Saturday, July 15, 2017

15th Ordinary Sunday, Year A, 16.07.17

Isaiah 55:10-11 / Romans 8:18-23 / Matthew 13:1-23

Over the course of this week, there were a couple of incidents that would have caught our attention. Not only would they have caught our attention, they would have also stirred our emotions.

On Tuesday, the front page of the newspapers had a picture of a man in his 60s standing over the slumped body of another man, with by-standers at a distance looking on.

The man had stabbed the victim who later died of his wounds. It turned out that the victim was the son-in-law of the attacker.

It was certainly a family tragedy as two lives came to a different end, and our hearts certainly would feel for the family in their grief and pain.

Then on early Friday morning, a viaduct undergoing construction collapsed, killing one worker and injuring 10 others. Again, one life was ended and probably many other lives will be changed.

In the face of these two tragedies, and the other tragedies of life, we could only utter a single-worded question – “Why?”

Yes, “Why?”. And we may probably ask further questions like “Why must resort to killing?” and “Why can’t they build things safely and properly?”
Many other questions can also be asked but not many answers can be given. And most of the time, there are no answers.

And as we listen to the gospel parable and think deeper about it, we may also want to ask “Why?”

The sower went out to sow. Some seeds fell on the edge of the path and the birds came and ate it up.
Others fell on patches of rock and didn’t grow for long.
Yet others fell among thorns and got choked.
And then others fell on rich soil and produced a harvest.

But why is the sower so careless in sowing the seeds? There seems to be so much loss and wastage and maybe only a quarter of what is sowed produced a harvest.

Logically and mathematically, this is not productive or effective. On paper, it is a failure.

So logically on paper, the sower is a failure. So why this kind of parable? Is there any meaning to this?

Logically and on paper, it is a failure. But spiritually and on prayer, there is a sublime power.

We have to listen to what the Lord said in the 1st reading: As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for eating, so the word that comes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

The Lord has sowed the seeds of His Word on us and have the seeds produced a harvest? 

Well, in little and simple ways, they have. Last Monday, we began a new journey for the RCIA. We started the journey rather late, maybe we are the last church to start the RCIA. We didn’t expect many Inquirers, maybe just a handful at most.

But we prayed, silently though, because we didn’t want to sound like we were so desperate, but in a way we were. Well, the Lord sent, more than just a handful, 16 Inquirers to be exact. Which is actually very good, considering we started very late, and we are a rather quaint little church. So there is much work to do now, and our prayers are needed for these Inquirers and the RCIA team.

As for the 1st Friday Mass and Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the 13th-of-the-month Rosary, it is not with overwhelming attendance but certainly it is edifying and encouraging to see that people have responded to the call of prayer and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to the devotion to Our Lady in the Rosary.

Yes, in little and simple ways we are bearing a harvest and more so when we come for Mass each Sunday, we want to offer to the Lord a bountiful harvest of prayer.

More than just praying for ourselves and for the petitions offered to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are called to pray for the Church, for the world, for all peoples.

The tragedies that we see around us are more often than not, man-made. Because when we think about it, it is man that created the problems, and when the problems become too serious, they end up in tragedies.

But where tragedies result in suffering, the remedy is in the praying.

The 2nd reading tells us that the suffering in this life cannot be compared to the glory that is waiting for us in the next life.

But while on this earth, while in this life, we are called to face that suffering with our praying. 

And we must believe that there is much more that we can ever imagine that is accomplished by prayer-power than by any human power.

That is why God wants to sow the seeds of His Word in us. So that we can produce a harvest of prayer, and signs and wonders will rain down from heaven, and bring healing and reconciliation on earth.