Sunday July 12, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are now four weeks into the “Ordinary Sundays” of the Church year, after the long seasons of Lent and Easter and two Sundays of celebrating Solemnities of the Lord, the “Most Holy Trinity” and “Corpus Christi.” As we strive to live our Christian lives, every year, during the summer months, the Gospels give us lessons to help us live our lives with greater intent on being disciples of Jesus. So that we can persevere and survive these troubling times in our society we are being given a look at what it means to be disciples and to actually measure true growth in our everyday lives.
Recall, back on June 21st, the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time, “Jesus said to the Twelve,” and as the baptized, he says to us today, “Fear no one… What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul… So do not be afraid. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.” Then on June 28th, the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, “Jesus said to his apostles:” and as the baptized, he says to us today, “Whoever loves father or mother… son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.”
The way in which we receive His messengers we will receive the reward of a person who receives Jesus Himself. If we are to live out these instructions of Jesus, it will take deliberate steps. We must be willing to learn what Jesus teaches so we can be worthy of Him. To live these directives out, it may very well mean that we go against the grain and it may cause us to thrash against and try to pull away from our teacher, Jesus, and our mother, the Church. This is why last Sunday, July 5th, Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” To the degree that we carry all this out, will determine how deep the roots of our faith go, and how strong and filled with life our faith we will become. Jesus concludes today’s Gospel for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time saying, “But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”