15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

SOWING OUR GARDENS

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of the parable of the sower while reminding us the need for parables as a form of instruction.  So I thought I would tell a story of my own:

Ester lived at the corner of the block and I walked by her porch every morning. One day, we struck a conversation that evolved into a friendship. She had a lovely garden and told me that it had taken years to cultivate it. She had also spent many years building a compost heap to make the best possible soil for her garden. She said the key to a beautiful, bountiful garden was fertile soil and good seeds.

In recalling Ester’s conversation, she had said that after the sowing, there had followed the waiting for the garden to grow. The waiting period had been the hardest. Some summers had been arid and dry and sometimes storms would destroy her tender saplings. But Ester was passionate about her garden and she continued to cultivate and maintain it.

‘Life is a garden,’ she had said. ‘Tell me, what seeds would you sow in your life?’ That is a question that has always followed me. As time has passed, I have expanded on Ester’s initial question to me. I now ask myself what seeds were sown in the past to help me determine the seeds I will now sow. Would they be seeds that would bring forth a great harvest or just weeds for a bonfire. Would my harvest be one of love, forgiveness, mercy and kindness? Or would it be the weeds of brokenness, misery and fear ? How will I fare while waiting? Will I wait eagerly or apathetically? And how fertile was the soil in my life? Had I put in the time and effort to produce soil fruitful enough for a garden to grow?

Once the sowing is complete, how will we fare while waiting? Will we trust and endure and persevere through the aridity and the storms? How strong will we stand against the elements in our lives? And how well will we wait for God to break through?