A HOMILY FOR THE FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME- CYCLE “A” – 7/13/14 – SMG
Pax et Bonum! Peace and Goodness to you this day!
I love these readings! In particular, our Gospel text, the Parable of the Sowing of the Seeds, always seems to come at the perfect time in the middle of our Indiana summer. We come to Mass and Jesus is talking about planting seeds and growing things. And we are at the height of our growing season here in Indiana. The corn is much more than knee-high. The tomatoes are coming in nicely. Lettuce, and cantaloupe, and cucumbers, and zucchini are all well on their way. We know a thing or two about growing things here in Indiana. There are many other places that can’t say that. Even all of us Hoosiers who don’t live on a farm know more than most about herbicides, and broad-leaf weeds, and maximizing yields than most. We know the difference between tractors and combines. And thanks to the droughts of the last couple years, we know this summer we’ve been very blessed with rain, even though for most of us, it just affects our yards.
So this parable, this Gospel passage, this message from God today, about growing Faith, and about growing the Kingdom of God, seems to be well-suited for us in Indiana. Today Jesus isn’t talking about camels, or being a shepherd, or living in the desert, things that are harder for us to relate to. Today Jesus is talking about letting God grow in your life.
And smack in the middle of this Gospel text, is this encounter that Jesus has with His own disciples, about why Jesus is teaching in parables. And at first, it comes off like Jesus doesn’t want everyone to understand. And this is exactly the concern of these disciples. In fact, critics of Christianity, critics of the Church today, and even critics of Faith in general, want to argue this same point today. Why does God seem to make it so hard for us to believe? And Jesus’ answers to their concerns today are very telling. God does desire that all know Him, and love Him, and serve Him. But in this text God seems to be acknowledging that there are many people who will never know Him, or love Him, or serve Him. And God once again seems to be recognizing their right to do that. But Jesus points out that those who close themselves off from God, will NOT be given what they need to grow Faith in this life. While those who remain open to Faith and trust in God’s promises, will be given even more. Doesn’t seem very fair, we might ask? But isn’t that all part of the choice? Each one of us, get to choose God or choose the world, every single day. To consistently choose the world over God, closes us off to the grace, the blessings, and the help that we need to keep growing Faith.
More simply put for us as Catholic Christians today, if we don’t come to Mass, if we don’t go to Confession, if we don’t pray, or go to Adoration, or read the Bible, if we don’t live out our Faith in thought, word, and deed, if we don’t keep feeding our Faith by instruction and catechesis, and if we’re not doing anything to actively grow Faith in our lives, guess what? It’s not going to happen. God is not just going to zap you with Faith, and then you go to Heaven. You gotta want this Faith. You gotta seek it. You gotta grow it in your life. Why in the world would we expect God to just give us Faith, if we aren’t willing to do a thing to get it ourselves. That’s the warning that comes in the middle of this parable. You want to grow Faith? Then you must do something about it. God will help you. God will bless you. God will guide you. But God will not take you someplace that ultimately you don’t want to go. Choose Christ. Not once in awhile, but every day. Grow Faith in your life!
This is Indiana, after all. We do know how to grow things. We’re pretty good at growing Faith also. May we never forget how important it is to keep growing Faith, in our lives, and in the lives of others. This parable is intended for us, my brothers and sisters. May we have the ears to listen!
+ May God bless all of us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN!!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!