Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year A

Daniel J. McLaughlin, O.S.A.
Church of Saint Rita of Cascia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Is 55: 10-11
Ps 65: 10, 11, 12-13, 14
Rom 8: 18-23
Mt 13: 1-23

The word of God is like a seed that falls on good ground that will yield a fruitful harvest. By using the imagery of a farmer whose seed falls on good and bad soil, Jesus offers us a meditation that can help us examine our consciences to see and understand what might be the condition of our receptivity to God’s word growing within us.

The natural order of how living things grow teaches us, by analogy, what is true of the working of God’s will and grace. The word of God falls freely on everything and everyone – both the bad and the good. At times our understanding of the ways of God may be as unyielding as the well-worn footpath or as open and fertile as the good soil that produces new life. We might show a lack of perseverance learning about God. Instead we accept living in the rocky and shallow depths of understanding what is true about life. Overwhelmed with suffering we might say: “God is not answering my prayers,” or “why is this happening to me?” Jesus gives us an answer when He describes us as caught in the thorns of life because we freely accept temptations and attraction to things that are evil.

In the letter of Saint James (1:21) he reminds us: “Humbly welcome the word that has taken root in you. Act on this word. If you do not listen to it you are deceiving yourselves.” Growth and healing take place when we see ourselves as God sees us. The parable of the Sower of the Seed is an invitation to offer our souls to God as fertile soil nurtured by our faith and trust in His providence. It is the will of God for everyone to proclaim in His name: There will be a harvest!