God's harvest

The first grapes of this year’s Sevenhill vintage were blessed recently.

 FINDING GOD IN ALL THINGS 

In the words of Fr Brendan Kelly SJ, Superior of Sevenhill, at a ceremony late last month: “It was customary, thousands of years ago, in the Middle East, where the first wines were harvested, to offer the first fruits in thanks to God. We offer, in similar manner, the first fruits of our vintage.  

“God our Creator, who never ceases to bestow your bounteous fruits from the rains of the heavens and the riches of the soil, we thank you for this year’s harvest. From the earth’s fertility may those who hunger be filled with good things, and the poor and the needy always find refuge and nurture in you.” 

Fr Rob Morris SJ blesses the grapes.

During the ceremony on 20 February, he painted a vivid image with his words invoking gratitude: “Imagine now that you are holding a bowl of earth in your hands. Ponder for a moment the trillions of bacteria, millions of protozoa and microbes, thousands of tiny arthropods and hundreds of larger organisms it contains. You can’t see them with the naked eye, but they are there, as part of the building blocks of life. In an imaginative gesture, now roll some of this living earth in your fingers, asking how you too might join in God’s work of growing and nurturing life … 

“It is out of the surrounding soil that our year’s vintage has grown since the first vines were planted here, way back in September 1851. Ever since, they have continued to be planted so that they produce fruit to this present time. We have much to be truly thankful for.”  

During the blessing, there was also a reading from the Book of Genesis [Gn 1:9-10, 20-24, 25b]. “And God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called seas. God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’  

“And it was so. And God saw that it was good. And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.’ So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ And it was so. And God saw that it was good.” 

Banner image shows the vines at Sevenhill. Photo by David McMahon

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