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Rooted and Grounded


As we struggle to get past the bleakness of the virus pandemic, we find hope in the glow of Jesus’ glorious resurrection. We can plant seeds of renewal and joy along with, if we’re lucky, starting our backyard gardens.

 

I love pumpkins! I love decorating with pumpkins, but more than that, I love pumpkin pie and lots of pumpkin-flavored foods! I decided, a few years ago, to plant some pumpkin seeds in the springtime to see if I could raise a number of those plump orange masterpieces. I had a nice pumpkin patch starting in my backyard and was quite happy. Eventually, I saw some pretty flowers on the vines, and, after that, a few baby pumpkins started growing. I was so excited!

 

Then one day I went outside, and there  was an awful gray-colored mold on my vines. The mold overpowered my patch, and I could rescue only about three little pumpkins. What a disappointment!

 

Perhaps if I had read and followed directions for planting pumpkins, I would have known of the possible dangers and sprayed the vines with an eco-friendly herbicide or something to fortify them. I might have had more success.

 

The Scripture readings for the optional memorial feast day of St. Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, brought to mind my less than perfect gardening attempt. Maybe I should have gone a little deeper in my preparation and read the proper directions. It is possible my pumpkins would have been strong enough to survive the attack.

 

In the Letter to the Ephesians (3:14-19), for example, St. Paul prays for his Gentile listeners, that they might derive strength through our loving Father’s Spirit as they are being rooted and grounded in love. “I pray,” St. Paul writes, “that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. The divine dimensions of the fullness of God’s love shown to us by Jesus Christ surpass our comprehension.” And when I read the passage from the Gospel of Matthew (7:21-29), I am reminded of the importance of not just learning Jesus’ teachings, but also following and acting on his example of mercy, consolation, and justice. With God’s love as my foundation, my rock, my success in fruitfully spreading God’s love is guaranteed.

 

St. Anselm, philosopher, theologian, scholar and Benedictine monk, pray for us as we work as you did to teach others about our one true God and the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s love. Amen.

 

Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, CT. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.

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