My Dad was an engineer and did a lot with machines but too much in the garden. Nothing in the garden. My mother too had six kids and she was pretty much cooking and cleaning all day and then they simply died. When I became a priest it just never occurred to me to garden. I did this last year a little bit, but I’ll never forget the first time I planted Sunflower seeds. For me, there was something so mysterious about it because I have a brown thumb. The seed is probably not going to grow. So, I planted all these Sunflower seeds in the ground and went to sleep, woke up the next morning nothing happened. Went to sleep and woke up the next morning, nothing happened. I do not know but it took about a week or two weeks all of a sudden there was a sprout, and I was so proud of myself that I was so mystified by this when first I saw that huge Sunflower plant that comes up. You know, the mammoth ones that come up? I could not believe how one little seed could produce something so big! If you have not done your gardening yet (I am sure a lot of you already have planted everything) but if you have not, buy a packet of seeds and just notice over the next couple of weeks the wonder of how a plant grows.
The wonderful thing in the gospel is Jesus goes to sleep again and He says the seed grows but he knows not how. When Jesus is laying out these parables, He is giving parable after parable after parable, they are all about the Kingdom of God. He says: I am trying to explain to you the Kingdom of God and I am going to use this image of the seed grows and he knows not how. The Kingdom of God has been growing for the last 2000 years.
I was in a book club once and some of the people were asking the question, “Do you think we are better off now than we were 2000 years ago?” It is like we have to be right? If the Kingdom of God is growing, we have to be better off now than we were 2000 years ago even though some days it doesn’t. There are three ways I am going to connect what He is trying to break open for us.
The first is the church fathers talk about the seed being Jesus. That Jesus was the seed. We are going to talk about that first. The Kingdom of God the seed is Jesus.
The second thing I want to talk about is the Kingdom of God within each one of you that we were all given in Baptism and that we receive in Eucharist. That is the second thing I will focus on.
The third is The Kingdom of God is the seed to be spread. So, when you go out of here and not only plant your seeds for homework but to go out plant real seeds in the world then they will grow in that way too,
First, The Kingdom of God is Jesus. Jesus is the seed that was planted into the earth. Then, after three days something amazing happened. We know not how. Nobody was actually there to witness that moment of the Resurrection absolute mystery and wonder. The Kingdom of God has already begun to permeate this entire earth. The good seed is growing. The disciples from the very beginning were the firstborn. They were the first ones to be baptized. They were the first ones to celebrate the Sacraments and are growing wildly. Thousands of people were catching the spirit and entering into the faith. Over the years as you look at our church every single continent, every single country there was a Catholic church.
Second, The Kingdom of God is within each one of us. That seed is planted within each one of us. You have it and the cool thing is you’re the good seed. Now if you remember: The first one you remember was The Sower who casts the seed. Some fell on rocky ground, and some fell on the thorny ground, some fell on hard ground. But we are talking about the seed that is on the good ground – the good seed. That means that The Kingdom of God is growing. Have you ever been a little discouraged in the spiritual life and think I feel like I am not growing? The Kingdom of God is growing in you. We know not how – but it is growing in your life.
Finally, and this is the heart of receiving the Eucharist today. We become the Sower. We go out from this church and cast seed. We spread it all around. We give it to everyone we encounter. We plant the seed.
How many of you have children or grandchildren who you know are not practicing the faith and it kills you, right? It just tears you up inside. Have they been baptized? Yes, hopefully. Have they received Eucharist? Have they been Confirmed? If so, the seed is growing… we know not how. So that is the hard part. We do not know how God is going to work in their life but trust that The Kingdom of God is growing in them even if you cannot see it. Even if you do not know how God is working.
Today we come together as the Body of Christ, and we realize that ultimately The Kingdom of God is flourishing in each and every one of us and we receive the good seed and then we go forth and cast and scatter throughout the earth.
We are not always sure that it is going to work the way I think it is going to work. Logic is that it is not always the way I think it is going to be. All we can truly believe is that God’s Kingdom is being fulfilled and often in ways we know not how.