The Word of God; Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Image: Sprouting seeds, Inuvik greenhouse
Isaiah 55.10-11 ~ Psalm 65 ~ Romans 8.18-23 ~ Matthew 13.1-23

Have you ever had a great idea hit you from out of the blue and you had no idea where it came from? Perhaps it was the solution to a difficult situation you had been grappling with for sometime. Maybe it was a creative idea for making something new like a song or a piece of art. Sometimes these ideas come to us while we are sleeping, sometimes while we are working away. The philosopher and scientist Archimedes had a famous scientific breakthrough while he was in the bathtub. Wherever it comes from we know that we cannot necessarily explain why those ideas came to us, we are just are grateful that we have received them and that we can move on to the next step of taking that idea and making it real in the world.

God’s Word is like a good idea that entered the world. It came first at the moment of creation. Everything that exists was brought into being by His Word. The animals on the land, the fish in the sea, even you and me, all made by God. God’s first words had to make something because there was no one else there to listen to him. When he made us he gave us ears and a mouth so that we could speak and listen to each other. He also gave us a spirit so that we could hear God’s voice and listen to His Word.

The first reading from the Prophet Isaiah speaks about God’s word being like rain that falls upon the earth. Like all rain it lands on everything but its effect is determined by where it lands. Rain that lands on an asphalt parking lot is quickly swept away into the storm drain and what is left dries up once the clouds break and the sun comes out. But rain that lands on a garden, freshly tilled and with seeds planted, has a completely different result. The moisture initiates something miraculous in that small seed and it begins to grow.

The same image carries forward in the gospel today with Jesus’ parable about the sower and the seed. Every seed has potential to bring forth something amazing but only those seeds which receive the proper bedding and the nutrition that is required will ever bear fruit.

Both of these images remind us that we must be open to hearing the Word of God. We do this by giving time in our day for prayer so that we can hear God’s voice. There is so much going on in our lives that we have to stop once in a while, step back and let God speak to us. Once we have taken time to listen we must then be ready to put God’s Word into action so that it will accomplish what God intended and not return to Him empty.

We may not have the kind of ideas that will change the world but God does give us the ability to change our lives and the lives of the people around us. Each of us has the potential of that seed laying within us that can bring goodness and light into the world. God’s Spirit and Grace is falling upon us like rain and we have the choice of whether we will watch it drain away or whether we will allow it to refresh our spirit so that God’s word can grow in us. Let us open our hearts to that Grace and do what that Grace
allows us to do.

If we listen to God’s voice and allow His Word to take root in us, it will grow and we will reap an amazing harvest. In the Psalm for today we read,

“The meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valley deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.”

This will be our life too if we let God’s Word guide us and nurture us. A joyful life full of abundance.