Homily (2) 15th Sunday of Year A: Michael Udoekpo
Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalm 10:11-14, Rom 8: 18-23 and Matt 13:1-23
The Word Perpetually nourishes us
Jesus loves speaking in parables. He does this to drive home his points in a manner understandable to his listeners; men, women, children, the rich and the poor, the elite and the illiterates. There are many of them in Gospels, especially in Matthew 13 that will be read in the next few Sundays ahead.
In the parable of today’s Gospel, the parable of the sower, the word of God, the love of God, the commandments of God, the values of God has been sown on 4 different types of soils. The first three are not good enough for the word of God to grow. They represents anxiety, worries, tribulations, temptations, anger, hatred, disobedience and anti-Christ’s sentiments of this world.
The 4th soil represents those who hears the word of God, understands it, obeys it, and puts it into fruitful practice of love, forgiveness, patience, obedience and love of God and our neighbors.
Jesus who sows the word in this parable is the God incarnate preached by Isaiah in the first reading (Isa 55:10-11) of today. Here the theme of deutero- Isaiah is reviewed. Our God is love. He cares for us. He deserves our worship and obedience. He is the source of creation and the planter of every seeds. He constantly fights for us. He is provides for us. Whoever comes to God will be saved. Whoever is planted in God grows into abundance.
In fact, God’s word, is a “messenger” who accomplishes God’s will (Isaiah 55:11). God has planted us in this world as his seed or word. He expects us to obey him, to bear abundant fruits of love and kindness, and to rigorously do his will.
But as God’s word, sown we struggle and encounter various difficulties in his life- ranging from illnesses, distractions, temptations of lust, power and war drunk, selfishness, pursuit of material things, loss of the sense of the sacred and neglect of the poor, the aged and the needy. Each of us can also mention many other forms of sufferings, and persecutions, that we constantly encounter, particularly in the name of Christ or the faith we profess and the mission we cherish.
In the midst of these, and as Saint Paul would put it in the Second reading, Romans 8:18-23, let us not fell to consider that, “the sufferings of this present time are nothing compared with the glory of to be revealed to us.” In fact, just as all creation groan with labor pains, let us bear our suffering and patiently, knowing that our redemption is near at hand, especially we continue to hold onto the word of God and the values of Christ our Savior.