We may never have done much farming. We may have had a little experience of gardening. And if we are not careful gardeners, disappointing things can happen. The plants we bought from the gardening centre don’t take root and the weeds we paid the gardener to pull out all grow again.
Apart from the garden there are reasons why we may feel discouraged. These reasons may be personal, or they may be to do with what is going on in the church or in world at large. We sowed the seed but only in a small way and we didn’t do much about it afterwards. Then we relax and maybe watch the football or a box set!
Today seems to be good news for lazy gardeners. Mark 4: 26-34. ‘Night and day, while the useless farmer sleeps and when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time; he starts to reap (in the Greek he ‘puts in the sickle’) because the harvest has come.’
Jesus tells us that the kingdom is at work even where it is not evident: the seed is growing. In another parable he tells us that the harvest is coming, and the tiny insignificant mustard seed will be like the cedar tree in the first reading, with all the birds nesting in its branches. The mustard seed was despised and banned from Jewish gardens at the time of Jesus, but now it is set to ‘take over the garden.’
So how do these two parables affect us? What is the message for me, for the church or for our times? The first answer is one of hope. The farmer is like us. He is not at his best, lazy or lost —but the crops grew anyway. Our effort seems tiny, but the tree will grow. Whatever our difficulties, as we share in the celebration of the one sacrifice of Christ, we are able to renew our confidence in the reality of the kingdom and in the one ‘who is coming,’ and who ‘will not delay’ Grace is all. In the words of Saint Paul, ‘We are always full of confidence.
Back in 1973 E F Schumacher wrote Small is Beautiful. A study of economics as if people mattered. A tiny action can be the beginning of momentous change. Wisdom is hard won. It takes time to digest reflect and understand our experience. We need to live with some stories, to understand them. Slowly like a seed insight grows and flowers. You begin to see, perceive, even understand. We need to listen and receive the word of Jesus Christ. So that what was hidden is revealed. The Lord will show us who we really are. We can only become the human beings God intends us to be when our true potential is illuminated by the light of Christ, and when the word of Jesus sown in the earth of our hearts enables that potential to grow.
Parish News: Fr Daniel Herrero Pena.
The Vicar General of the diocese has announced some clergy appointments which will take effect from September 2021.
After 3 years as assistant priest with us Fr Daniel will take up a new appointment in September. He has been appointed as the assistant priest to Our Lady of Grace, Chiswick and also serving the parishes of Grove Park and Gunnersbury. The Cardinal has appointed the Rev Marco Salvagnini who will be ordained to the priesthood on June 26th to succeed Fr Daniel as the assistant priest for our parish.
We have so much to be grateful for to Fr Daniel, but he is not gone yet. We will have an opportunity to thank Fr Daniel. in the meanwhile we pray for him and deacon Marco.
Please, pray from our children and young people, who will be receiving their First Holy Communion and confirmation in the next months of June and July.
Settlement Scheme for European Citizens
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were living in the UK by 31st December 2020 have until 30th June 2021 to apply for the Settlement Scheme. Those who do not apply are at risk of losing their rights to live and work here or access important services such as healthcare.