Last Updated: Thursday - 09/30/2010
October 4, 2010
Spread the seed of God's word
Scripturefest hears Yukon bishop say our job is to spread the seed, God's is to make it bear fruit
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
All Sacred Scripture is but one book and this book is Christ because all Divine Scripture speaks of Christ and all Scripture is fulfilled in Christ, says the bishop of Whitehorse.
Speaking on Scripture and Church at Scripturefest 2010, Bishop Gary Gordon said the beginning approach to looking at the Church in Scripture is to know that "the full Bible is really revealing the life of the Church."
He used familiar parables to make his point.
The parable of the sower, where Jesus talks about the word of God being like seed that a sower cast on the soil, teaches us that our job as Christians is simply to spread the seed, even if we don't know where it is falling.
As the parable goes, the seed the farmer sowed fell on many kinds of soil. Some fell by the wayside, along the path. Some seed fell on the rocky ground. Some seed fell on the thorny ground and the thorn bushes choked the seed. Then some of the seed fell on good ground, grew up and yielded a hundredfold.
OFF THE HOOK
Gordon said this parable is primarily about evangelization, about letting the Gospel be known. "I love this parable because it lets us off the hook," he told about 300 people who attended Scripturefest at St. Albert High School Sept. 25.
How? Because it makes clear that our only responsibility "is to scatter the seed of God's word, period," he said.
The growing, watering, weeding, fertilizing is not our program. "That's somebody else's plan. That's God's work."
Priests, religious sisters and catechists are always anxious about where the seed is falling.
"Forget about it," Gordon said. "The word is to be simply sowed and scattered and this is at the heart of the life of the Church.
"We have to let ourselves off the hook and simply go about the business of being the Word of God and standing back and being amazed at what God will do and does."
Gordon also said that the Church, in its action of casting the seed, the Word of God, is primarily about the messy work of reconciliation.
He looked briefly at the story of the Prodigal Son, saying it should be called the "gracious father" instead because in it we find the image of the Church revealed in the father of the prodigal.
As he feeds the pigs the father suddenly goes off. "He catches a glimpse of him (his son) and runs to him," the bishop related.
THOSE WHO ARE COMING
"This is the life of the Church in Scripture. That's what's revealed to us - to run to those men and women who we see have turned; they are not there yet but they are coming, they are looking, they are searching and we are not waiting."
The parable further edifies to us that our job, as revealed in Sacred Scripture, "is to be running toward all those who would not deserve love, all those who are alienated and foreign and broken."
Another part of the life of the Church is the father going out to plead with the older son, who is really upset.
"He does not want to see the return of the prodigal and so he is not going in. And so he is not going to be part of the rejoicing. He is going to stay outside and again, what do we see? We see the father going out to him. He leaves the party and he pleads with him."
This too is part of the life of the Church as revealed in Scripture, according to Gordon: "Brothers and sisters within the communion of the Church who are upset, who are angry."
Finally, the life of the Church is revealed to Christians in the Good Samaritan. "Here we have three parables that really reveal to us how the Church is seen and lived and revealed to us in Sacred Scripture," Gordon said.
"It is to be a community of proclamation and evangelization. The mission that is at the heart of it is to be indeed a community that is about the profoundly challenging, difficult work of reconciliation - of doing reconciliation and working towards that with all the messiness of that.
COMMITMENT TO THE POOR
"It's revealed in Sacred Scripture that the Church is a community of deep action when there is brokenness, of deep commitment to the poor, to the challenged, to the wayward."
The bishop warned that these parables always hold up an ideal that seems difficult to emulate.
"But we've got to remember that we are the prodigal children from time to time; we are the elder children from time to time; we are the loving father from time to time. It's all wrapped up together in the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church."
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