Father Meade's Homily Notes
Weekend of July 12, 2020
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scripture for this weekend:
Isaiah 55:10-11 - The Word of God is like rain that makes the parched earth alive and bountiful!
Psalm 65:9-13 - The Lord's creative power is continually seen by his renewal of nature.
Romans 8:18-23 - St. Paul considers that all nature is to be managed by humans through our science, technologies, cultures, and arts . . . but, what if sinful people were renewed in Christ? Christians will release even the natural world from futility to become perfect for the free and creative use of Christ's servants. All such strivings will be like a foretaste of the glory that is to come when we are perfect in Jesus Christ.
Matthew 13:1-23 - The beginnings of the Parables of the Kingdom. Can we think like God? Can we imagine a different way of looking at things from a divine perspective? Jesus' parables of the Kingdom may be directed for getting us to think differently, to puzzle over things, and to reject facile answers. In today's parable, the Kingdom is not like the physical frustrations or success with the quality of the harvest. The precious Word is not merely meant to be understood as it is to be applied. Perhaps, the Kingdom is all about Jesus, the sower, who comes to us at various times in our life.
HOMILY REFLECTION: Why can't you just tell us the answers?
By this time in Matthew's Gospel, the apostles are viewing the reception of tepid acceptance and even hostile opposition to Jesus' teaching and healing ministry. Jesus responds to their concerns by launching his parable of the Kingdom.
You and I cannot fully comprehend and appropriate the supernatural because we are natural beings. At best, for spiritual matters (and candidly for most other things), we try to understand and share phenomenon by analogies. Jesus has an idea about our embracing and enacting God's will, which he calls the "Kingdom of Heaven, the Reign of God." We can only be a part of this kingdom, but how can we know our place in it, and how can we fulfill that station?
Jesus specifically tells the apostles that he is not making it easy for his hearers, auditors or apostles. An idea allegedly understood but not put into practice is perversion as much as ignorance. Information might make a person glib. Conversion manifests a life changed and empowered by God.
Jesus has to facilitate a heart transplant, even a brain transplant, from the natural to the supernatural, from human motives to divine grace. the parables are periscopes into God's perspective, giving a gracious view on life and living.
Jesus does not say that the Kingdom is about the successes or frustrations with whatever the harvest appears to be. The Kingdom of God is Jesus, himself, who sows his Word into our consciousness, our wills , our minds and hearts.
Your pastor thinks that there are times in our lives when we are eager, indifferent, preoccupied, and focused with determination. The Word of God penetrates us at different levels when we attend to it in the stages and places of our life's journey. Jesus is always making the invitation, and our recollection of responses is part of what makes us evermore grateful to a Savior who does not give up on us, even if he is not satisfied with who we might be now.
Although Jesus is always somewhat beyond our reach, he is often uncomfortably close in holding out a more beautiful way to replace the natural dissatisfaction we feel with our efforts and accomplishments for ourselves.
"Thy will be done, not as I would have it," is the cross and crown that one says, united with Jesus, to become alive in his kingdom.