July 12, 2020 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s first reading, Isaiah says that God’s word cannot return to him without achieving the end for which it is sent.  Every time we hear the word of God, we have two options before us:  acceptance or rejection.  That is what we saw in the Gospel where some seed fell on the path and were eaten up by the birds, others on rocky ground and were scorched by the sun, others on thorns and were choked, and finally, some on rich soil.

Dearest sisters and brothers, the question before us today is:  to which of these groups do I belong?  When we accept God’s word and act on it, we are blessed and when we reject it, we are condemned.  Today, we are all called to pay attention to our relationship to God’s word that we receive every minute of life, including the one the Lord is communicating to us even now at this Mass.

At every action we take in life, we are making a choice for God’s word.  We are either accepting or rejecting it.  There is never a neutral action in life.  Each of our action is an expression of a choice for or against God.  Every positive response to God’s word always bears fruit as Jesus said about the seed that fell on rich soil producing fruit, hundred-, sixty-, and thirty-fold.

That the reception of God’s word is expected to bear fruit in our lives means that it is never something private.  We are not to keep it in our private spaces but rather to allow it shine out on others as we put it into action, giving direction and guidance to others.  Allowing God’s word to bear fruit in our lives is sometimes painful.  A lot of times, the demand that God’s word makes on us entails suffering on our part.  It is like the natural seed that is torn asunder by the new growth when the seed is germinating.

But remember, as we suffer on account of God’s word, St. Paul reminds us that our sufferings can never be in vain since they cannot be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  God’s word is God Himself as John tells us.  It is only in Him that we can have peace both now and hereafter!

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