One week after he was ordained, Fr. John Eustice, CSV, returned to Maternity BVM Parish, where he had been serving as a deacon during his seminary studies, to offer a Mass of thanksgiving. It came after he offered his first Mass at home parish of St. Thomas Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, where he was ordained.

Fr. John Eustice preaches to the assembly.

The gospel that day was from Mark, who told the parable of the mustard seed and its growth from the smallest seed into a large tree.

“The mustard seed was the biggest of them all, I’m not sure where that puts me,” Fr. John quipped at the outset of his homily, poking fun at his own height.

Sure enough, this was not your everyday homily about the parable of the mustard seed. Drawing on nearly 20 years as a Viatorian — who are known as good homilists — and his seminary studies over the last six years at Catholic Theological Union, he made his homily engaging and fun. He used specific examples from his childhood, of items that were often enshrined and were not to be touched.

“God needs each one of us to break open the Star Wars figures, to open that Bible, to put the hands-on experience of the Museum of Science & Industry and start scattering who God is calling us to be,” he said, “and allow that seed to get into the soil and allow God to do everything else.”

Fr. John enjoys his cake at the parish reception.

His Mass drew a full house, including many Viatorians, Maternity BVM parishioners, family members from Las Vegas and LaSalle-Peru, IL where he had spent his early years and colleagues from Saint Viator High School where he will be leading Campus Ministry.

“I’m here as a priest,” Fr. John said, “because there were so many people scattering the gift of God around me.”

With that, he charged people in the congregation to go out and scatter the goodness of God, beyond the confines of the church and bring it to all those who need it.

As he finished, the assembly broke into applause.