The 40 Feet by 160 Feet Story for Children by Deacon Tim Donohue

I am a new farmer.  Something I always wanted to be but things got in the way.  So at 70 years old and retired I am trying to learn. Several years ago I bought an old tractor – a big tractor – and bought a plow and harrow so that I could plant a crop all by myself.  I wrote to farmers in the area and asked if I could “use” some fields that they weren’t using.  

One farmer said OK – you can use it.  So this year I am trying to learn how to be a farmer.  

Before I plant anything – I have to plow the ground.  Remarkably I am having a hard time finding someone to teach me how to plow.  So I tried to plow all by myself. This photograph above from yesterday is embarrassing.  The plow should cut the turf in straight lines and lay it upside down so that all you see is dirt – not turf.  

So how do I fix this mess?  How do I learn to do better?  Will I ever get the seeds in the ground?  When do I harrow? A harrow is a set of discs that chop up the dirt after I plow and gets the dirt ready to plant. I am looking for answers.   

I am telling you about my farming story because in a way the picture of the field is the story of our lives these days.  

The coronavirus has changed the routine of all of our lives.  There is no school. No soccer, no gym, no Mass at Church, no Religious Education, – wow – things have really changed.  And we don’t know how long this will last. So many things are changing in our lives.

The field in the picture illustrates one challenge that I have – that challenge is a field made up of lumps of turf – kind of a mess.  I am not sure what to do.  

The other challenge I am talking about is one that we all share.  Our lives have been turned upside down. What can we do? How can we make the best of this – bring back some order in our lives?  I don’t have any answers for you for these challenges but I do know where we can go to find comfort and love and grace to cope with these disruptions in our lives.

We know from the Gospel that Jesus loves us.  We know that Jesus doesn’t have the virus. He is able to give us all the love and grace and strength we need.  We can pray to Him anytime – He is always there for us.  

We can find strength in Jesus and have confidence that even though so many other things are changing in our lives these days, Jesus has not changed.  He is the same always and forever.  

And there is another thing we know for certain.  Jesus Christ loves us. He loves you and me. He is the constant.  He is always there.

And so in our world of changing things, let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are all Children of God and Jesus loves us like we are his children – which we are.  We are loved with His flow of love and mercy – bigger than all the oceans. No virus will ever change Jesus’s love for us.

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