Sunday Ordinary Time 15 A

Sunday Ordinary Time 15 A

Jesus talks about sowing the seed of the Word of God. Imagine, maybe it’s the year 90 or 100, 60 or 70 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. The early followers of Jesus are trying to show others the truth that Jesus has risen from the dead, that he is the Son of God, that he has come into the world to be a savior, to give healing, hope and strength.  They talk about Jesus, the Savior who was crucified.  The reaction? It varies a lot. Some people think these Christians are crazy. Their savior was crucified; that was the worst thing  the Romans could do to anyone. Others say, “Yes, we are interested a little.” And they learned something; then they say, “No, thank you, it’s not for me.”

Then there are others who receive baptism, but then they get involved in so many other things in the world that they give up, they withdraw from the community and give up faith in Jesus.

Some of the early disciples were discouraged; they tried to bring the message of Christ to others, encouraging others to come to know Christ. But they fail; they are frustrated and disappointed.  Then their friends say, “Well, remember this story that Jesus told about the farmer who went out to sow seed. Some fell on bad ground and a lot of it was lost, but some of it fell on good ground; it grew up to accomplish great things, to yield a great crop. Don’t give up, keep at it. Be faithful. That’s the most important thing.” (To see the words of today’s Gospel, click here.) And who are the people who have accomplished so much then and now? They are you: You know Jesus, you believe in Him, you have given your heart to Him. You know He is the Son of God; He has touched you. His grace has touched you; His love has touched you. And you’ve been changed. You are now a better person. You have a deep faith; you have a deep relationship with God, a deep relationship with Christ, you know the truth. 

Does that mean you’re better than everyone else? No. It means that God’s grace has been working in you. God’s love has touched you. God wanted to give you this wonderful gift and you accepted. 

It’s important to remember that when we talk about these various people who don’t accept the Word of God. It’s not them, out there;  they’re to blame; it’s their fault. No, the same tendencies are in all of us. The seed that falls on the path, on the hard ground; that is like us. There are parts of our heart too that I suspect are a little hard. Some things we can’t let go of and forget. Other people we can’t forgive; we refuse to change. The Word of God needs to work in us, soften us, change us. We are also like the seed that falls on other hard ground. We’re busy; we have many things to distract us. We have our computers and smartphones and, and we easily forget what’s really important in our life — loving God, loving other people, being generous and kind, praying every day. It’s important for us to realize we must continue to grow in our relationship with God, our relationship with Jesus. It’s important to take time, take a few minutes every day. Study Jesus, learn about Him more, pray to Him, ask for God’s wisdom, ask for God’s strength to live the way God wants you to live. 

Take time every day.  Let the love of God wash over you; simply be quiet, peaceful, before God. Give yourself time to look at God, to look at the beauty of God’s presence in your life — in people, in nature, in all the good that happens to you; give thanks to God. Open your hearts so that his love can come in and accomplish more good for you.

If you do all this, then what will happen?  You will change; you will be different, the love of God will change to you, and other people will look at you and wonder. Why are you happy? Why are you full of joy in these hard times? Why are you satisfied? Why are you at peace? They may say to you, “Tell us about this person Jesus; tell us about your faith; tell us about your prayer.” And you are planting the seed of God’s love in other people and letting it grow, praying that it will grow in other people. Your work of bringing the Word of God to others is less by what you say and do, more by the kind of person you are — your goodness, your kindness, your patience, your willingness to forgive. This is all a wonderful sign of God’s powerful presence in your life. 

And the good that you do may seem to be little, but you will touch other people with love. And that’s very important. Let me tell you a story. About 20 or 25 years ago you remember the AIDS epidemic was very strong and many were sick and many were dying. There was a woman who had a son with AIDS. And in the town where she lived there was a hospice for AIDS patients; people went there when they were sick and no one else wanted them; their own families refused to accept them. The woman with some members of her church went there and said,  “We’d like to have a Bible study or a prayer session with you.” But the people in the hospice were angry; they thought the church people would condemn them and make them feel guilty. They voted not to accept the group. And the woman thought to herself, These people with AIDS what are they like? They are probably frightened, alone, confused, worried about the future, knowing that their disease may kill them soon. But what is it that all people like?  And she thought all people like chocolate chip cookies. So she went home and she made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. She came back to the hospice and started giving out cookies to everyone she met. The people with AIDS were curious at first, suspicious; what did this woman want? Why was she giving out cookies? But she was faithful to it. And as time went on, the AIDS patients began to appreciate her. Then they began to ask her, “Why are you doing this?”  And she said, “Because I want you to know that someone loves you. And that God loves you, that you are precious people, valuable to God, valuable to us.”  And then she gradually got to know all of them and became friends with them. With her chocolate chip cookies she brought the love of God into their darkness, into their hopeless situation. She was planting the seed that may well have brought other people to come to know Christ and to love Christ.

She planted good seeds of God’s love, and wonderful things happened.  We must do the same.

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