The Seeds of Remembrance


By Matt Janeczko, OFM Cap. When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

Who is the sower? 

Perhaps us.

Indeed, we sow many seeds in our lives: the ideas, hopes, dreams, fears, and desires of every generation are sown into the ground of our culture. As #neverforget germinates throughout social media today, I’m struck that almost all the students who will attend our Mass of the Holy Spirit this morning cannot remember 9/11/01. The seniors are eighteen at the oldest: this means that they were four years old when the Towers went down, perhaps starting pre-K when the Pentagon smoldered. And where were the eighth graders when a few brave souls said, “Let’s Roll,” but solely hope in the hearts of their parents.

I #neverforget the smell that drifted over the Hudson River some years ago: the smell of two missing buildings, the haunting incense of evil covering our lives.

The seeds of death were planted this day so many years ago; years, these seeds grew into many things, of varying shapes and sizes: grief and horror, compassion and mercy, remembrance and renewed hope. My students today may not have experienced the planting of these seeds: but they can certainly take their cues from us on how we’ve nurtured the seeds of remembrance. May a plant of mercy grow where the Towers stood – and may not of us, even those of us who weren’t there to remember, never forget.


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