Reading: Mark 4:39
So God is like a farmer sowing seed. Does that mean that a farmer sowing his seed is like you, Father?
Is it a holy thing to be a farmer?
Is the production of food sacramental?
Do you call men and women to this work as you call priests and preachers to their work?
And if the soil can stand for men and women does it need loving care?
does it have soil rights?
is it a sin to destroy it and take away its life?
does it carry a shadow of the reflection of your image?
And what do you think about the way we sow seeds now, Father?
We don’t just throw the seed about and hope it falls in the right place.
We discourage the birds and those who would walk through our precious crops.
We clear the stones away where we can.
We poison the thorns and weeds.
We drill the seed into the good soil and we make it better with fertiliser.
We want all the seed to produce a crop.
We want it to multiply a hundred and two hundred and three hundred fold.
We have to do this because there are fewer of us to do the work and there are thousands of millions of mouths to feed.
My child, it is indeed a holy thing to farm my good earth and to produce food for my people.
I call men and women to this work with such a strong calling that they put up with many pains and problems in order to follow their calling.
And the soil has its holiness too:
The holiness of my creation which I have declared good:
The holiness of the life it supports.
I have long watched the changing pattern of your farming.
I cannot applaud the lifestyle which throws away so much of the food that you produce.
I cannot applaud the economics of greed and convenience which demands so much transport, using up resources built up over millennia, polluting the air you breathe,
giving unnecessary distress to animals you have raised and cared for.
I cannot applaud the short term measures which destroy treasures and works
of my art in nature which can give you joy no money can buy.
But you have done well to use the land and produce nourishing food.
I am pleased that, at least in your land, no one need go hungry.
Every day millions of people say to me, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’, and farmers are part of my answer to that prayer.
My prayer is that the soil and seed might be good for tomorrow’s farmers too.
My prayer is that farmers will find a way to feed the world that they can sustain for generations to come.
My son, is it permissible for God to make a prayer?
Can I ask my people to live so that I am able to give their children their daily bread?