Yesterday someone brought us four large summer squash from their abundance and the vegetable farm down the road had many boxes ready to ship from their crop as well. That’s pretty common around here in the summer. Even if you only have one summer squash plant, you are bound to share in the end as the yield is always heavy. On the other hand, I was trying earlier in the week to plant two small pots of flowers and I encountered lots of stones (not uncommon on our land) and all sorts of ants and other bugs. I’m still not sure if they will survive.
This morning’s gospel is the one about the sower sowing seed in four different kinds of soil: the path (i.e. the road), rocky ground, soil among thorns and rich soil – all indicators of how we hear the word of God. It harks back to yesterday when I talked about open eyes and ears open to hear the word of God. All four kinds of “soil” hear the word this morning but it is only the rich soil that hears and understands the word which yields a good harvest. (MT 13:18-23) Implied is the importance of listening deeply but there’s another additive, found in the acclamation that precedes this gospel. It says: “Blessed are those who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” That says to me that even if you have the best soil in the world it’s likely you will need to pay attention to all sorts of conditions so you’ll water the crop sufficiently and fertilize if need be. Sometimes it seems as if something I plant will never grow. I kept a plant of mistaken identity for six years because it kept putting out a leaf or two every year. When we transplanted it finally, it flourished into a large hibiscus rather than the hydrangea that was ordered! Clearly, perseverance does pay eventually!