Spring has sprung! After our long quiet, cold, snowy winter the ice and snow begins to disappear. The suns’ warmth touching our faces is wonderful and we hear the water gurgling happily down little paths into puddles and into the sewers. The black earth begins to make an appearance and slowly dries. Little shoots of green appear, waking up, stretching toward the sun. Oh Glory! New Life! Young life, fresh beginnings. The birds in various tones sing their welcome to Spring. The air is light and warm, filled with happy mating calls. The nesting begins with new hope in the ruffling of their feathers and the anticipation of new life.
I have always been fascinated with the life of seeds. Growing up on a farm where every Spring garden plots, flower beds and fields of black soil beckon to the farmer and planters to get into action preparing the seeds and seedlings for planting, thus providing our winters’ provision. The miracle of life – which gives and sustains life. Fr. Leo shared in his little homily last week, “THE HOPE OF the HARVEST LIES IN the SEED.” In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us about the good seed falling on the edge of the path and the birds ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and at once sprang up, because there was no depth of earth; and when the sun came up it was scorched, and it withered away. Some fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. Some seeds fell into the rich black soil, grew tall and strong, and produced a good crop; the yield was thirty, sixty, even a hundred fold. (Mark 4: 3-9).
In comparison to the seed, our spiritual life is climatic and dependent on our decisions and ability to keep up and maintain the growth until harvest time. We go through elated revelation times of growth, dry drought times of supposed stagnation and despondency, or wintery quiet times of questioning and depression.
Father Leo reminded us that WE are the seeds in GOD’S KINGDOM. As the Seeds, how do we maintain, nourish and keep ourselves and others sprouting and growing? As plants need constant care, we do too. Good fertilizer, regular watering, constant weeding and maintaining a soft and pliable soil keeps the plant growing and producing until harvest. We also need to be fertilized by the Word of God, regular watering by a good Bible Study or fellowship group, and constant weeding out of habits that hurt us or others. Our growth needs daily prayer, regular worship every week and the holy Eucharist as often as possible. Community is a very important part of maintenance – we need each other to encourage and pray for each other, for the sharing of wisdom and grief, for good fellowship and above all sharing the love of God. HOW CAN WE LIVE OUT THE POTENTIAL WITHIN OUR SEED IN GOD’S VINEYARD OR GARDEN?