Weekday School Mass

Adapted from the homily.

My parents went away for a few days when I was in 8th grade–around this time of year, as a matter of fact–and they gave each of my siblings and I tasks to complete. My job was to water the flower bed on the side of our house twice a day. My father specifically instructed me to use the hose. I didn't feel like lugging the hose around, so I instead set up a sprinkler. I thought I was so smart. Well, when it came time for my parents to return, and my brother and two sisters and I went around cleaning the house, we went into the basement only to find it flooded! That's right, I had completely forgotten about the sprinkler and left it running day and night. The destroyed flower bed was the least of my worries.

Yes, St. Paul in our reading today does admit watering isn't the ultimate factor in the success of a flower: “Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth” (1 Cor 3:9). But water is important nonetheless, and overwatering can prevent growth. Boys and girls, you are flowers and God is pouring grace out on you every moment of the day to grow. We can prevent that growth by "overwatering"; that is, by getting in the way of God. We do this when we don't listen to our teachers, when we bully other students, when we don't pray. Teachers, you likewise can overwater by stifling creativity, letting your mood affect your classroom, and also by not praying. So, let God’s water come into you and your neighbor, and I think we’ll notice St. Juliana at the end of the school year to be a beautiful garden.

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Father James Wallace

Letters from a Pastor to His People

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