Homily for July 23: What's that seed you're sowing?

Homily for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

(Tech problems with audio, I may be able to post it later today)

If, in your own back yard you’re dealing with

crabgrass  or dandelions or ragweed or poison ivy

you not only know what are nuisance these are

but you also know what Jesus is talking about in this parable.

Of course, Jesus is referring to something worse

than anything you might control with Roundup or Weed-B-Gon.

Jesus is comparing the life-giving seeds he sows

with the invasive and destructive seeds sown by - the evil one.

You wanna see some nasty weeds?

Check out what the evil one is sowing all around us today.

His deadly, choking harvest of weeds was in all the papers this morning

- and all over social media and on the radio and TV.

And it was there yesterday, too, and the week before

and it will be there again tomorrow and next week, too.

Weeds are sown and grown in our back yards,

in our neighborhoods, in our parish,  in our town,

and across the Commonwealth, in our nation and all around the world.

Today’s gospel calls us not only to accountability

for how we deal with weeds we find all around us,

but Jesus’s words also call us to be, like him, sowers of good seed,

taking care not to sow more weeds in the world around us,

making the problem even worse.

I have an online friend whom I’ve never met.

His name is Alden Solovy.

Alden is Jewish and, like me, writes a blog on spirituality and prayer.

Today’s gospel reminded me of one of Alden’s prayers,

one I especially liked.

It’s titled Planting Seeds and it reads:

Every act is a seed:

(every thought, word and deed of ours is a seed)*
Every laugh, every smile. 

Every song, every dance.
Every outstretched arm 

And every open heart:
A seed of holiness. 

A seed of redemption. 

A seed of grace.

Every act is a seed:

(every thought, word and deed of ours is a seed)*
Every frown, every angry word. 

Every dislike, every disdain.
Every closed fist

And every hardened heart.
A seed of loneliness. 

A seed of isolation. 

A seed of despair.

How many seeds have I planted, God of Old,
Seeds that hurt, 

Seeds that heal?
How many seeds have I yet to plant,
Seeds that hurt,

Seeds that heal?

Ancient One, 

Grant me the discernment And the skill

To plant seeds of wonder and awe

In my life and the world.
Let me be a source of wholeness,

Let me be a source of thanksgiving,
So that my life yields

A garden of blessings

In service to Your Holy Name.


Every act of ours,

every thought, word and deed of ours - is a seed.

Our minds and hearts, our words and deeds are the seed bag

from which we sow our selves in the lives of those around us,

in the world around us and in our own lives, too.

If your seed bag is anything like mine,

it holds seeds for a good harvest and it holds seeds for weeds.

It holds the seeds of my good will, my good intentions

and my desire to lives as I know God calls me to live.

And my seed bag also holds the seeds of my jealousy, my anger,

and my selfishness

Jesus calls each of us to take great care in what we sow,

lest we plant weeds that choke and cut short

the growth and life of all around us.

So we might ask ourselves, using my friend Alden’s words:

In the week just past, how many seeds, O God, have I planted:

how many seeds that hurt,  how many seeds that heal?

And in the week ahead, Lord, how many seeds will I plant:

how many seeds that hurt, how many seeds that heal?

Jesus allowed himself to be the seed that dies

that others might have life.

He allowed himself to be, sown, planted in the earth

that he might raise up in a harvest of God’s grace and peace, for us.

And that harvest is what he shares with us at this altar in the Eucharist:

the harvest of wheat, become bread, become his Body for us;

the harvest of grapes, become wine, become his Blood for us.

May the seeds of grace Jesus plants in our minds and hearts today

yield a harvest of grace,
a garden of blessings,

leading each of us to sow the seeds of life

and to reap the harvest the Lord desires.

*For my homiletic purpose, I added this interpolation.


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