The Rocky Parts | Friar Reflections | The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners,

Saints of God, the Lord be with you!

All three readings this weekend have, as a motif, creation and its penchant of bringing forth life. In the reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah (55:10-11) the Lord likens His word to a seed that “will not return (to Him) void, but shall do (His) will, achieving the end for which (God) sent it.” However, as the second reading, Romans 8:18-23, explains “creation was made subject to futility yet awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God.” Today’s Gospel from Matthew (13:1-23) is the well known, and well worn, Parable of the Sower, which I think brings to light the other two readings.

Christ sows the Good News of the Kingdom of God in the world despite the fact that much of the soil is unsuitable for it to grow. However, “some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” During the time of Jesus, a fivefold yield on a crop was considered good. How extraordinarily good is the yield of the Word sown by God!

When I reflect on these readings, I have to admit that I have rocky parts of my heart that resist the alluring Word of Christ. My mind is sometimes filled with the chatter of flying birds that distract me from hearing the Word of Christ. Despite all of this, I know that there is still a part of my heart open to receive The Good News of God’s unconditional love and have His love travel to my hands and feet to act on that Good News.

At Baptism and Confirmation, the Holy Spirit was sown in our hearts. We must make the conditions right for the presence of the Spirit to grow within us. The seed of faith and the presence of the Holy Spirit grows through prayer, participation in the sacraments, and being part of a faith community. All these things will help us bear the fruit of charity which shows us, and the world, that our faith is alive for all to see.

We don’t need to do big things for God. All we need to do is do the ordinary, everyday things out of love for God and others. I’m paraphrasing St. Mother Theresa here. We are currently in Ordinary Time during the Church’s liturgical year. It’s hot and muggy here in Tampa and all we have to look forward to even hotter and muggier weather in August. Keep doing the good you are already doing no matter how small, and don’t worry about the yield of your goodness.

Goodness is its own reward, for the good that we do has its origin in God. Through the goodness we do, we will be revealed as “the children of God.”

Peace and All Good,
Fr. Steve