Homily at Household Life Mass focuses on theme of ‘growth’


“You are not mushrooms, you are oak trees,” the Rev. Gregory Plow, TOR, told students at the beginning-of-the-semester Household Life Mass on Jan 29.

Tradition holds that before each household Mass, all the households process in with their individual banners while a song about the walls of Jericho is sung enthusiastically. Students cheered as their household’s banner was paraded down the center aisle.

The Gospel reading pointed out that the mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, grows up to be the largest of plants.

Photo by Martin Jernberg

Plow used this imagery to suggest in the homily that those present are like the mustard seed, starting out small and growing into something great.

“Perhaps sometimes you may get frustrated because it may seem that there’s no results from your work,” said Plow. “And perhaps it’s because you’re concentrating on planting mushrooms. In reality, you and your household should have the perspective of growing oak trees.”

As he talked, Plow showed pictures on the projector screens of the various plants he mentioned, including mushrooms, oak trees, a grove of oaks and entangled vines.

Plow reminded students that households are not perfect because people are not perfect, but a lot of their beauty is found in people experiencing so much growth.

“I know this is far-fetched and would probably never happen, but imagine a bus getting stuck in a snowstorm on the Pennsylvania turnpike,” he said, referencing the incident that occurred on the return trip from the March for Life only a week prior.

Photo by Martin Jernberg

He continued by suggesting that the bus had to wait and “grow” before it would be able to drive again.

Plow encouraged students to join households in order to grow. He said that not joining a household is one of the most common regrets he hears from Franciscan graduates.

Students again cheered as their banners were processed out of the Fieldhouse.

“I love seeing all the different banners,” said Sacrifice of Love intent Elizabeth Crabtree, who was attending a Household Life Mass for the first time.

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