Today we hear the beautiful parable of the sower and the seed. It is an excellent reflection for us as we look at our own life. I share with you today the story of a seed.
All during the dark cold winter I lay in a barn, warm, dry and safe. Yet I felt unfulfilled. I felt I was not really living. I felt I was born for some great purpose. But what that purpose was I had no idea, and I felt sure there would be suffering involved in it. Little did I know how much.
Then one spring day the farmer took me and a sack full of others out of the barn and scattered us on the soil which had been freshly plowed. Then he harrowed us into the ground. Suddenly I found myself buried in the cold, dark, damp soil. I had gone from a barn to a tomb. How could he be so cruel?
Days passed, if you could call them days. And still there wasn’t the slightest sign of growth. Instead, to my horror, I saw that I was beginning to decay. Still, miraculously, I was alive. A tiny pulse continued to beat deep inside me. But I felt that I was losing the battle, even the will to live. The fact that I continued to live was due to the prompting of some mysterious outside force.
Meanwhile, unknown to me, things were happening in the great world above. Nature was about to come to my rescue. The earth was beginning to thaw out. Rainwater sank slowly down and soaked into me or what remained of me. Then things began to happen fast. My once tough husk, now ravaged by decay, first began to soften, then to swell. Suddenly it burst open and out came a tiny shoot.
It’s happening, I cried out joyfully. I’m not going to die after all. I’m going to be born!
And born I was. I shot up, a sturdy shoot that soon turned into a tall stalk. The sun shone warmly on me and the wind passed over me like a blessing. I was growing and ripening. I was no longer a single grain, but a whole host of them, clinging to the top of a tall stalk. I would give life, I would satisfy hunger. All the pain and uncertainly was worth it.
There is a huge paradox in all of this. A paradox is defined as a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement which is nevertheless true. A grain of wheat has to die if it is to bear fruit. And a single grain of wheat has the potential to produce up to seventy grains.
We are being challenged to ask ourselves: What kinds of seed am I sowing in that part of the vineyard that the Lord has entrusted to my care? Are they seeds that I will be proud of at harvest time, that being, the day I stand before the Lord?
— Fr. Dennis, July 16, 2017