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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted 16 Jul 2017, 00:49 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London   [ updated 16 Jul 2017, 00:49 ]

Rich soil/poor soil?

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the crowds the parable of the seed and the sower – we know it so well: the sower comes out to sow and as he sows some seeds fall on the path, some on rocky ground, some among thorns and some finally on good soil. It is only these seeds on the good soil which bear fruit which lasts. The context for this parable is the rising opposition to Jesus’ mission. We might naturally ask ourselves: why did his mission of such obvious goodness run up against so much hostility? In spite of all Jesus’ miracles & why did so many people harden their hearts to his teaching and then reject him? A parable is a story for all times, so we should also ask: why, given that the teachings/ideals of Christianity offer so much good to society, do they seem to have so little influence on our increasingly secular and materialistic culture? The image of so much wasted seed is an answer to these questions. It is the hardness, the apathy, the sinfulness of our hearts which continue to reject God’s transforming love.

A parable is also a story which asks us to look at ourselves – what parallels do we find when we take the risk of reflecting on the fruitfulness of the “soil” of our own lives? That trampled path could represent a life which has become hardened by well-trodden, lifeless routine. All freshness and vitality have been drained out of the soil – perhaps this is a picture of how I am living my faith! Do I “attend Mass” out of a sense of duty or do I really come to church to “celebrate the Eucharist” with a grateful heart? The patches of rock with little soil where the seeds quickly die because there is no depth of earth – is my faith also rather shallow? Perhaps I make resolutions and begin well but as soon as any real commitment or sacrifice is called for, my enthusiasm quickly fades! The soil covered in thorns which choke any growth – is this because I don’t make any meaningful space/time in my life for God/prayer/the parish? Instead my heart is full of things which actually lead me away from God… Or is my life really open to God and hungry for him? Is the soil of my soul rich or poor?

With blessings & prayers from Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem & the parish team