ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Sowing the Seeds of Faith
The legend of Johnny Appleseed came to mind when I began to think about sowing the seeds of faith. For you who don’t know the story (a true story); in 1780, John Chapman was born in Massachusetts. His father trained him as an arborist and John began to travel the Midwest planting orchards. The legend emerged of this wonderful do-gooder who traveled the country planting apple trees for the immigrants heading west. The truth of the story is that wherever he planted an orchard, it ended up being a land claim for him and his family. The legend is of a kindly man doing good for others. The truth is that he did have faith in God and in the land; so that once his seeds were sown he knew they would produce trees and fruit.
Thus, I use this legend combined with Jesus parable about the mustard seed to give each of us an understandable mission. We have been given the awesome gift of faith. We must share that gift by sowing seeds of faith wherever we go.
St. Paul in our 2nd reading says we “walk by faith, not by sight”, and that we are courageous in our desire to be one with the Lord in his kingdom. If we follow the two main commandments of “loving God” and “loving our neighbor”, then we are called to share that faith. We all know that it is virtually impossible to talk someone into loving God. Their hearts must be ready to receive Him. Our job is to make the love of God visible through the way we conduct our lives. Love and kindness are always the primary ingredients. We are all familiar with the expression, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”. But when we drink, and enjoy, and offer that enjoyment, then we open the door for a heart and mind to be changed. Just like John (Johnny Appleseed) Chapman, we can’t expect to see immediate results, but we put all in God’s hands knowing that the seed will grow. So grab your bag of seed before you go into the world, and share the love of God to all with whom you come into contact. Prepare yourself to hear these words of God, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.