Father Ricardo's Column

Jesus was not a farmer, and most of His apostles were
fishermen. Still, He used many agricultural images and word
pictures in His parables. The end of today’s gospel passage
tells us that Jesus spoke in parables so that the ordinary
person could understand the mysteries of God’s action in
human life.

Jesus is telling His listeners and us that our task is to plant the
seed. That’s all we have to do. God takes care of the growth.
The disciples discovered that the kingdom that Jesus
revealed, grew fast, recovered quickly from damage, and
flourished anywhere it sprouted.

Many of us dream great dreams for the Church and the human
community, but the kingdom is ultimately God’s dream, not
ours. The Kingdom of God is resilient, and ever-expanding.
Our role is to till and to sow and then look on in wonder as
God brings it to fruition.

This past week most of you have received a letter describing a
little seed, the parish campaign, called Let Your Light Shine.

I would be dishonest if I claimed that the project and its
fulfillment haven’t given me a great deal of anxiety. I’ve
never done anything like this before. I’ve never been part of
such an endeavor. Angelo Roncalli, Pope Saint John XXIII
had a country village childhood like mine. Upon his election
as pope, he was unable to sleep. I’m worried about windows;
he was faced with the seemingly insurmountable problems
facing the church. As a farm boy, he truly understood the
meaning of planting seeds. The mustard seed parable took on
a personal meaning. He was able to pray: “Lord, this Church
is yours, not mine. I’m going to sleep.”

As we begin this campaign, my prayer is: “Lord, this Church
is yours, not mine.” Like the farmers, who plant and then
quietly live each day, morning and night, I expect that trust in
God will liberate us from fear and doubt. I expect that God
will take care of the growth. I expect that we can all look on
in wonder as God brings it to fruition.

Father Ricardo