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Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Homily - The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


First Reading – Isaiah 55:10-11 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 64(65):10-14 ©
Second Reading - Romans 8:18-23 ©
Gospel Acclamation – 1saiah 3:9
Alternative Acclamation – John 6:68
The Gospel According to Matthew 13:1 - 23 ©

(NJB)

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)



The things we do and say have consequences.

Our words matter, not only the words of God, or God’s messengers, but the words that belongs to each and every one of us. Even the words we do not utter in any place, other than that we speak them in the chamber of our hearts, those words matter too; they matter especially, because each of them is like a seed that brings forth fruit according to its nature.

Know this!

It is right to praise God, the creator of the universe. When we make promises to God we must never imagine that our promises have been fulfilled, and know that God would prefer that we make no promises, swear no oaths or take any vows at all.

Do not look for God to answer your petitions, because God has made us and all of creation free; God does not interfere in our lives, or the course of the universe.

We live out our lives before God; God sees us in our sins, bears witness to our transgressions, but God knew of this of us, even before God created us, God knew this and God loved us.

Be mindful!

God has chosen all people to be with God.

God is the author of our well-being.

Temples and houses are not holy places.

If you seek justice then live justly, and remember that true justice is never present without mercy,  mercy is the ultimate gift, mercy is what we seek from God, and mercy is what God expects from us.
  
Consider what the apostle says.

There is a cosmic purpose behind the suffering we experience in the created order.

We do not suffer because we are evil, we do not suffer as a punishment for sin. We are not to blame for the sinfulness of our animal nature, though we are meant to transcend it, and through grace we can.

The universe was made this way by God, with all of the suffering hat it entails, and because it was made this way by God we know that there is a loving purpose behind it.

Our suffering is only temporary. All suffering is a finite reality.

There is a future world where we will all be, together with God, the creator of the universe, where our suffering will attain its final meaning, and the importance of it will fall away like old skin, the resolution of sin and suffering will be just, the ultimate expression of God’s love for one and all.

Share the faith of the apostle:

It is wise and good to anticipate the coming of God. It is wise and good to desire to be in the presence of God. Anticipate that moment, relish it, cherish it, all the while remaining present to the people and to the events that are actually unfolding in our lives.

Listen!

The reward for your faithful service is peace, it is peace in this life and the knowledge that you have lived well, acted justly, done good.

God has prepared you for eternity, in the same way that God has prepared everyone, but do not think for a moment that eternal life is a reward, like a boon granted for good service.

It is the gift of God to everyone.

The promise of salvation is not that you will be spared from suffering and torment in hell, or that when you are judged God will forgive you.

God has already forgiven you. You are already saved.

Believe it!

Let the goodness of the promise flow through you now, and start living this life as if it were true.

We are not called to believe in the idea that Jesus is this or that, the Holy One of God, we are called to act on the principles of his faith, to live lives of charity and service to each other.

Do it now!

Consider the Gospel reading for today.

Be wary of the scriptures that extol the virtues of the disciples, and the apostles who were the founders of the Church.

There are many more times in the Gospels when Jesus gives a different teaching, when the message is not: “to anyone who has, more will be given,” and “but anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

More often than this, Jesus teaches; “the first will be last, and the last will be first.” And “to whom much has been given, much will be expected.”

Remember!

The enemy is not Satan (a fictitious being), the evil one.

Know that the enemy is the fear and impatience, it is gluttony, the enemy is the avarice that lies within the heart of each and every one of us.

Be mindful of how you live out the Christian life.
On one day the birds may eat the seed that you cast, on another day, when you cast your seeds on the same field they may not. Some seed will always be lost to the birds of the field, but the birds will deposit it elsewhere, and the grain will grow wild, in places you never expected.

Even seeds cast among thorns will grow; if the grain is not harvested when it matures, those seeds will fall to the ground, only to grow again in the next season.

The seed is never static, in time even the seed left unharvested in thorny places, even those seeds will produce, growing strong enough to uproot the thorns that threatened the harvest.

Do not be aggrieved at the seed that falls on shallow soil, amend the soil and cast your seed again.

The lesson is this:

Always be prepared in your ministry and never be overconfident.

Even the farmer who has fields of rich soil, even the farmer who is able to produce an abundant harvest in one season, may find their fields barren and scorched in the next.

The conditions of our lives and those of our ministry are always changing.


First Reading – Isaiah 55:10-11 ©

The Word that Goes out From My Mouth Does Not Return to Me Empty

Thus says the Lord: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.’


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 64(65):10-14 ©

Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.

You care for the earth, give it water,
  you fill it with riches.
Your river in heaven brims over
  to provide its grain.

Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.

And thus you provide for the earth;
  you drench its furrows;
you level it, soften it with showers;
  you bless its growth.

Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.

You crown the year with your goodness.
  Abundance flows in your steps,
  in the pastures of the wilderness it flows.

Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.

The hills are girded with joy,
  the meadows covered with flocks,
the valleys are decked with wheat.
  They shout for joy, yes, they sing.

Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.


Second Reading - Romans 8:18-23 ©

The Whole Creation is Eagerly Waiting for God to Reveal his Sons

I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free.


Gospel Acclamation – 1saiah 3:9

Alleluia, alleluia!

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening:
you have the message of eternal life.

Alleluia!

Alternative Acclamation – John 6:68

Alleluia, alleluia!

The seed is the word of God, Christ the sower;
whoever finds this seed will remain for ever.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Matthew 13:1-23 ©

A Sower Went Out to Sow

Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables.
  
He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’

Then the disciples went up to him and asked, ‘Why do you talk to them in parables?’ ‘Because’ he replied, ‘the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled:

You will listen and listen again, but not understand,
see and see again, but not perceive.
For the heart of this nation has grown coarse,
their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes,
for fear they should see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,
and be converted
and be healed by me.

‘But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.

 ‘You, therefore, are to hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path. The one who received it on patches of rock is the man who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But he has no root in him, he does not last; let some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, and he falls away at once. The one who received the seed in thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches choke the word and so he produces nothing. And the one who received the seed in rich soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; he is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.’

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)


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