12  JULY 2020: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

by FR. Clyde, Parochial Vicar

Ask Yourself,
“What type of soil for the word of God do I represent?”  

A story is told about a pastor.

“One Sunday, the Pastor who was the celebrant of the Mass, read the Gospel and the people sat to hear his homily. Instead, the people witnessed the strangest incident ever seen.

The Pastor opened his shaving kit and began to shave his beard. The people were dumb struck, there was a pin drop silence. After 10 minutes, the normal time of a Sunday homily, the Pastor continued the Mass with the Offertory rites. The Mass went on as usual and the people went home shocked.

On the following Sunday, the people gathered again for the Sunday worship and the Pastor again was the celebrant. Now the gospel was being read and the people sat to see what is going to happen. Whether he is going to shave hi beard or his head.

The Pastor began to speak to them. My dear people, last Sunday, I only used my time fruitfully. Instead of preaching which I considered a mere waste of time, I began to shave. But I am surprised to see the reactions from different quarters of our people.

My Bishop rung up and enquired whether I am keeping well. My sister and brother-in-law have already arrived from our native place to enquire about my wellbeing. The Lesion of Mary members have started the chain Rosary; the Charismatic group has sat in 24 hours – adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Parish Pastoral Council had a secret meeting as to how to go about this case. The Youth group has consulted the mental hospital for an admission for me. Some of the media persons have been invited to capture ‘live’ what is going to happen this Sunday at the altar.

My dear friends, Sunday after Sunday, the seed, the Word of God, is sown from this place. But it doesn’t seem to bear fruit. It appears that all the seeds fall on the path or on rocks.

If only all of you used 10% of your energy that you used last Sunday’s incident, our parish would have been rejuvenated and our lives would have become great!

The people went home never to forget the parable of the Seed and the Sower!”

My brothers and sisters here at Holy Faith parish, the story I related, is also very true and applicable to all of us. “Sunday after Sunday, the Word of God, is sown from this place. And some seeds seem to fall on the path or on rocks”.

In this parable, Jesus is the Sower; the Seed is the Word of God or His teachings. The soil symbolizes the various types of people who hear and give responses to God’s word. Those who received the seed on ROCKY ground refers to those who welcome it with great joy and enthusiasm. But having no depth, they fizzle out, they disappear, they vanish.

The THORNY soil refers to people who hear the word of God but the cares and worries of the world choke it.

These people are so busy, so preoccupied with their work and businesses that other important things, like prayer and going to Mass, get crowded out. Obviously, this is not to reject material pursuits, but human life should not exclude the spiritual aspect.

Finally, there is the GOOD soil. It symbolizes those who are receptive to God’s word and respond by applying it in day-to-day life; thus bear fruits of good deeds.

The people who received the seed on the WAYSIDE refer to those who allow the devil to take the word of God out of their hearts.  For instance, they give in to the thoughts that there is no God or that they can do evil acts as long as they don’t get caught.

According to a friend-priest in his sermon, he said: “Our biggest regret when we come to life’s end is that we had the opportunity and we wasted it! Those with much talents and never used them, those with much wealth and never shared them, those with much love and never expressed them, will have in the end much regret, wailing and grinding of teeth.  Wasted soil, wasted land, wasted life—may these not be our lot when we come to the end of our lives.”

Today, let us ask ourselves: “What type of soil for the word of God do I represent? Am I like the pathway where the seed cannot even sprout or like the rocky ground where the seed sprouts but has no roots or like thorny ground where the word of God is choked to death by worldly cares, or like the good soil that bears much fruit?”