November 10, 2022
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
Called Forth to Grow
In the past month, I have been able to spend some time learning about farming. In October, I went to Hospers, Iowa to help out at a friend’s farm. We picked up corn stalk bales, hauled manure, fed cattle, fed hogs, and rode in the combine. I enjoyed seeing how they have been willing to grow and adapt their farming to provide income for their family as well as help feed the world. One thing that struck me is how they are very resourceful. Not only do they harvest the corn for feed, but they also harvest the corn stalks for bedding. They also are able to feed the cornstalks to the cattle. So not only does the corn produced feed and bed the cattle, it helps the cattle grow and then the bi-product (manure) is used for fertilizer. Thus the corn goes back into the cycle of creation in that capacity.
This past week, I visited my uncle’s farm in Sauk Centre. We did chores on Monday morning and then went up to the cattle auction in Perham. At the auction barn, I experienced the fast-paced sale of sheep, hogs, goats, and cattle. It was impressive to hear how fast the auctioneer could speak! I imagine that he could give some pretty quick homilies! All kidding aside, I enjoyed learning from my uncle about why cattle would go for more or less. As I reflect on the changes at my uncle’s farms over the last couple of decades, it is inspiring to see my uncle’s willingness to grow to be able to farm effectively and efficiently to provide for his family as well as help feed the world.
From these two experiences, I grew in my understanding and appreciation for our farmers as well as seeing how efficiently they use what they are given. One thing I also learned was how farmers have to be willing to grow in order to farm well. Technology has greatly changed farming as well as the demand for food. Farmers have had to adapt and change to meet the demands of the people. Their willingness to grow helped them provide for their families and also for our society through the food they produce.
We need a willingness to grow in our spiritual life as well as to bring Christ to others. Our willingness to grow in our faith will help us to live well. It will also help others come to know Christ as they encounter Christ through our ministry. Pray this week about how the Lord is calling you forth to grow in your faith so that you can experience greater union with Him in word and deed. Respond to the invitation to grow in your faith and the Lord will not only bless you but many others through you!
As the Father loves me, so I also love you,
Father Paul Shovelain