15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jul 18, 2017
Folks, we are all called to not only hear God's Word, but to act upon it. You and I are called upon to express our Faith through all we say and do.Jesus Christ gives us His Truths-or seeds- which we are to plant in our own minds and then we are called to strive to plant them in the minds of others. Those Truths, those seeds, Christ gives through the public worship of the Church He founded, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, through Catholic reading, through His inspired Word-the Holy Bible- and through the preaching of His special servants-His priests and deacons.
Let's treasure the Truths Christ give us in a greater way. Let's always try to plant them in ourselves and in others by learning more about our Catholic Faith and sharing these Truths with others. My vocation is to tell you Christ's Truth-not my opinion. Your job is hear it and make it grow. In the words of Jesus today in the Gospel, "Let everyone hear what he hears." May I make a few suggestions on how you can get the most out of homilies? Now, you don't have to be a farmer or gardener to know that you have to prepare the soil for the seed.
How helpful would it be if while on your way to Mass everyone would prepare him or herself for receiving God's Truth...not by praying "Dear Lord, don't let Father talk too long today ." but, rather, "Dear Lord, help Father give me some Truth today that will feed my soul and do me some good." Folks, every worthwhile preacher prays that those who will hear him will benefit from what he says, providing fertile ground fro the Truths he is planting. How about returning the favor by praying for the preacher? As you walk into Church, make the Sign of the Cross thoughtfully over your body, washing away the distractions of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Make yourself open to the seed of God's Truth.Listen carefully to the prayers and the readings, especially the Gospel. Pay close attention to the homily. Try to not just hear, but understand and remember the main point.
Christ is speaking to you through us unworthy priests, however limited we may be. The man in the pulpit can be an effective instrument of Christ. He can also be ineffective. The message may come through loud and clear, or it may be dull and garbled depending on well the priest prepared the soil, or perhaps, how well you prepared it. For most Catholics, the only time they receive the seed of God's Truth is from Sunday worship and the priest's explanation. Friends, if you are ready to receive it and come prepared you will get more out of it. The seed is present in your hearing. Will you prepare the soil of your own soul to understand it? Will you water and fertilize it to bear the fruit that God wants to give you and others through a more consistent spiritual life?
We are all called to respond to God's Word and through the grace of the sacraments of Our Holy Catholic Church. If we pray and read more about Catholic teachings and how they line up with Sacred Scripture, and pray more before Our Lord's Real Presence in the Eucharist to improve our own preparation and listening, we will all be able to express the Truths of Our Catholic Faith better to others.
May the Good Lord Bless all of us as He calls us to follow Him through Word and Sacrament!