If you look at the icon from My Catholic Roots Are Showing you will notice that it’s a fruitless, bare tree. When I first started this blog three years ago, I wanted to concentrate on the roots of a tree, and, at the time, this image was one of the few trees with roots available. The blog is growing and yielding good fruit. In a subtle manner it’s reaching out to others and spreading the Word of God. So I decided it was time to add fruit to the tree and to spread more seeds of love (this project is still in the works).
I did not want just any fruit tree; I wanted a tree that produced an abundance of seeds. The pomegranate is what I had in mind. I remember when eating this fruit as a child, and our mom would always warn us not to get the juice on our clothes because it would leave a permanent stain. Though it’s a laborious task to remove the seeds, I love to eat this fruit. The pomegranate is rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Now when it’s in season I add it to our smoothies.
The pomegranate is mentioned many times in the Bible. I was curious about the number of seeds each pomegranate contained and was pleasantly surprised that there can be anywhere from 165 to 1370, but the average number of seeds is 613. This is a symbolic number and one of the reasons it is consumed by Jews during Rosh Hashanah. The Jews believe that it symbolizes fruitfulness. There are 613 commandments in the Torah (recorded in first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures). Though it is a misconception that all pomegranates have 613 seeds, the rabbis may have had some spiritual revelation from God because this is the average number.
Sowing Good Seed
I always pray that my blog is sowing good seeds. I want to share the love of God to whoever has an ear to hear. In the New Testament the Parable of the Sower is mentioned in three different Gospels. This is repeated in the Bible because the Lord wants this message to be deep-seated in our spirit. On our path to salvation the good seeds are visible, but when we sidestep and get off the path, we fall into the cracks and like the seeds that are eaten by the birds, we get eaten by the world. We can represent that seed that falls on rocky ground when we allow others to distract our direction. This would keep us from developing solid roots. We can be the seed that falls among the thorns; even if we realize that we are in sin, we continue on this path. Or we can choose to be the seed that falls on rich soil, yielding a hundredfold. God gave us a free will; the path we choose is paved with good seed, but it is our choice where our seed falls. Did you know that one tomato seed can yield 200 tomatoes? This is what good seed can produce.
Matthew 13:8-9 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
8 But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. 9 Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Sowing Bad Seed
Bad seed can also yield a hundredfold. Once you open the door to sin you have rolled out the welcome mat. These seeds are like weeds; no deep roots but they spread fast. The Devil is out there spreading these bad seeds, and, as the master manipulator, He makes you feel good about sin. The problem with this bad seed is that it is only for a short season. Before you realize how deep you are in, it may take more than a simple prayer to get you out of your tangled web. This is where we intercessors come in; we come alongside you to lift you out of the pit you dug. We know the plans that God has for our loved ones, and that even if your seed has fallen on the rocky path you can still be redirected into the arms of your Maker. God loves all of us, not just people who serve Him. He especially loves the people who have been down that dusty road that leads to a dead end. In life there are good and bad role models.
Infamous Bad Seed
If you look to Hollywood for direction, you will be mesmerized with their looks, the glamor, and their wealth; but what they do not show you is their empty hearts. They work from the outside; looking beautiful is what has gained them fame, but they are shallow souls serving themselves as demigods. Of course not everyone in Hollywood falls under this gamut, but the vast majority do. Role models is their pseudo name, and, sadly, they reach the foolish masses. They tell you who to vote for, who to like and who to follow. Hollywood is responsible for sowing so much bad seed that their garden reeks of defecation.
14 We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
This is not the only place where bad seeds are sown; any parent can tell you that sending your kids to college can cultivate bad seeds that will spread like wild weeds. This, too, is a tactic of evil. Higher learning was meant to prepare and direct a student in the career that is best suited for them, but somehow along the way, many seeds of discontent are spread in the minds of the youth. If these students are not grounded in God, they will fall for every wind of doctrine. The Word of God is our guideline for living, and Jesus is our perfect role model. Jesus spoke to his followers in parables to help them understand life’s lessons. To the shepherds, it was the Parable of the Lost Sheep; to the farmers, it was the Parable of the Sower. This is not a convoluted message. It’s simple and straightforward. We are the ones that complicate the matters of God. All He wants to do is to love us and to teach us how to love one another. The Lord wants to develop us interiorly; spiritual growth starts within your soul.
We do not have a huge yard, but every year Mike plants a small garden. I get enough tomatoes for plenty of salads and once a year I make my own marinara sauce. I have fresh mint for our daily smoothies, and we always have fresh rosemary. Aside from my garden we grow roses; during spring and throughout fall I have fresh flowers that fill our home with the scent of roses.
I went out the other day to pick up some special, topical lotion for my face. Other than picking up fast food, this was a real outing. I was running two errands, the cleaners and the dermatologist. My neighbor Adele made me a mask, so I was well prepared. I just missed the dermatologist by five minutes. When I got back into the car, I realized that the mask was getting my glasses all fogged up. Because I was struggling to take it off while driving, I hit the curb. When I got home I immediately told Mike about the incident. “I hit the curb on my side, it wasn’t my fault, I was trying to take my mask off.” Mike did not waste any time to investigate the matter. He came in and said, “Everything looks fine, are you sure you hit the curb?” Then he went out again to check the passenger’s side; sure enough I told him the wrong side. My poor Prius’ rim was pretty scratched up. When Mike came back inside he said, “You’re not ready to go out yet!” I’ve been cooped up so long it was a wonder that I can remember how to drive, and the fact that my cat Prudie is my new best friend is getting scary! Please, Lord, let this be over soon!