Here is my homily for the weekend. God bless all!
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A
Isaiah 55: 10-11; Romans 8: 18-23; Matthew 13: 1-23
July 11\12, 2020
“My word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) “All of creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God…” (Romans 8:19)
Do we eagerly await the fruits of God’s work in our lives, the completion of his plan for us and the fulfillment of God’s Word?
God continually reveals himself. He always speaks, or you might say, utters his Word, Jesus, into our lives and into the world. Everywhere, at all time, regardless of the soil conditions (to use the image from the Gospel parable), in good times and in bad, God plants his Word and his plan for us. The farmers and gardeners among us may wonder why he “wastes good seed” on poor soil that produces little or nothing. But this is how God is; he lavishly and abundantly pours out his blessings on everyone all the time. He loves us all, and he has a unique plan for our lives. The mystery of it all is that he promises that all this will be effective and bear fruit, that it is never wasted seed. It will be fulfilled; it will come to completion.
Do we believe this? How confident are we in God’s Word and in his presence, and in his plan? Are we able and willing to wait for the revelation and completion of his plan? Perhaps more importantly, are we open, receptive to the plan he has for us, the promises he has made?
I think everyone wants to be “good soil” that is rich and fertile and receptive. In other words, everyone wants what they think is good, and they sacrifice a lot for it. We all want to have an abundant life and to produce good fruit. The problem is just like Jesus said in the Gospel. What we think is good and what we desire often are affected by worries, cares, anxieties, and fears that come from our world, or worse, from Satan, and not from God. We too often forget that all good things come from God, (not us) and that our hearts will never be at peace until we rest in God. So we end up desiring things passing things, and closing ourselves off from the good seed that God pours out upon us. We have a hard time because of our worldly anxieties and need to be in control of our own lives. We get anxious and impatient, and begin to doubt God’s plan.
The early Christians were initially a bit anxious and impatient. They had been told by the apostles that Jesus had promised the fulfillment of his kingdom, and that he would return “soon.” So they thought Jesus would fulfill his promise within their lifetimes. As the years passed, they began to realize he hadn’t yet returned. Their faith was challenged. Yet, with the help of the Church, and especially the apostles, they believed, and had an eager expectation that his promise would be fulfilled. The importance of faith and staying together as Church became so important to them.
We too, like them, are able to eagerly live in hope of the fulfillment of this promise, and his plan for us, if we believe and if we remain receptive to God’s plan and remain united to the Church which strengthens our faith.
I remember so well a lesson I was taught the hard way by one of my theology professors in Rome, Fr. Jean Galot. I will spare you the details, but he made me understand that human time and God time are quite different. We think of time in terms of days, weeks, and years. God’s time is eternally now. The past, present, and future are all now. We can’t really understand this, but we will someday. The fulfillment of God’s plan has already happened. It is now, though we see it only with the eyes of faith. God always fulfills his promises.
Do we believe that God has a plan for our lives that will be fulfilled in due time? How open are our hearts to God’s Word, his Light, his Love?
Oh, the necessity of faith, hope, love and the Church in our lives! To be able to eagerly await the fulfillment of God’s word and promises, we must be rooted in faith, nourished by hope, and supported by each other and God in love which is why the Church is so vital. Faith allows us to see God. Hope gives us the energy to wait and be patient. Love keeps us open to God and attached to the Church, the People of God.
The Eucharist will strengthen us if we receive it worthily. The Church will sustain us. Open hearts will receive from God all he showers down upon us. Open hearts will find rest; closed hearts will be anxious and restless until they rest in God.
So let us all open wide our hearts to God’s word and his plan for our lives.