What is Sown as Seed Grows

Homily for 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
July 23, 2017
St. Francis of Assisi, Fisher – 8:00 AM; Holy Trinity, Tabor – 10:00 AM

Focus:               What is sown as seed grows.
Function:         Sow good seed.


sowing seedSow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit, and you reap a character.
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
-Charles Reade

We reap what we sow.
What is sown as a seed grows.

Last week we heard about the sower who went out to sow. The sower is God, and the seeds are his Word. Our hearts are the fields to receive his Word. We were asked to reflect on the state of our hearts. We were challenged to cultivate our hearts so that they become the rich soil where the seed of God’s word can flourish.

Today, we are reminded that, while it is true that God sows his seed, it is equally true that he is not the only sower. The Evil One also sows his seed.

What is sown as seed grows.

Acts of sin grow into habits of sin.
Habits of sin grow into vices.
Vices, if unchecked and without conversion, can transform the fields of our hearts into fields of weeds which will not yield a bountiful harvest, but can only be bundled up and burned. Vices enslave us in our sins. They prevent us from loving well.

But acts of goodness grow into habits of goodness.
Habits of goodness grow into virtues.
Virtues, if planted and watered and tended, can transform the fields of our hearts into fields of wheat which yield a bountiful harvest, and are gathered into the Lord’s barn at the time of the harvest. Virtues give us the freedom to become saints. They give us the freedom to give fully of ourselves, to love freely.

What is sown as seed grows.
God will reap what we allow to be sown in our hearts.

I think we can look at this parable of the weeds and the wheat in two ways. The Gospel presents the weeds as the children of the Evil One and the wheat as the children of the Kingdom. The field is the world. Each person is a weed or a stalk of wheat. God lets them grow together until the Harvest.

I think we can also look at this parable in another way. We can see each person’s heart as a field that contains both weeds and wheat. The wheat is to be tended and nurtured and we are to stunt the growth of the weeds where we can. The seeds continue to be sown throughout our lives. We want to open ourselves to the seeds that come from God and close ourselves to the seeds that come from the Evil One. The field is each person’s heart. Each person’s heart is a field of wheat and weeds. God allows the person to grow and to cultivate his field until harvest time.

St. Thomas Aquinas once said,
Take away all evil, and much good would go with it.
God’s care is to bring good out of the evils that happen, not to abolish them.

God wants a bountiful harvest. He is willing to tolerate a few weeds for now in order to allow the wheat to grow. But, brothers and sisters, the weeds will be separated later. And that should motivate us to use the time we have now to tend the fields of our hearts.

We must do our part. We must cultivate our fields.

The Book of Sirach urges us:
Delay not your conversion to the Lord, put it not off from day to day. (Sirach 5:8)

What is sown as seed grows.
The Harvest is coming.
God will reap what we allow to be sown and grown in our hearts.

Last week and the week before, I attended the JPII Camp for the middle schoolers of the diocese. I spent hours hearing confessions. I was inspired to see the campers make life changing confessions. They recognized where they had allowed the Evil One to sow the seeds of sin in the fields of their hearts, they saw the weeds springing up, and they experienced conversion. They tended their gardens. They took a huge first step in making a resolution to rid themselves of the actions that sow the seeds of weeds in their hearts and resolved instead to sow the seeds of virtue.

Their hearts are young. It is early in their growing season.

Some of us are not so young. It is later in our growing season.

Yet one thing is certain. The first reading, in speaking of God, tells us that “You gave your children good ground for hope that you would permit repentance for their sins.”

God is patient. God will wait. He does not rush into the field of the world and uproot those of us who are weedy. He waits. He allows us to tend the fields of our own hearts – to change – to open ourselves to receive the seeds of His Word.

During this growing season of your life, do not stand idly by. Tend your field. Open your heart to the seeds of God and close yourselves to the seeds of the Evil One.

What are you allowing to be sown in your heart?

What are you allowing to be sown in your children’s hearts?

Are you planting so as to reap a harvest worthy of Heaven?

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