them and feed them but it is the creator who decides which of the seeds will produce a crop and bear fruit.

Jesus continued by using another parable, this time about the tiny mustard seed and he pointed out that this tiny seed can grow into the largest of shrubs. For us too, this can be the case. The smallest of gestures from us can mean so much to another person, that small gesture or seed can go on to form the strongest of faiths which can bring other people to the Lord.

It might be worth us considering who sowed the seeds of faith in our life? For some of us it will be our parents, for others, teachers or the priests we met as we were growing up. I can think of many people who have helped me when I struggled; the times when I drifted away from the Church and with their small gestures helped bring me back onto the right path.

This Sunday is Fathers Day and we remember those Fathers, Grandfathers and Godfathers who have gone before us, some of whom may have planted the odd seed in our faith journey or at least watered some. As a dad, I am aware of the awesome privilege God gives us in co-operating with Him to bring new life into the world.

This Sunday is also a day when we pray for life. Life being from conception until natural death. The Bishops of England & Wales, as well as the Scottish Bishops have put out a resource to remind us of the attacks on our Christian beliefs on how sacred life is.[1] Its focus this year is on the campaign for assisted suicide and it cites examples and has some prayers to help us focus on this important issue. With these insights to hand, I would encourage us all, at this election period, to take the time to look into the views of our prospective candidates to ensure that we discern who the person is who will best represent our Christian views.

Further Reading

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 543-546: announcing the Kingdom of God
CCC 2653-2654, 2660, 2716: the Kingdom grows by hearing the Word

Day for Life publication – DFL24-Printable-A4.pdf (cbcew.org.uk)

Please keep in your prayers this week

  • The sick and housebound, those who are dying and those who are grieving.
  • Those affected by poor mental health or addictions.
  • The children in the Tadley & Burghfield Common communities who will celebrate their First Holy Communion this week at St Michael’s Church in Tadley [16th June].
  • Those seeking election, that they have a genuine call to serve their community and that they back up any promises they make with their actions.
  • Those working for the protection of life and the people who have made personal sacrifice to uphold Catholic teaching on Life being from conception until natural death.
  • For Zyre who will be baptised this weekend at St Bede’s Church.

Deacon Tony 15th June 2024

[1] DFL24-Printable-A4.pdf (cbcew.org.uk)