A HOMILY FOR THE FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “A” – 7/16/17 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
We come to Mass this morning and our reading talk about two things that we all know a lot about from this past week in Indiana: rain and growing things! We’ve had a lot of rain this past week. There were several times when the downpours looked like solid walls of water coming down on top of us. We know that even today, there are still parts of Indiana dealing with floods and high water, and their effects. We also know how important rain is. A drought can also cause a lot of damage. Remember back in the Fall of 2010, when we went several weeks without rain, how brown and dry everything got. And of course, in the middle of July, we are just about at the height of Indiana growing season. We’ve got corn. And we’ve got lettuce. And we’ve got cantaloupe. And we’ve got a lot cucumbers and zucchini! As Hoosiers, we know how to grow things.
Our readings today ought to make us feel pretty comfortable then. In our first reading from Isaiah, the Word of God is compared to the rain from Heaven, pouring down, soaking the earth, softening it, and nourishing it, so that it produces much fruit. We know how essential rain is to growth. Without rain, the land, the earth, is unable to release its potential. This is also true for all of us as Christians, most especially as Catholic Christians! The Word of God is essential for our spiritual growth. Just like the rain when it comes to nourishing the earth, the meaning, the imagery, and the teachings of God’s word, are meant to soak into our hearts and souls. The Word of God is to permeate our lives. The Word of God pours into our lives and releases our spiritual potential to be faithful disciples and inherit the Kingdom of God! We need this nourishment for our souls. We can’t do it alone. He is the living water that sustains us!
Like our gardens and our crops, we must not only water what we want to grow, but we must tend to, and nourish the Faith that we have planted. The idea, that somehow we can get Baptized, and plant the seeds of Faith, and that that is enough to just let Faith grow or happen, isn’t true. Faith never just happens! Just like with our gardens and our crops, we have to tend to our Faith. We need to nourish it and keep it strong. You ignore your Faith long enough, and seek other things in place of it, and you can kill your Faith! Just like plant, that you ignore long enough, your Faith can and will die. This parable today is reminding us that we have to grow our Faith and love with great care and attention. This is why prayer is so important. Prayer feeds our Faith! And the Sacraments too! Religious education also helps us to grow Faith in our lives. Even sharing our Faith, in real evangelization, can grow and make our Faith stronger and bigger! God has given us the seeds of Faith. We were born with them inside us. But it is up to each and every one of us, to grow that Faith out. A lot of our parents did their part. We have all had those who helped us along the way in growing our Faith. And we are grateful to them all. But ultimately, if we aren’t allowing God’ Word, and our Faith, and His love, to grow in our lives, we are responsible. And we’re the ones who are going to be held accountable.
How are we doing at growing our Faith and letting the Word of God take root in our lives? Anybody can grow cucumbers and zucchinis! How are we doing at making our Faith bigger, and stronger, and more a part of our lives? As nature in the summertime reminds us, God has given us all we need to grow our Faith. May we take what God has given us, and make it happen, for ourselves and for those around us!
+ May God bless us as we plant the seeds of Faith and grow them out, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…
AMEN !!! St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!