From the Desk
of Fr. Tony...
Fr. Tony Stubeda
Father Tony Stubeda
How Did This All Happen?
On Monday evening I watched a television program called, “Who Do You Think You Are,” which chooses a celebrity each week and traces their ancestry as far back as they can. Two episodes caught my eye. In one Courtney Cox found out that she was a direct descendent of England’s King William the Conquerer, and in the other Hilary Duff discovered that she was a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. These two seemingly all-American women could trace their heritage through 28 or 30 generations and arrive at these ancestors. I don’t know whether, with a bucket load of money and a lot of leisure time, I could trace my family line that far back, but I am pretty sure I would not find any royalty along the way. As we celebrate Father’s Day I find myself thinking about our family history whose roots I know very little about, beyond the great-grandparent level. I marvel at families that talk about the scores of cousins they have. My father was an only child and my mother had a brother and a sister. My Aunt Rosemary had no children and my Uncle Ted six boys. I have only six first-cousins. As time passes our family tree grows. My six brothers and sisters have 11 children, and if I am counting right they have 9 children, and the family is still growing. From the small beginnings of my father and mother we are becoming quite a crowd. I suspect that my parents never thought that their love would grow such a robust family tree.
The parables presented by Jesus in today’s Gospel call us to reflect on the mysterious process of the flourishing of the Kingdom of God among us. He uses the simple to grasp metaphors of his followers’ agrarian culture to help them grasp the wonder of the growth of the Kingdom of God. He calls his disciples to remember that the miracle of the harvest is largely a thing that happens outside of their control and sight. The seed sprouts, grows, folurishes and comes to bear fruit with little or no work on the part of the sower. The sower does what he can to start well, but after that the future is in the hands of forces beyond the farmer’s control. As if of its own accord the harvest comes forth.
Jesus teaches that once the word of God, Jesus himself, finds a place in our hearts, his teaching, his love and power will increase and overflow into a harvest of salvation, mercy, hope and light. The growth of a faithfilled community and an image of Christ in the world is reliant on the mysterious action of our abundantly generous God.
As we celebrate our fathers this weekend, I invite you to reflect on the great flourishing of love and goodness that is rooted in them and their willingness to shepherd us, their children, in the ways of faith, hope and love. Our parents have started something, and with God’s blessing it will flourish.