Please click HERE for Fr. John’s Homily 
                                 “Thoughts on the deaths of two good young mothers.”
                                                                Sunday 14th May 2017. 

        (Fr Bernard is on holiday. His next Homily is due on 27th August.)

                                 Fr. Bernard’s Homily for 
                                            Sunday 16th July

The Sower

Matt. 13: 1-23

The sower is one of several parables using seed, that Jesus tells to illustrate the Word of God, the Kingdom of God.

The tiny seed has enormous potential to grow into something great, something that bears fruit, something that nourishes.

But the seed will flourish only if the ground and the conditions are favourable.

The Word of God will bear fruit only if those who hear it take it to heart.  But Jesus laments those who look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding.

We hear the Word of God read and explained here in church, but God also manifests himself through the goodness of people and in all sorts of other ways. 

We complain about a hidden God.

But it is not that God hides himself from us, but that we are not aware of him, we do not see, we do not take notice.

For example:

Last Sunday, we had the annual mid-summer madness in our parish.  Several people worked very hard over the previous months to prepare for what turned out to be a memorable and most enjoyable event.  The great test of their dedication is the clear up afterwards:   by 5 o’clock, one would never have known that anything had happened in the church grounds.

The organisers did the work for the community, for the Church, for God – the three are intimately linked.

We recognise the face of God in their generous commitment.

Then there is the Sanctuary, to which you are often asked to contribute food and clothing.

Several of our parishioners work voluntarily with Sister Margaret in this enterprise.

They are dealing with immigrants.  These people are not mere statistics.  They have names and faces.  They will have suffered often what we cannot imagine.  They are now destitute.

The Sanctuary seeks to provide basic food and clothing and such domestic items as they need to enable them have at least a minimum of dignity, until they can find their feet and be independent.

It is easier to recognise the face of God in such works of mercy, but nevertheless we say out loud, ‘thank God for them’.

We can be aware of God too when the sun shines on a warm summer day.  It is as if God is smiling down on us

But we can thank God too for the rain that nourishes the parched earth, and makes the gardens fruitful.

When we go into the supermarket to do our shopping, we are confronted with a superabundance of fresh and attractive food.

We remind ourselves that, in the words of the offertory at Mass, all this food is ‘fruit of the earth and work of human hands’. 

All this food grew out of the ground –  it all began as one of the little seeds spoken of in today’s parable and nourished by the elements in the earth, by the rain and the sun, it grew and eventually ripened.

The farmer and the labourers prepared the ground, harvested the crop when ripened;  others processed it and delivered it to the shelves in our shops – ‘fruit of the earth and work of human hands’.

Before we eat, we take a moment, either together as a family or silently in our hearts, to ask God’s blessing on this food, which ‘of thy bounty we are about to receive.’

Beside our church is the primary school.  At various recreation times, one can hear the children at play, their uninhibited shrieks proclaiming not a care in the world – a joyous sound.

And then there is the sight that we city-dwellers are deprived of, namely the sky at night, drowned in the artificial light that brightens up our streets during the darkness of the night.

When we have the opportunity and on a cloudless night can view the sky at night, the stars and other heavenly bodies, it is an awesome sight, stretching away beyond our imagination into infinity, surely a glimpse of the extravagant Creator.

One could multiply examples.  God is ever near to us, hidden from immediate view, but ever present for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

I often recall a poem I learned at primary school – what we learn by heart at that age we never forget:;

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes.
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice – and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.