Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

There is interesting story according to our gospel for today[1]. A young woman was committed to being a vegetarian, but she was never satisfied with any of the fruit or vegetables she bought. For her, all melons were too ripe, or not ripe enough. In her eyes, she could never find tomatoes that weren’t bruised. Heads of cauliflower and broccoli were too big or too little. She was never happy[2].

Then one day, driving down Main Street, she drove past a new store with a long line of people waiting to get in. She looked, and the sign said, God’s Fruit and Vegetable Stand. “Finally,” she said, “I can get some decent vegetables and fruit.” So she stood on line and waited. Hours went by before she walked into that door. She was enveloped in light, but she didn’t see any apples or oranges or tomatoes or cabbage, or anything to buy. She walked to the light, and there was a counter there. And behind the counter, there stood God. She could tell it was God because of the light, and because he had an apron on with a big G on it. Anyway, she placed her order, “I would like some perfect broccoli, and some perfect carrots, some perfect tomatoes and a perfect melon. Also, if you have perfect Brussels sprouts that would really be a miracle.” “Sorry,” God said, “I only sell seeds here.”

Actually, God doesn’t sell seeds, He gives seeds to us. The seeds are his Word in its many expressions. But we have to do something with this gift. It simply is not enough just to hear the Word of God. We have to let it grow within us to such and extent that we are covered in its foliage. It is simply not enough to go to Church. We have to be Church. It is not enough to read the Bible. We have to be People of the Word.

The Divine Sower is throwing seed. And not a few seeds. He is throwing out big huge handfuls. He is pouring out his Word upon us. We’ve got to do something more than just let the seed hit the ground. We’ve got to be good soil. We have to nourish the Word of God. We have to strengthen it. We have to let it take root and grow.

The Divine Sower is throwing seeds. He is begging us to let his Word take root. But how can it take root if instead of soil it is thrown into a cess pool? How can his Word grow when it is thrown into a society that condones immorality, even supports immorality, in the name of freedom and political correctness? The Word of God can’t grow in a cess pool. But it takes courage and suffering to stand up against a society that has placed marriage as the step that comes after living together. People don’t want to hear this. They mock us. They treat us with disgust and disdain. But the sufferings of this present life are nothing compared to the Glory that is to be revealed to us.

“Lord come and heal the pains of our lives, of our world” we pray. And He gives us what we need. He gives us His Word. But the Word is a seed. We have been given the Word of God. But the Word is a seed. What are we going to do with it? Today we pray for the courage to be good soil ■

[1] Many thanks to Fr. Pellegrino for share this story with me.
[2] Sunday 13th July, 2008, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. St Henry II. Readings: Isaiah 55:10-11. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest—Ps 64(65):10-14. Romans 8:18-23. Matthew 13:1-23.

Illustration: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Landscape with the Parable of the Sower (1557), Oil on panel, 70 x 102 cm, Timken Art Gallery ( San Diego). This panel is among the earliest signed paintings by Bruegel. In painting the peasant in the left-hand foreground, he was presumably thinking of the Parable of the Sower, who sows his seed on good soil and bad ground (Matthew 13).

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris