Patience and the Harvest

Dear Friends,

In a recent Gospel reading, we heard the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15). The Sower cast seed on the ground, and it landed in various places. Some of the seed fell to the side, and was devoured by birds.

Other seed landed on rock, grew immediately, but then lacking a source of water, choked. Still other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns choked the seed. Finally, some seed fell on good ground, and bore the Sower a rich return.

Christ compares each of these scenarios to people hearing the Gospel.

Some have the word taken away by the Devil, while others become excited and fall away at the first difficulty. Some believe the message, but are more concerned with worldly concerns. Finally, some receive the Word of God, and bring forth a harvest—but with patience.

God gives us the tools we need to produce this same harvest. We were created in his image, and he gives us his grace as nourishment for our souls. He also gives us free will—a choice in the matter—which means that how we end up responding is our own decision.

Working in a small mission such as ours, there will always be people who hear the news of the new Church, become excited, and then disappear. There will be others who come but do not commit because of their other priorities. Still others will be against us from the start. However, Christ is the Sower who planted our mission, and he is watering it with Divine grace, which we receive from the celebration of the Holy Liturgy and the preaching of the Gospel. We should not allow any distractions to take us off course; as we progress spiritually, we will ourselves bear fruit, and this includes seed which will germinate those around us in the community. As the community sees the positive impact the Church has on our life and on others, more will be inspired to join us in our work. But it will be a slow process which will require much patience. The seed that grew in the fertile ground did not appear as quickly as the seed that was on the rock, because it was more immediately exposed to the sunlight, but it grew roots which let it weather the storm.

For those who are receiving this mailing who have not yet visited the mission, I extend to you my greetings and an invitation to come to our next service. I would love to meet you and hope that you will be inspired to join with us in our worship and charitable work!

Yours In Christ,
Fr. Anastasios