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Theology for the common man

15 Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, July 16, 2017

This Sunday’s readings focus on comparing our soul to the earth, the basis of receiving God’s mercy. The first reading indicates that God always fertilizes the earth with his mercy, like rainfall and snow falling from and returning to heaven, yielding grain that may later be collected and baked to make bread. The Word of God has this very effect upon the soul – His mercy blesses the soul and makes it thrive just like earth after a rainfall, yet the yields of God’s mercy depend on us. If the right conditions are not met, we cannot expect God’s bounty. Only those open to the workings of God’s Word and those who cooperate with Him are given the opportunity to collect this holy bounty of life, i.e. the feeling of a fulfilled life, where God’s presence and impact are the primary contributors to good choices and final happiness. This is explained by the parable of the sower who went out to sow his seed. Some grains fell along the path and were eaten by birds; others fell on rocky places and had no chance to thrive, as they were scorched by the sun; others fell among thorns which made it impossible for the seeds to grow. A good harvest is only possible if the soil is fertile and the crop is varied: 30, 60 or 100 times what was sown. The reference to fertile soil and its levels of capacity to yield a crop shows the levels of openness of a soul to the work of God – and its capacity to yield various fruits. Other types of soil, as described by Jesus Christ, are souls which are closed to the Words of God for various reasons: lack of understanding of faith without effort to deepen it; short-lived enthusiasm without every-day, systematic work; finally, everyday life that focuses on achieving every day, temporary goals, overlooking the deeper needs of the soul that are found in faith alone. The words spoken today by Jesus Christ show us how necessary it is to listen to the Word of God every Sunday – to deepen our faith during every reading and to fulfill his Words during the upcoming week. This is how God impacts our everyday life and leads us towards our home in Heaven. We must always remember that Christ will collect what we have sown, so we must sow our seeds in the correct way, without wasting any. Let God help us along our path.