Reflection for the 15th Sunday of the Year

My dear Friends

How many times have we heard this incredibly beautiful gospel about the sower of the seeds?!  I can almost hear your thoughts: I know what he is going to say next…our words and actions are the seeds we plant, and then the fruit, or crop, we harvest!!!  Jesus does explain the parable to the disciples about what can block us from ‘receiving’ the Word of God – hearts which have become coarse and hardened, and lock out his love; ears that no longer ‘hear’ his voice, but have tuned into other, easier-to -listen-to, ‘stations’; and eyes which have been blinded by ego, greed and power. Welcome to the human condition!

However, Fr. Dennis Hamm, S.J., unfolds other facets for understanding the symbols of sower and seeds in this gospel: …There is reason to make seed serve as a double-duty symbol.  Indeed, Matthew, in the scene immediately preceding this parable's discourse, has provided an episode illustrating how a community of people is created by their response to the word of God (bolding of font, mine!).  When Jesus is told that his mother and brothers are standing outside asking to speak with him, Jesus stretches out his hand toward his disciples and says, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mt 12:49-50).

If I am not mistaken, the will of my heavenly Father is that we truly Love one another! Please bear with me patiently here, as I remind us that when Jesus speaks about ‘Love’ it has nothing to do with a warm, fuzzy sentiment! It is the AGAPE, the foundation, translation, interpretation, of our love for, and relationship with God, and others.  This is embodied in the ways in which we Care, Respect and are Just towards others…and I guess, ourselves, too!

One of the tragedies of a distorted, passionate love of God can be the ways in which, in our quest to embody his message, we can become ruthlessly hardened, deaf and blind to the foundational Agape of God’s Love! Globally and communally, this is experienced in the ‘atrocities committed in God’s name’.  A consuming passion for what one person perceives God wants, can result in the ‘other’ becoming mere collateral damage to this distorted quest.

I guess, today, we have to reflect on, not just the seeds we plant, but the care, respect and justice required in planting them.

Remember me as loving you,

Fr. Antony

The parish is part of the Diocese of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust registered charity 246871.

© 2019• Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton

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