Summary: We need to pay attention to the condition of our soil, but we also need to spend time daily preparing and sowing.

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Fifteenth Sunday in Course 2014

Seed, Soil, Sower, Rain

Today’s OT reading went by so fast that you might forget its importance. That’s not the lector’s fault: the Church gives us only two verses. Let’s listen to the Word of God in the longer version beginning four verses earlier: “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

We should rejoice that God is not like us, for even though God made us in His image and likeness, Genesis tells us that soon after humans became human, we set about remaking ourselves not in God’s image and likeness. We decided that we know better than God how to be happy and fulfilled. The reality is this: God is love, and made us to be lovers. We have totally messed up our understanding of that reality. What it means that God is love is this: God is so focused on the subject of His love, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus, and the Son is so focused on the Father that their mutual love is a person, the Holy Spirit. And God’s love is so rich, so overflowing, that this love issues forth in creation, in new spirits and new bodies that make up the heavens and the earth. God is entirely other-focused, other-caring, other-indulgent. God, in love, made us to be like that.

After the original revolution, the rebellion of Adam and Eve, humans–you and I–are prone to be self-focused, self-caring, self-indulgent. The temptation is to believe that life is a zero-sum game, that anything we give reduces us, impoverishes us. We think that if we write a big check to the church or to a Catholic charity that we have lost, that we have gained nothing. We think that if we spend time calling on the residents of a long-term care facility that we are losing that time. We believe that if we share our faith with a friend or even an inquiring co-worker, we’ll be considered losers. The reality is this–everything we give comes back to us, in the words of the Gospel, thirty or sixty or even a hundredfold. The money may not come back as cash, but rather as strengthened Catholic institutions. The time and trouble may bear fruit as souls in heaven, souls who otherwise would have been lost for eternity. If you hoard up your gifts, your treasure, you will be poorer for it.

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