Father John Chrzan St. Gilbert Weekly Pastor Message (847) 223-4731

Dear Parishioners,

In this weekend's Gospel passage from Matthew (13:24-43), we again witness Jesus instructing his disciples using parables.  They were an effective means of communicating his message because many ordinary people of his time were illiterate and simple, and his parables conveyed Christ's teaching through themes nearly anyone could readily grasp - tiny mustard seeds growing into tall and sturdy trees, yeast leavened into wheat dough becoming pleasing and nourishing loaves of fresh bread.  These images Jesus borrowed from practical experiences of everyday life in order to share with his listeners the essential truths of God's Kingdom.

Perhaps there is even more substance to this week's parable of sower and seed to be discovered just beyond the surface of the story.  Notice how Jesus refers to the sower scattering good seed which grows into wheat in contrast to an enemy who sows weeds.  I believe another lesson we can learn from this parable is that the seed we sow is that which we eventually will reap.  If we sow seeds of peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and forgiveness, we will reap the fruit of the same by being known to all as children of the Kingdom.  We will be numbered among, as Jesus says, the righteous who "shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father."

The age-old prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi asks God to make us instruments of his peace by letting us sow seeds of love where weeds of hatred grow, seeds of pardon where weeds of injury grow, seeds of faith where weeds of doubt grow, and seeds of joy where weeds of sadness grow.  Even the nineteenth century English novelist and dramatist Charles Reade said on similar note, "Sow an act and you reap a habit.  Sow a habit and you reap a character.  Sow a character and you reap a destiny."

This week as we put the Lord's Word into practice let this be our prayer - "Lord Jesus, let your Word take root in our hearts and your amazing love transform our lives, that in sowing seeds of mercy, we may reap an abundant harvest of good works. Amen."

                                                 Peace,

Fr.  John