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Homily For Ordinary 15 - Year A
Friar Sydney Mascarenhas. O.F.M., Ph.D


     The following Homily is provided by Friar Sidney as a way
     of enriching the ministry of the Word as presented through
     this web site.  Friar Sidney, who has spent much of his
     ministry in India, is currently a Professor of Philosophy
     in Rome.  He can be reached at smascarenhas@ofm.org.  The texts
     used by Friar Sydney come from the Roman Lectionary - which in
     most points agrees with the Revised Common Lectionary.

    
READINGS: 
Isaiah 55:10-11;  Romans 8:18-23;  Matthew 13:1-23.


INTRODUCTION: 
Let us today reflect on the unexpected, the difficult and the
scorching situations in our life.  Let us pray today to
receive the grace to face creatively and fruitfully every
situation in our life.


HOMILY:
Todays readings speak about rain, snow, earth, seeds, bread,
the Word of God, creation, groans, eyes, ears, hearts and
harvest. They are all very concrete elements.  What have they
in common with human life?

Well, what is the use of rain if it does not water the parched
earth?  What is the use of rain if it does not germinate the
seed of the earth?  What is the use of rain if it does not
bring the germinated seed to bear fruit?

The same can be said about our senses of sight and hearing,
feelings and pain.

Eyes allow us to see.  Sight is such a great gift.  Sight
shows up colours in our life.  

Hearing is also a great gift. Hearing distinguishes sounds and
their pitch. 

Both, sight and hearing, help us to see meaning in our life.
Sight and Hearing link us to creative elements in our life.
And listening and doing make us creative and help us to bear
fruit.

The same is also true of feelings and pain.

Life is certainly not monotonous once we use these gifts of
sight, hearing, feeling and pain.  If only we use our eyes,
ears, feeings and pain, we will notice many challenging
situations.

There are unforeseen situations that overtake us.  So
unexpected are these situations that they do not even draw our
attention.  Other interests dominate our attention.
There are tasks that we take up with a big bang.  But then, we
face many hurdles and our enthusiasm dies off.

There are situations that are deadly boring.  In such
situations, life becomes really unbearable.  Everything seems
to choke us.  Everyone seems overbearing.

I am sure we have all gone through such situations.

That is what the readings of today are trying to tell us. 
Life is filled with the unexpected, the unsurmountable and the
monotonous.

I loved a certain ad.  It said: 'When life gets tough, the
tough get going.'

But there is more than what that ad says in today's readings.

The first reading tells us that everything God created was and
is always good.  The earth and all that it contains is good.
Everything is for our good.  So whether a situation is
unexpected, unsurmountable or boring, we must remember that
all is for our good.  Nothing returns empty.

The second reading recognizes suffering and pangs in life.  Do
we not speak of the birth pangs of a mother.  Pain is the
mother of Creativity and Invention.

The Gospel is very picturesque.  It depicts the unexpected,
the stony and the choking situations of life. 

For the true Christian, even set back and failure can be good
soil, provide we hear, listen and do God's promise in them.
The point is  whether we receive that promise of God, listen
and ponder over it, and let it fructify us.

If we effect this promise of God, come what may, there will be
a harvest, even a harvest that is hundred-fold. 

Christians have no reason to despair. Christians, however,
must allow life to take deep roots in the rich soil that has
been given them.  Christians must work with the soil given
them by the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier.
 
Hear, listen to and work with the Triune God, then, we sure
will succeed in what we were sent to do.  

   
copyright - Friar Sydney Mascarenhas and  Rev. Richard J. Fairchild - Spirit Networks, 1999 - 2006
please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.


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