15th Sunday of the Year (A) 2017

My earliest memories of my dad are mind pictures of him immersed in his vegetable garden. These would be the second world war years. All his life he fed his family from his garden and any surplus went to neighbours and friends.

All his life he would come home from work and go directly to his garden. He wasn’t into flowers. Everything he grew was for the table.

Weeding was a continuous, unrelenting, task which was always part of my life. It was a never ending war. I learnt to munch cabbage, carrots, turnips and peas as I wed.

He died in February. The afternoon before he died suddenly of a heart attack he was out in his garden planning the programme for the spring planting.

I have no doubt that Joseph and Mary had a vegetable garden also and that the young Jesus was constantly pressed into the task of weeding etc.

So he knew what he was talking about when he told todays parable.

Planting and nurturing the seeds of faith; of belief in God; of gratitude to God our Creator, has always been and always will be a challenge, a puzzle, a conundrum.

My experience over the years is that one can give any given group of persons, who declare interest in joining the church, exactly the same teaching, exactly the same preparation, exactly the same process; Some will drop out during the process, some will drift away after reception into the church and some will continue as convinced and dedicated members.

This seems to be normal.

Jesus said to them. ‘It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. ……But there are some of you who do not believe. … For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father. As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.’

So the parable of planting the seed of God’s Word on all types of soil is the best way to describe the work of the catechist. What happens then is up to the Father and He is it keeping it close to his chest.

Why this is so? Your guess is as good as mine.

Our’s not to reason why, Our’s but to do and die.