There is a well-known saying that goes something like this: “you reap what you sow”, which is usually in reference to the fruit of our actions when considered morally, that is, the one who does good (or who sows good), will receive future goods (the fruit of what he has sown), and so also with respect to evil; and we know that this is more or less so, although it sometimes leaves us waiting a long time with regard to the harvest (or reaping) of good, which can even be carried out directly as the eternal reward of the future life, or as the good and pious souls who through sufferings endured virtuously, sowed to reap the eternity of Paradise, which will bring forth nothing but endless joy.
I would like to take the opportunity to make reference specifically to the very special case of the consecrated person, who must constantly be sowing and reaping the good, if they wish to be consistent with heir vocation, surrounded by so many and so abundant supernatural goods that they necessarily exceed them, overflow them, and that by those secret designs of Divine Providence and His eternal love that assails incessantly. These supernatural good which surround the consecrated person also make them reap what they have not sown, while at the same time imposes on them an encouraging obligation of charity, the obligation to sow also for those who will come after them: a beautiful reality that adorns consecrated life in the mission, where the religious comes to reap the fruits of prayers, labors, sweat, tears and even perhaps unimaginable crosses which were sown by those who went before them, and likewise the missionary goes on preparing the ground by the same means their precursors had trod. The missionary sows in light of a “holy uncertainty”, that they do not know exactly how long they will continue in this or that place of mission, because they have already given their will to God through their superiors, who will tell them in due time whether to continue plowing in that same land without looking back, or whether they should go to do so in other fields, perhaps even harder ones if they rely on their experience to better till the land, or perhaps to softer soil to recover from their labors; But be what it may, and wherever it may be, harvesting what happened first, and sowing as much as possible for those who will come later, moved by that irresistible impulse of holy enthusiasm, which is set in motion by the faith, hope, charity, gratitude and generosity with which one lives.
We have a very great duty of gratitude here in Sepphoris (as well as in so many other of our missions around the world), and our response can be none other than to imitate our predecessors sowing with effort and carrying our cross with the same vision that they had. For example, the designers of great cathedrals who knew well that the cathedrals would take so many years to be built that they themselves would not see it finished. Because they knew that seeing the fruit of their labor in this life was not what was important, but rather, what was sown for the future and for the good of others, such as the good advice of parents to their children, as the virtues that are acquired in the time of formation in the seminary, and as each of our good works for eternity: If we are not yet saints, it is because we need to sow more to reap more, what are we waiting for?!
Thanks to the first monks who were worn out with joy by the simple and secluded monastery; thank you to all the people who cooperate in one way or another with us, either through material help or with their prayers; Thanks to our beloved religious family for entrusting us with a pious place that housed the daily holiness which humbly went unnoticed by many, and yet continues to give us an example of virtues. Thanks to the Holy Family; Thank goodness!
May we never tire of sowing for the good of others, of those who will come, of those who in due time and circumstances will also sow for the future.
In Christ and Mary:
Monks of the Monastery of the Holy Family, Sepphoris, Holy Land.