Saturday, July 09, 2005

Be Fruitful! (Homily for 15th Sunday)

It would be hard to miss the point of the readings:
Be fruitful!

God sows his Word: and it will be fruitful.

Consider an example:
Do you have dandelions in your yard?
Or, does a neighbor have them?
Then, you’ve noticed: they will be fruitful, won’t they?

I happen to like dandelions—
When I was a boy,
I’d collect bouquets of them for my mom!
Whatever you think of them,
God did create them,
And, in their own way, they reveal his glory.

They are tenacious, aren’t they?
Try pulling one up: it’ll grow back!

One dandelion bloom scatters seed everywhere:
If you and I could plant Christians that way,
How fast would our world change?

And if you pick the bloom,
Out comes another one:
You can’t discourage a dandelion, can you?

The whole natural world operates this way.

There’s a message here: God is on the side of Life!
God is fruitful—he’s not afraid of it.
We should be fruitful—and not be afraid of it.

Humanity is afraid of “too much” life:
“Do we have room?”
“Can we afford it?
“Will our resources be enough?”

God’s answer is: if you do it my way,
There will be abundance!

Some years back, “experts” predicted we’d run out of food;
That we faced a “population crisis.”

Now, it’s true—in many parts of the world,
People are hungry, and desperately poor.

But look around:
what is the “food” problem in the U.S.?
Not, of course, that we can’t grow enough,
but rather, we grow so much,
our farmers have trouble selling it all!

Do you know what the experts are admitting, now?
Our “population crisis” is no longer, “too many”—but
too few!
In Europe, the downward trend appears irreversible.
It will mean lower economic growth,
Social tensions with immigration,
and a harder time funding retirement and health care.

Same here: the concern with Social Security
is all about too few workers coming into the system,
in relation to those retiring!

Human wisdom vs. God’s:
We say, “too many people!”
God says, “I will give abundance.”

God’s Word creates that abundance.

God is the Sower; Christ is the Seed he sows;
the Holy Spirit is the Water that nourishes growth.

God always sows his Word in our lives.
He invites us to clear the ground:
Let the Spirit water it,
Give God space, and time…
So that Christ will grow in us.

Mass is a time for that.
If we do nothing else,
For this one hour a week, let’s agree together
we will let this be a time to let Christ grow in us.
This is no time to rush;
No time to think about anything else.

I know: maybe you’ve brought heavy cares today;
Lay them at the altar.
Let Christ minister to you for this hour.

Now, let me say something about “distractions” at Mass.
Not to embarrass anyone, but we know what happens:
Someone drops a kneeler;
A cell phone goes off;
A child cries out.

Now, here’s the thing:
That is not the distraction!

The distraction comes right after—
In our reaction!

If we go right back to praying—
We forget it, don’t we?

But if we start working our minds…
“Why did that person do that?”
That’s the distraction,
that’s the weed that chokes off God’s Word.
Nobody does that to us; we do that to ourselves.

That was
me, fresh out the seminary!
Slowly, I’m learning to tune it out—
Just like you parents do!

This is our time, once a week,
To let God sow Christ in our lives.
Let me say, here: I commend you!
There is always such prayerfulness here at St. Boniface!
That creates good soil for us all!

Remember those dandelion seeds:
so tiny, so ordinary.
Just a handful can make a huge change.

If a dandelion can do that,
What can the Seed of God do?

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