Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey traveled to St. Anthony in Violet on Sept. 20 to celebrate a Mass for the intention of rain and in Thanksgiving for the harvest. This year’s harvest has been a hard one for area farmers due to a lack of rain.
“Jesus gave His life in thanksgiving to God,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Even in bad years we need to be thankful.”
St. Anthony founded in 1910 by German immigrant farmers remains today fixed to farmland. Like Violet, the majority of the Diocese of Corpus Christi is rural but, “we sometimes get tied down to the rhythm of the city” and forget that, Bishop Mulvey said.
Bishop Mulvey prayed for rain to “replenish the land for the next planting season.” He also used the occasion to speak about replenishing our faith and about the upcoming Year of Faith called by the Holy Father.
Jesus, the bishop said, often used farmers in his teaching. He used farming and farmers an “as images of our own faith in relation to God.”
“Faith, like farming, it's an annual and a lifetime journey,” Bishop Mulvey said. Work is needed to grow one’s faith; such as it is in tilling the land.
“People often look for instant answers,” the bishop said. Faith is not grown that way, he said. We cannot just go through the motions.
“The Year of Faith calls us to look at renewal of our faith. In faith we can learn from farmers,” Bishop Mulvey said.
The first ingredient in effective faith and in farming is patience. The Gospel writer James said, “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.”
Farming and faith also require commitment, day after day. They also require thanksgiving. Finally, faith and farming are dependent on God’s gifts and Gods’ love.