Saturday, July 12, 2014
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 13, 2014
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 55: 10-11 / Ps 65: 10, 11, 12-13, 14 (Lk 8:8) / Rom 8: 18-23 / Mt 13: 1-23 or 13:1-9
First Reading: Is 55: 10-11
As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return till they have watered the earth, making it yield seed for the sower and food for others to eat, so is my word that goes forth out of my mouth: it will not return to me idle, but it shall accomplish my will, the purpose for which it has been sent.
Second Reading: Rom 8: 18-23
I consider that the suffering of our present life cannot be compared with the Glory that will be revealed and given to us. All creation is eagerly expecting the birth in glory of the children of God. For if now the created world was unable to attain its purpose, this did not come from itself, but from the one who subjected it. But it is not without hope; for even the created world will be freed from this fate of death and share the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pangs of birth. Not creation alone, but even ourselves, although the Spirit was given to us as a foretaste of what we are to receive, we groan in our innermost being, eagerly awaiting the day when God will give us full rights and rescue our bodies as well.
Gospel: Matthew 13: 1-23 or 13:1-9
That same day Jesus left the house and sat down by the lakeside. As many people gathered around him, he got in a boat. There he sat while the whole crowd stood on the shore, and he spoke to them in parables about many things. Jesus said, "The sower went out to sow and, as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground where there was little soil, and the seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was not deep. But as soon the sun rose the plants were scorched and withered because they had no roots. Again other seeds fell among thistles; and the thistles grew and choked the plants. Still other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop; some produced a hundredfold, others sixty and others thirty. If you have ears, then hear!" Then his disciples came to him with the question, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" Jesus answered, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but not to these people. For the one who has, will be given more and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived of even what he has. That is why I speak to them in parables, because they look and do not see; they hear, but they do not listen or understand. In them the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled: Much as you hear, you do not understand; much as you see, you do not perceive. For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears hardly hear and their eyes dare not see. If they were to see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their heart, they would turn back and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears, because they hear. For I tell you that many prophets and upright people would have longed to see the things you see, but they did not, and to hear the things you hear, but they did not hear it. Now listen to the parable of the sower. When a person hears the message of the Kingdom but without taking it to himself, the devil comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed that fell along the footpath. The seed that fell on rocky ground stands for the one who hears the word and accepts it at once with joy. But this fickle and has no roots. No sooner is he harassed or persecuted because of the word, than he gives up. The seed that fell among the thistles is the one who hears the word, but then the worries of this life and the love of money choke the word, and it does not bear fruit. As for the seed that fell on good soil it is the one who hears the word and understands it; this bears fruit and produces a hundred, or sixty, or thirty times more."
The song "Sound of Silence" says it beautifully. "People talking without listening." This is our world today. Almost everybody wants to be heard, because nobody is listening anymore. The I is a very important figure. It is like the children in Scriptures. They are nobody and their words are not important. It is sad but it is happening. You have to make noise to be heard. I guess it started during the martial law years. If one spoke against the government, he was jailed. Killings happened left and right. In order to be safe, people shut up. But it did not last forever because people wanted to be free. So in February of 1986, the people spoke up, and the dictator fled the country. The beginning of new life came after planting again the seeds of democracy.
Today's parable is about listening. The sower scattered seeds that landed on different kinds of soil. Some died, others got choked and those that landed on good soil bore grain a hundredfold. We know that the soil represents us, and the seeds are the Word of God. It will depend on us if the seeds will bear grains or not. I guess it is time for us to look into ourselves and ask if we are good soil or not. If we are the good soil then we should continue opening our ears that we can accommodate more what God is trying to tell us. We have to continue searching for the will of God. The work is unending. We know that our world is not a perfect world because of our doing and we have to build the kingdom of God in the here and now. We should pick up the seeds that landed on not so good soil and try to nurture and water them so that they will bear grains to satisfy the hunger of other people who want to hear the word of God. Let us open the ears of those people who have been deaf for a long time, to see the beauty of God and be more responsible and attentive to the needs of others.
As we gather today for meals let us open our ears to listen to what other members of the family are saying. Let us listen to the children, the elderly, the sick, the handicapped, the dying whose voice we seldom hear. Let us continue praying for one another and ask the Holy Spirit to always open our ears so that the Word of God will bear fruit a thousandfold.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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