As a child I used to watch a gardening programme. I can’t remember what it was called but one of the presenters was called Percy Thrower. I remember being fascinated at the wonderful things that he was able to grow and the fantastic garden displays he was able to produce with what seemed like very little effort.
As I have grown older I realise that it takes a lot of hard work and patience to be able to have a beautiful garden. I’m afraid I don’t have that patience and with me it’s more gardening by neglect than any real knowledge or skill.
The Gospel that we heard at Mass today tells of a sower sowing his seed and the various types of soil that the seeds fell into. Sone fell into poor soil and produced nothing, but others fell into rich soil and produced a great harvest.
I suppose at various times in our lives we have been one of those soil types that are mentioned in todays Gospel. We have not always been that rich soil in which the word of God has been able to take root and grow. We have allowed the cares of this world to get in the way and destroy our relationship with God.
I suspect that many have felt a little like that during this time of exile that we have had from the Church and our public celebration and practice of our Faith. There may have been times when we have felt that we were on the pathway and not supported because our usual practices have been denied us. We may have felt that we have not made much progress in our spiritual life because we have not been able to attend Mass and receive the Lord in Holy Communion so that we can go out and bear fruit in the world.
Now is the time when we can return step by step back to the practice of our Faith and place ourselves in that rich soil. We are able to hear the Word of God and to be strengthened by the sacrament to build up the community of the Church as ambassadors for Christ.
The task of building up community, of nurturing seeds so that they can grow is something for all of us to do. It is not a task that is solely the duty of those who have the title ‘Father’ or ‘Sister’. It is a task of every baptised member of the parish community, no matter what our circumstances or our age. All of us are to be involved in the work of evangelisation and bringing others to Christ.
Let us pray for each other that we will truly be the Lord’s Missionary Disciples calling others into His rich harvest.