HOMILY FOR FIFTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (A)


How often have we had trouble with words? Even in good times, there is always the thanks that we forgot to utter or the friend that we were too busy to share a kind word with. Other times, we just say the wrong thing or don’t know what to say to someone. Some days, it might even feel like we’re talking to ourselves. Nobody is listening.

In our everyday lives, our words are limited.

God’s Word is not like our words. God’s Word is fundamentally different. It is more like the great water cycle that nourishes our entire planet. It moves through the world in ways that can astound us though not always in ways that we can anticipate.

When we ponder the water cycle, we think of oceans, lakes or rivers; ice, water or steam; and rain, snow or mist. The water moves where it will and makes the land fertile and fruitful. In other words, the Word of God achieves its purpose though we might not understand when, where or why.

Thinking about the water cycle reminds us that all creation waits with us for God’s redemption. God sent his only Son to save us, not just for us but for all creation. The wellbeing of all life is linked to our own.

When the earth suffers, we suffer too. The coronavirus pandemic is just one reminder that this is a lesson that human societies have yet to fully wake up to. All life matters.

God cannot save us without effort on our part. When we don’t treasure the Word of God, it is easy to lose sight of it but when we let God’s Word enter our hearts, it produces a fruitful harvest.

It is God’s plan that all creation benefits from the revelation of the children of God and shares in our glorious freedom. The world is not yet there, and we might frequently fall short of God’s vision for our lives, but we must not lose hope. As faithful followers of Christ, we will one day be resurrected to share fully in Christ’s life.

Upon first listening to the parable of the sower, it might seem like God’s kingdom is easy to understand. Of course, the best yield comes from the seed that fell on rich soil. But people who have the ears to hear and eyes to see know that the mystery lies in the incredible abundance of fruit produced.

To truly perceive the Word of God, we must engage in some level of personal reflection. When we make the effort to understand, we are rewarded by a deep discovery. Our words have limitations but God’s Word has the power to save us and the entire earth.

When we put our abilities, interests and skills to good use, we truly prosper not just for ourselves but for the common good of all. When we give everything to God, we are freed from sin and helped by God’s grace to reach our fullest potential so that we can do the greatest possible good in the world.

God calls us to live a life where we make the effort to preserve and propagate goodness. We are each called to sow the Word of God so that it brings peace and harmony to our own lives and the entire earth.

This is the Good News that Jesus wants us to discover. When we dwell within the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, we give joyful praise to God for his abundance.

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