Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Gospel Reflection, Cover Art, Prayers of the Faithful

July 12, 2020 bulletin cover

Please read complete bulletin, click here

 

Bulletin Column

Dear Followers of Jesus,

When I was in 8th Grade, I filled out an aptitude test. When I received the results, a graph showed my expertise as well as my low scoring. Only one subject was scored in 80-90 percentile. Everything else was in the 20-30 range. So, the one area that was my highest score was, “Agriculture.”

I am not sure if I missed my real vocation. But I do know that I enjoy watching things grow, including faith in people’s hearts. This is where today’s gospel comes in, Matthew 13:1-23.

We all know the expression, “You reap what you sow.” In other words, we get out of life what we put into it. If we offer love and peace to others, those gifts will eventually come back to us. If we perceive the world with violence and hatred and aggression, we shall receive those things bountifully.

Before we give something, we need to receive something from God. I do believe that we will never offer people genuine love, authentic hope or real understanding and kindness, unless we come to terms with God who heals us and forgives us. We have to deal with our resentments, our fears and our losses and even our bigotry before we can offer people a bountiful moment of love and tenderness.

God desires to offer us what we need. The Word of God is housed deep within our hearts and lives. I believe God alone softens the hardened heart. If we can allow our bitterness to be open to new possibilities, the seed of God’s love will take root within us.

During our lockdowns these past months, we had an opportunity to come face to face with our own lives. If we had the courage to move beyond our fears, we could see how God is inviting us to live differently. A softened heart can become the rich soil where love and tenderness can grow and develop.

We continue to reap huge divides in our Church, our society and even in our households. We need to do things differently to get different results. If we keep doing what we have always done, the results will be the same. So now is the time to plant hope in God in the very soil of our daily lives.

In fact, the issue of racial divides is just one example of how we need God to help us. Faith is not just a pious moment in the church sanctuary, it is a tool to change the world. I realize that many folks will never look under their own feet to see the life that they have planted. They will only see the green lawn of the neighbor and always remain jealous. Today, more than ever, we need to plant hope so deeply that when it sprouts, we will be surprised and filled with joy.

As we look out into the field of the future, what do we see? I know many folks around the country only see fear, not only in the distance, but also right here under our feet. If we can cultivate faith rather than fear, love rather than hate, community rather than personal entitlement, we may face the future with hope for others.

I am not sure how we are going to look up from our fear at the parish. I am not sure about how to serve people in these times. We are working on those issues. There is a long way to go walking in this forest of COVID-19. Right now, we may not see the forest for the trees. However, eventually, new things will grow, change, and become known to us. In the meantime, we need faith, love and hope planted deeply into our hearts for God to reveal to us something new, different and flourishing.

But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.

 God give you peace,

Fr. Ron

 

Prayers of the Faithful

Let us pray for all faith leaders, may they sow seeds of God’s word far and wide.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for all who struggle in these COVID-19 months, may we be attentive to people who are isolated, alone, and afraid.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for farmers throughout the world, may God produce bounty in every land and nation to nourish all people.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the ill of our parish communities, may God protect our loved ones and give them courage.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for those who will go to bed hungry this night, may we learn to nourish the needs of our sisters and brothers.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our loved ones who have died and for all who grieve, may God give them home in the Kingdom of Heaven. In this Mass we pray for…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Gospel Reflection, Cover Art, Prayers of the Faithful

  1. Our world was brought to a halt. God help us to look into our hearts and help us find your Love, Hope and Peace. May we come to know You are always with us ready to forgive and reach out Your Hand to lift us up and Heal us. Thank you Father Ron for teaching us the Love of God. One day may we look back on this time and be thankful that it helped us to change and find God in Love , Peace and Hope. God be with us today and all days.

  2. It is an honest man who can admit to not having all the answers or even attempting to offer platitudes. In my lifetime, I have had heard many. They didn’t help me then and they don’t help now. God has allowed an opportunity for all to grow. I am using my time to pray for the pope, bishops and priests. They need support in this divisive climate. No human person has an answer or a strategy to end the suffering of our times. I will not waste my time complaining about what life was like in the past or waxing poetic on the future. Prayer is something I can do now. The benefits, like seeds sown in spring, may reap rewards, I don’t know; but like the experienced farmer, I believe.

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