Seeds of Hope

Antonio P. Pueyo
July 10, 2005
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reproduced with Permission

I place my hopes in SSS. I do not refer to the Social Security System, although this too works on hope. The Triple S that I hope in consists of the seed, the sower, and the soil. Let me explain the objects of my hope.

I have hope for the seeds that I plant, otherwise I will stop planting. The miracle of life that never ceases to amaze me is that a little seed grows into a big tree, and from a small grain comes a harvest of a hundred-fold. There is great truth in the nursery rhyme of my childhood, "In the heart of the seed, buried deep so deep, a dear little plant lays fast asleep." This truth applies not just to vegetative life. It also applies to seeds of goodness, truth and beauty. Many of us have become what we are now because of somebody's wise counsel, act of kindness, and words of encouragement.

Some of us may remember family practices when we were growing up that we have carried forward to our own new families, such as praying together, going to mass as a family, washing dishes together. Or perhaps we have learned lessons like courtesy to visitors, including the passing beggar. One of the small lessons I learned in grade school was to tell the truth always. A small lie gives birth to more and more lies

I have hope for the sower, otherwise I will become desperate. There will always be men and women who will sow the good seeds of the kingdom. Amidst the darkness, somebody will light a candle. Every adversity will give birth to heroes. When we have turned apathetic and contented, a prophet will disturb us. When we have gone mad with war, gentle voices will lead the way to peace. When persecutions come, courageous martyrs will stand up. There will always be people whose sense of goodness, justice, and truth will inspire us lesser to mortals to climb the heights of nobility we thought we were not capable of attaining.

I have hope for the soil, and this keeps me from being cynical. The soil is the receiver of the seed that was sown. There will always be people who will carry the torch and spread its light. The hero , the martyr, the peacemaker, the truth-teller will never be alone. They may feel they are fighting a lonely battle, but eventually from these little efforts, a critical mass forms. The lonely pilgrimage becomes a march. The stream becomes a torrent. The flickering light becomes a blaze. The gentle wind becomes a storm. The dream becomes a reality.

This Sundays's Gospel of the sower, the seed and the soil (Mt. 13:1-9) is a lesson in hope. The same theme runs through the first reading where Isaiah speaks of the Word of God as one accomplishing the purpose for which it is sent (Is. 55:11). St. Paul in the second reading expresses the same hope, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Rom 8:18).

This lesson in hope is taught best by pointing to signs of growth around us. A kindergarten teacher I know taught her little pupils this lesson when she gave them beans to plant. That week they observed the growth of their seeds. The children were filled with awe at seeing their beans sprout, and slowly turn into growing plants. Look around you. There are signs of life and growth. Do not despair. All will be well.

Action starter: What seed will you sow today?