God has given us a sack full of seeds to plant in Hayes. So let’s go out and plant those seeds. Let’s pull up the weeds and plant the seeds of Jesus Christ in people’s hearts, because if that seed grows in their heart, it will banish all evil and darkness from them.
In the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Please sit.
I love the parable of the mustard seed and I love the imagery behind it. I think I think one of the reasons I think I love it is because it’s the most I think it must be the single most used name for Christian coffee shops and books around the country, the mustard seed. And the reason for that, I think, is because we can connect with it. We can understand what Jesus is saying to us. And that’s exactly the point of the gospel.
Jesus taught people in a way that they could understand. So we all know how tiny a mustard seed is. We all know how absolutely tiny it sits on the tip of your finger. And we all know what the outcome is when that seed is planted and when it grows, how big a thing it turns into. And that’s the joy of the parables in the Gospels, because they they help us think about our lives in Jesus Christ. I always think of the mustard seed as us when we are baptised, because for most people we’re baptised when we’re babies, some people are baptised as adults, but that that faith inside us that little spark God, that beginning of a relationship with Jesus Christ is tiny.
It’s miniscule. You worry that if you prod it too hard or you breathe on it in the wrong way or you don’t look after it, then it won’t it won’t grow into anything. But that seed, just like us in baptism, contains everything that is needed to become a fully grown, fully realised Christian in the world from that tiny little plant, that tiny beginning. It will grow into something useful and good in the world. And of course, often you don’t know what that will be as Jesus talks of the man who throws the seeds.
We don’t know what shape that plant will be. We don’t know what colour it will be. We don’t know whether or not it’s going to hang over to the left is going to hang over to the right whether or not it’s going to be enormous or whether or not it’s going to be a small plant. We don’t know if it’s going to produce wonderful fruit. We don’t know if it’s going to be bitter and have a use in a different way.
But we do know that it will grow. And that’s what’s asked of us here in this place in Hayes, when I arrived a little over 10 months ago, I said to you that there were three things that we were going to be about, that we were going to be rooted in the parish. And we’ve been that we’ve spent 10 months becoming rooted in the parish because each and every one of you has gone out and told your friends that I know you have because they come and see me and spoken to me.
You’ve gone to your friends and you’ve said to them, the church is open and it’s alive and it’s joyful. Come to church. And you’ve spoken to people about the enthusiasm and excitement that we have for our future and people have come, we see it day by day when we are open and people come into this building to seek comfort, to seek succour, and they don’t even know that they’re looking for Jesus, but that’s what they’re looking for. I said that we would be rooted in scripture and sacrament, and that’s what we’ve spent 10 months being, even through lockdown.
We have been able to receive the sacrament pretty much every day. We have received scripture every day. We have received teaching on the scripture every day. We are rooted in scripture and sacrament. And so now we must embrace the third of those things that I talked about, which is a love in proclaiming Jesus Christ. Over the last 10 months that has grown from just something that I talked about to something that now needs to happen with the completion of the church hall and with our rosary mission over the summer.
Now is the time to go into the parish and to speak to people of Jesus Christ. What does that look like? What does that evangelism look like? What does it feel like, and what is your part in it? What is your part in that story? At the moment we have a pile of mustard seed in our hands that us here in this church. Then a few weeks time, we’re going to scatter those seeds across Hayes, And we’re going to see what’s going to happen.
So I ask you today to consider what it is that Jesus is calling to you in that mission, in that third element of what we’re about here, A love proclaiming Jesus Christ in the world. Is Jesus calling you to come on the streets with me, to give people a rosary to pray with people on the street toinvite them to come to church? Is Jesus calling you to be here in the church over those two weeks and make tea and coffee for the people who will then come through the doors to see what’s going on?
Is Jesus calling you to help make the front of church look really inviting so that when people do come, it’s a really welcoming place? Is Jesus calling you to pray for the success of the mission, to be at home and to pray that people will know Jesus Christ in this mission? And you may think, well, what difference can I make? What possible difference can I make in the world? Me. Little old me. The gospel tells us what difference you make.
We may all be tiny mustard seeds, but by following the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives, by responding to God’s call inside us, we will grow into something beautiful. We will grow into the good in the world that Jesus Christ wants us to be. And as I said, at the start of mass, that is what will drive evil out of this world. That is what will drive evil out of Hayes. That is what will push back the violence that we have seen in the last week and a bit, because if you have a field and you don’t want anything, then weeds will grow.
And it’s the farmers fault for not planting any seeds. God has given us a sack full of seeds to plant in Hayes. So let’s go out and plant those seeds. Let’s pull up the weeds and plant the seeds of Jesus Christ in people’s hearts, because if that seed grows in their heart, it will banish all evil and darkness from them. And we will see fewer incidents like we have seen this week. We will be able to touch the souls of those young men who are caught in this violence when they are that tall and say, no, there is another path.
There is a better path. But it is up to us to do it. So I don’t ask you to join me to go out on the streets in a few weeks time in July, I don’t ask you to follow me in doing the gardening. I don’t ask you to follow me in doing the tea & coffee. I don’t ask you to follow me in doing anything. I ask you to follow Jesus Christ. To do these things in his name.
And to banish evil from Hayes Amen.