I have a beautiful of my grandfather, who lived with my family in Des Plains in the early 1960’s. I actually shared my bedroom with him and felt the deep comfort and love of a man who shared his live with me and my sister. His name was Bartolommeo, but changed his name to John when he moved his family from Italy to Chicago. Assimilation meant fitting in and letting go of culture and language, a horrible mistake. The melting pot has its drawbacks.
My grandfather loved to plants different kinds of seeds, not just in our backyard, but in those of neighboring houses: corn, tomatoes, and spices. My grandfather became a candy maker at Fanny May and had many samples I took advantage of. I preferred the candy to the vegetables, a preference that remains strong in my life nearly 60 years later.His seeds took root in many gardens bearing much fruit… or rather vegetables.
We are all farmers planting gospel seeds in the many gardens of our lives: our families, workplace, neighborhoods and beyond. In any encounter with a person we can plant seeds, by our engaged presence, a glance or smile, a kind word of gratitude, stopping to help someone in need, talking with a friend rather than watching the game. And you don’t need a green thumb for these seeds to flourish, just an open heart.
Peace. Fr. Frank