July 16, 2023

A34: The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year A (2023)

Michael Renninger

The parable of the Sower from Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23 reminded Michael Renninger, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, of a story from his childhood. His family moved to a new home and when they plowed the ground, the plot was full of rocks. Renninger picked up rocks every day after school, but his father finally realized that one small eight-year-old boy was not going to be able to remove all of the rocks by himself. He sent Renninger’s brother to help, then his mother joined, and finally the whole family spent the weekend moving rocks. Renninger says, “It was then – when we were all working together – that some progress happened. Fewer and fewer rocks. More and more rich soil. Maybe a garden might grow here after all? And it did! Because we worked together to remove the rocks.” Listen as Renninger explains how God’s word, the seed that has been sown, can flourish when, “by the work of the Holy Spirit, our families, our friends, and our church community…lend a hand as we clear the soil of our lives.”

Manuscript available: click HERE