Monday, July 8, 2019

Blossoms Fall



Blossoms Fall

On the River Road ride this predawn morning the sun’s pink changing to gold slowly lightened the newly fallen white blossoms from bass trees almost carpeting my way. I could smell the sweet black locust blooms as well as I also passed another almost intoxicating white lilac with perfumed blooms of white-hot flames reaching up.  I looked around at the century old apple trees randomly, still standing to memorialize the once bustling orchard and farmland that flourished there. It caused me to remember a parable-like thought asking, “who can count the apples in that fallen seed?” Every seed that falls does not produce a fruit tree or flower, but many do.

Jesus told the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, ‘“ Then He told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.’” Jesus then gives His interpretation saying, 
 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’”

The Lord knows that for the seed of the gospel to take root requires a heart prepared to receive and believe and then take the message out to sow to others. Our roots must grow deep in order to withstand the troubles we will face in the world. 

James, the brother of Jesus said that faith needs action. “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did”(James 2:22). An interesting quote often ascribed to St. Francis says, “Speak the gospel at all times and if you must use words.” Words with action often last longer and are more helpful to the one who needs them. 

In this world Jesus reminds us we will have troubles and there is evil wanting to destroy both the message and the messenger. 
‘“The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one’”(Matthew 13:38). We believers are the seed.God wants us to walk and speak with wisdom making the most of every opportunity, full of grace and seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:5).  “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Even though there is opposition, Mother Theresa said, “Do it anyway.”

Back to the story of falling blossoms or seeds. Jesus speaks of planting seeds. Miraculously they must die to bring life in new growth. “‘Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds’” (John 12:24). Jesus Himself of course had to die that we could live eternal righteous lives through Him. This is the Pascal Mystery. 

There will be many more blossoms to fall through spring and summer, and in the autumn the leaves will fall. Every plant and tree has a seed which life cycle requires planting, watering and waiting patiently for new growth. This is the life of the farmer who plants, waters and waits for the harvest. This too is the life cycle of evangelism of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Go and do it, go and do likewise. 



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