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Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

15th Sunday of the Year – A                                                                                                                              

 

Dear friends in Christ,

 

                  Jesus concludes the Parable of the Sower with this invitation: “Anyone who has ears should listen.” Some believe that Jesus may have told this parable to answer the Pharisees’ objection: “If you are really sent from God, why are so few people listening to you?” 

                  In the first reading, God speaks through Isaiah, “Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, so shall my word be.” Jesus likens God’s word to seeds planted in the soil of our hearts.

But there are different kinds of hearers and different ways to hear and accept God’s words. People with a shut mind won’t hear anything they don’t like. Those with a shallow mind fail to take what they hear seriously. Those with many interests or cares, too busy to pray and meditate, will fail to know what is truly important. Only those with an open mind are willing to listen and to learn. And Jesus says that these will produce good fruits. 

Due to the strong religious crisis in today’s world, people think that Jesus’ teaching has lost its force and the Gospel no longer has power to attract people’s attention. Certainly it’s not Jesus’ teaching that has lost its attraction, nor the Gospel that has lost its power. It’s ourselves who are proclaiming it with weak and wavering faith.

Pope Francis has said that when a Christian doesn’t listen to Jesus’ words, ‘he quickly loses enthusiasm and stops being sure of what he is transmitting, he lacks the power and passion. And a person who isn’t convinced, enthusiastic, sure, in love, doesn’t convince anyone.”

Today gospel tells us to examine what kind of Christian we are and what faith quality we have. The arrival of God’s Kingdom depends on how we hear, understand, accept, and proclaim Jesus’ words.

 

Fr. Joe