Pick Up Packets of Seeds

    There was a woman who was disappointed, disillusioned and depressed. She wanted a good, peaceful world, and she wanted to be a good person. But the newspaper and television showed her how far we were from such a reality. So she decided to go shopping. She went to the mall and wandered into a new store where the person behind the counter looked strangely like Jesus.

    Gathering up her courage, she went up to the counter and asked, "Are you Jesus?" "Well, yes, I am," the man answered. "Do you work here?" "Actually," Jesus responded, "I own the store. You are free to wander up and down the aisles, see what I sell, and then make a list of what you want. When you are finished, come back here, and we'll see what we can do for you." So, the woman did just that. What she saw thrilled her. There was peace on earth, no more war, no hunger or poverty, peace in families, no more drugs, harmony, and clean air. She wrote hastily and approached the counter to hand a long list to Jesus. He skimmed the paper, and then smiling at her said, "No problem."

      Reaching under the counter, he grabbed some packets and laid them out on the counter. Confused, she asked, "What are these?" Jesus replied: "These are seed packets." Surprised the woman blurted out, "You mean I don't get the finished product?" "No," Jesus gently responded. "This is a place of dreams. You come and see what it looks like, and I give you the seeds. Then you plant the seeds. You go home and nurture them and help them to grow and someone else reaps the benefits." "Oh," she said, deeply disappointed in Jesus. She turned around and left the store without buying anything. This story might look like our lives.

    Our Gospel passage for today speaks to us about our calling as Christians in a world of violence, increasing poverty, terrorism, and intolerance. As disciples of Jesus, the Gospel is calling us to actualize Jesus' passionate dream of a whole and healed world. So, my friends, let's pick up those packets of seeds, and let's plant them - for the sake of our children and all the children of the world.

    I am reminding you of the ample opportunities given week after week. You have my homily with hand-out, the bulletin that includes my article inspiring good Christian living and Bible quizzes to make reading the Bible intentional. In addition, we have seasonal classes on important themes and book talks that are only offered here at St. Bernadette. Our faith formation families also receive information from the Gospel Weeklies that children are learning from and bringing home. The availability of Perpetual Adoration is also only found here. These are some examples of packets of seeds. In order for there to be growth for the sake of your soul, your children's souls and the souls of others, you have to plant and nurture these seeds. I am delighted to witness those parishioners who are really benefiting from these availabilities and growing in faith.  

    You may agree with me, like the woman who went to the store, some people are rushing here and there in an attempt to get ‘finished products' in a quick way. Here I am a reminded of a story: A man bought a dairy cow to earn money. He was not satisfied that it was only yielding a gallon of milk a day. He was impatient to give the cow enough time to mature and quickly decided it was not a good cow for his yard. So he went to the market and sold it for a low price. The buyer gave him a deposit and asked to wait for some time to give the balance. The man who bought the cow began shouting in a loud voice: "This is a good cow, yielding 10 gallons a day; if you have it in your backyard, all good things will happen to your life…." Though it sounded like a great deal, it was not true.

      Upon hearing these things the original owner felt sad that he sold his good cow for such a low price. He saw that the other people were trying to buy it for higher price. In order to get back his cow, he gave more money than he sold it for.

    Let us not get into this predicament. We only need to realize the good seeds that are available at St Bernadette. If we sow these seeds here, our community will become a healed community. That is a real Christmas blessing!

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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