“A sower went out to sow...” Our Lord tells us, in arguably his most well-known parable, there are four different types of landing spots for a seed: a path, rocky soil, a thorn bush, and rich soil. The seed, of course, stands for the Word of God and the landing spot is the person. Some of us are rocky soil, where Christ's message and his grace does not take root, while others of us are rich soil, where it does.
In the first half of the Gospel of Matthew, from which we have been reading the past several Sundays, Jesus speaks quite plainly. Then, all of a sudden, he shifts to parables. This occurs in chapter 13, which we start this weekend—the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The Greek paraballō means "to place one thing beside another." Jesus uses natural things, like seed, treasure, coins, to help illustrate divine realities. It is his attempt to make sense of God's truth. A parable, therefore, reveals divine mysteries. And yet, at the same time, a parable hides divine mysteries. Those who are proud or impatient will not be able to make sense of the parables. A parable, thus, also acts as a sign. Those who are proud and unbelieving will not understand a parable. Those who are humble and faithful will.
Spend some time with this parable of the sower and seed. I provided one interpretation of the parable above, but there are an infinite number of interpretations. How does it apply to your life? Find an answer, and you will not only grow in wisdom, you will also have demonstrated your faith and openness.
Thank you to Retail First Corp., who, free of charge, created the new branding and design of our bulletin. David Plier and his Creative Directors at the company, Sam Fowler and Suzanne Nemec, were behind the efforts. And thank you to Luann Bobko, who spent hours on the new format.
I want to recognize, congratulate, and thank you for your financial generosity. If you remember back in February we had the Annual Catholic Appeal over the course of several weekends. Our parish was assessed by the Archdiocese $52,993.02. We raised $65,868.00! That is almost $13,000 that will be returning to our Parish! There were also several special collections in June. For the Retired Priest Fund on June 12th we raised $3,643.00. For the Mission Appeal on June 18th, when Sister Monica Devine of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary spoke, we raised $5,063.85. And for the Peter's Pence collection on June 26th, we raised $1,638.00. Also, the pancake breakfast held on June 4th when we hosted our First Responder's Mass brought in $2,098.00. These funds went to Behind the Vest, an effort to help our police officers. Finally, we donated $7,958 to our sharing parish, Ascension-St. Susanna. You all deserve great applause.
I will be away the following, Monday, July 17 through Monday, July 24th. I travel at this time each year with my good priest friends (see picture of us). They are priests from various dioceses in the United States and we attended seminary together in Rome at the Pontifical North American College. This year we will be in Wyoming for the week. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
Yours in Christ,