Friday of the 16th Week of the Year

Matt 13:18-23

Explaining Parable of the Sower

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

An excited couple with two kids approached me after Mass and introduced themselves to me. The wife said that I was the one who blessed their marriage 16 years ago. No matter how I stretched my memory, I could not really remember. The sheer number of marriages I conducted took their toll on my power of recall. Probably noticing my difficulty, she refreshed me with another data: “Father, you even said in your sermon that the marriage of a man and a woman is a reflection of the love of God to His Church” (from St. Paul, of course, not me). The quote did not help.

Despite the temporary loss of memory I was happy for two reasons. First, we met again after many years; second, they remembered something from the word of God and kept it to heart (not only to heart but to body as well; husband and wife are both well-rounded, sideways). With God’s word, they are now sixteen, going on sixty, hopefully.

God keeps sowing His words, unmindful where they might fall. Well, unmindful maybe read careless, but God’s case also proves the other extreme – giving without counting the cost, loving without minding what might get lost. The path, rocky ground, the thorns welcome word but do not entertain it. The rich soil that receives and nourishes the word yields a harvest 16fold, 60fold and more. (Fr. GdP, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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See: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

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A writer named Revell tells the following story: “Going up the mountain path one day, I met a mountaineer with an exe in his hand. I walked with him and asked him what he was going to cut. I need a piece of timber to fix my wagon,” he said. “I need the toughest kind of wood I can get. That kind always grows on top of the mountain where all the storms hit the hardest. A storm is always a challenge.”

The seed that was sown on rocky ground is compared to those who hear the word and receive it with joy. But they have no root and last only for a time. When tribulation or persecution because of the word, they immediately fall away (cf 13:20).

It requires a lot of honesty to admit which type of soil we are. If we look back at our lives, we see all four types of soil in us sometimes. There were times when the Lord sowed the seed but it fell on the edge of the path because we thought it was uncool to be religious or we left other people to pray instead for us. There were times when we were a patch of rock with shallow soil because although we believe in the Lord, when crosses come our way we were tempted to abandon Him. There were times when the Lord sowed the seed in us and we choked it with thorns; we forgot Him who gave the gifts, the very blessings to us. But there were also times when He sowed seed and produced a harvest in the rich soil of our lives. We need to see that as we grow older we become the rich soil for His Word to yield a great harvest. (Fr. Deva Savariyapan, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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The Ten Commandments in today’s reading was not viewed by the Israelites as something negative. Rather, they saw it as something positive because these commandments were a concrete sign of God’s deep and merciful love for them. The Israelites viewed the Commandments as freeing them from a life of moral slavery to a life of loving service. That is why the psalmist sings to God: “How I love your law, O Lord!..How sweet to my palate are your promises….A lamp to my feet is your word and a light to my path.

For a clearer understanding of His teaching, Jesus explains the parable of the sower. The big problem in hearing God’s word lies not in receiving it, but in retaining it and making it bear fruit. Three stages are involved in hearing God’s word. In educational parlance, it is called learning domain:

The first is the Mind Stage or the Cognitive Domain. It involves listening to God’s word and understanding what the word means. The second is the Heart Stage or the Affective Domain. It involves “taking to heart” God’s word and allowing it to touch and affect us. The third is the Soul Stage or the Psychomotor Domain. It involves embracing God’s word and putting it into practice.

Therefore, hearing God’s word involves listening with our mind, our heart and our soul. How do we view God’s commandments and the teachings of Jesus? Which stage is the most difficult for us? (Fr. Jerry Perocho, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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Only in the first case was the word rejected. In the other cases, it was received joyfully.

The big problem in hearing God’s word is usually not in receiving it, but in retaining it and making it bear fruit. Hearing God’s word involves three stages:

The first is the “mind stage.” It involves listening to God’s word and understanding what the word means.

The second is the heart stage.” It involves “taking to heart” God’s word and allowing it to touch us.

The third is the “soul stage.” It involves embracing God’s word and putting it into practice.

Hearing God’s word involves listening to it with our mind, our heart, and our soul.

Which stage is the most difficult for us?

“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” (1Samuel 3:9) (Mark Link SJ, Illustrated Daily Homilies Weekdays, p. 151)

 

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Gardening with Gusto

July 24, 2015 (readings)

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:18-23

Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty fold.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your Incarnation. You became flesh for love of us. You were not forced to leave the bliss and glory of heaven. You chose to leave in order to save us. I believe in you. I hope in you. I love you. You took the first step of love toward me. I want to respond in kind.

Petition: Grant me the grace to follow you with conviction and willpower.

  1. Sheltering the Word in My Heart: Our Lord often speaks of the enemy of God, the devil, as a real being, who has real influence over our lives. When we hear the Word of God, good intentions grow within us. The Evil One attempts to “steal” these intentions away from our heart. TheCatechism of the Catholic Churchtells us that the devil and demons made a radical and irrevocable free choice to reject God and his reign (no. 392). The devil tries to uproot our good resolutions with the same goal in mind. We must make a firm commitment to allow God’s word to take root and grow in our lives.
  2. Convictions over Emotions: The seed sown on rocky ground represents those who receive the word with joy at first, in other words, those easily governed by emotions and sentiments. When they feel joy, they respond to God positively. When they receive comforts from Christ, they are ready to follow him. But when their moods are bad or gloomy, they leave aside their previous resolutions and abandon the Lord for the wide and spacious road of ease and comforts. They are not seeking Christ but rather their own consolation. Above all they want warm, cozy feelings. Christ shows us the way of true loyalty and love by his crucifixion and death on the cross for love of his Father and souls.
  3. Oxygen for the Soul: One of the saddest categories of people in the Parable of the Sower are those who receive the word but allow “worldly anxiety and the lure of riches” to “choke the word” so that it “bears no fruit” in their lives. Materialism is an all-pervasive temptation in our world today. The only way to conquer this assault on our faith is to make the firm resolution to make time for God. We must make the proactive decision to insert moments for him in our day. Prayer, the sacraments (Mass, confession), spiritual reading and the Rosary are examples of ways to do this.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, in my mind you are my first priority. In reality, though, I allow other priorities to topple your rightful position in my life. I allow my feelings to govern my actions instead of my faith and convictions. Strengthen my resolve to make you the True King of my heart in my concrete choices and decisions.

Resolution: I will go over my daily and weekly schedule and, if necessary, make more quality time for the Lord.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.

epriest.com/reflections/view/459

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MATEO 13:18-23. MAKAMAO BA KITANG MAMINAW OG MAAYO SA PULONG SA DIOS? Adunay mga tawo nga palusoton lang sa pikas dalunggan ang madungog nga mensahe gikan sa Ginoo. Ang uban makamaong maminaw sa Pulong sa Dios, apan dili mamalandong niini sa ilang kasingkasing. Naa puy uban nga maminaw ug mamalandong sa Pulong sa Dios, apan wala man sab magtinguha sa pagpuyo niini sa ilang kinabuhi. Dili unta kita mahisama niining mga tawhana. Matag adlaw maningkamot gayod kita nga mobasa o maminaw sa Pulong sa Dios, mamalandong ug magsaksi niini diha sa atong kinabuhi. Kon mahimo nato kini, sigurado gayod nga mamunga kita’g mga maayong buhat nga makalipay sa Ginoo ug sa isigkatawo. Adunay nag-ingon, “The Word of God I live, is far better than the Word of God I speak.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/07/friday-of-16th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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OLD SCHOOL Honor your father and your mother. – Exodus 20:12

“I’m 25, I don’t need guidance!” “If you want us to have a conversation, then mind your own business.”

“Just because I do not go and greetlola, I am being disrespectful? You’re wrong!” “There you go again with your drama.”

These are real life statements made by a son to his mother. It’s lamentable how brazen children of this generation have become in engaging their parents. They have a strong sense of entitlement and passion to assert their individuality. Parents like me are aghast and frown over such disrespectful attitude. Some parents, however, have already adopted a more liberal approach, conceding such behavior as part of today’s modernlifestyle, Western influence and generation gap.

Perhaps I belong to the old school. I believe in having good manners and etiquette, respecting my elders and helping others when I can. But regardless of generation — be it X, Y or Z — God’s commandment on honoring one’s mother and father never goes out of style. It remains binding across generations, regardless of culture. Marie Franco (mariefranco_pie@yahoo.com)

Reflection: Parents are God’s stewards of His children here on earth. Do you love, respect and care for your parents as much as you love God?

Lord, enlighten our children that they may value what their parents do for them.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-07-24

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 16th Week of the Year

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