The prophecy in our first reading from the Book of Ezekiel is a prophecy about the kingdom of Christ.
In the Gospel from Mark 4, Jesus tells two parables – one about a seed that is growing secretly and the other about the mustard seed. I would like to explore the parable of the seed that is growing secretly. In this parable Jesus is trying to get his disciples to understand that there is a seed of faith that is growing in Jesus’ ministry and that the seed will eventually grow and produce fruit after Jesus suffers, dies and is risen. When we plant seeds, we cannot make them grow ourselves. Once we sow the seeds, the rest is up to God – the process of growth is a beautiful gift from God.
In a similar way, God controls the growth of the seed of faith in our hearts. We can try to ignore it, but once the seed of faith is planted in our hearts at Baptism, our lives are changed. Our parents need to help us through teaching us about the faith and bringing us to Mass, but at some point the Holy Spirit takes over and helps our faith develop and grow strong in our hearts.
As disciples we, through Evangelization, can also help sow seeds of faith in the hearts of unbelievers. Once planted, the Holy Spirit will take over, and help faith grow in their hearts.
If we have family members who seem to have turned away from their faith, we should pray that the Holy Spirit will help them to remember what God has done for them in their lives.
My friends, by now you know that I will be leaving St. Juliana at the end of June. I cannot express in words how much I love you all and what being here for these last two years has meant to me. You have helped me grow so much in my ministry as a priest and I will miss you dearly and I will remember our time together as I move to Ft. Pierce to become the Parochial Administrator at St. Mark the Evangelist.
Rev. Bob Pope