JUNE 17th *Deacons Bench
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how”. Sunday, June 17 is Father’s Day and if there is one thing I know about
fathers, it’s that we want to fix things; we want to make good things happen: in our families, at our work, in our country. Those of us who had the opportunity to participate in our parish’s That Man is You men’s program last year learned that when fathers abdicate their responsibilities, when we fathers don’t fix things, don’t make good things happen, then very bad things happen and our families and our country come unglued.
But today’s Gospel also reminds us that once we have done our part - once we have “scattered the seed” - then God does His part: quietly, mysteriously the seed we have sown sprouts and it grows, we “know not how.”
Once we have properly raised our children in the Faith, we have to let them go. We can’t make them believe, anymore than we can make a seed sprout by yelling at it. Again, we can vote responsibly, be informed and active citizens, pray daily, and bear witness to the Truth of the Gospel, but we can’t make the country come to its senses and remember its patrimony as free and rational citizens,
anymore than we can make a seed grow by reading gardening books to it.
Once our consciences have confirmed in us that we have done our part, to the best of our ability, we have to trust that God the Father will do His part.
JUNE 24th, The Pastors Pen
This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist. It is now 6 months to the birth of Jesus Christ. That is the reason for today's feast. John was called by God from his very beginning in the womb of Elizabeth to point to Christ. In the womb he leapt for joy sensing the nearness of our salvation and the fulfillment of God's promise of restoration. He was the first to call out Christ; "behold the Lamb of God". He is an example for us who are also called to point to Christ as the sum and source of our lives. In just a small gesture, such as praying in a restaurant before we eat is a way to point to Christ. Take some time today and think about how many times during the day do I have an opportunity to also point to Christ alive in the world. Then pray for the joy and love to spread the message of Christ's presence of love and peace in the world.