Sunday, July 10, 2011

Homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Parable of the Sower by Miki Goodaboom

A sower went out to sow...
(Scriptures for today's liturgy)

Audio for homily


Oh, the power that words have in our lives!

Our whole lives can be radically changed, in an instant,
by a word we hear.

Words like:

“I love you.”
“The news isn’t good.”
“I forgive you.”
"Will you marry me?"
“You’re safe now.”
“You got the job.”
“You’re pregnant.” 
"I have good news."
“I’m sorry.”
"Are you ok?"'
"Just go away."
"Can I help you?"
"I want a divorce." 
“You’re beautiful.”
“It’s cancer.”
“I will."
“I won’t.”
“I did."
“I didn’t.”
“Can we talk?”
“I need you.”
“Yes.”
“No.”
“Good-bye.”

None of those phrases was more than four words in length
but each of them can make a lifetime of difference.

Perhaps the only thing more powerful than the words we hear
is their absence…  silence…
especially that silence
in which we wait and hunger and hope
for a word to be spoken.

God knows so well how important and powerful
are words in our lives.
And so God spoke his Word to us in Jesus,
Jesus is God's Word become flesh.
Jesus is the Word of God.

This parable of the sower and the seed
is all about hearing and rooting one’s life in the power of God’s Word,
and of allowing the seed of God’s Word to root and flourish in our lives.

In so many ways, our culture persuades us
to honor personal autonomy above all;
to disallow another’s word any authority over our lives;
to live and choose first by the measure of our own standards,
our own word.

But believers listen for another Word
and seek to live by it.

They live by the Word of  God.

Are we believers?  Are you?  Am I?

Do I listen for God’s Word?

Do I believe God speaks to me? to his people, through the Church?

Do I want to hear what God is saying to me?

Do I make time in my own prayer and at Mass
to hear and understand what God’s Word is speaking to me?

Do I invite the seeds of God’s Word to take root in my heart?
Am I careful to weed and prune the garden of my life
lest the seeds of God’s Word be choked or carried away
by my own desires and distractions, by my own word?

Do I hope for a fruitful harvest of God’s Word in my life?

I began with a number of powerful words that might change our lives,
words we speak to each other.
But every word God speaks to us is even more powerful
and it might be helpful to remember some of God’s words to us:

“I created you.”
“I love you.”
“I call you by name.” 
“You are mine.”
“I am yours.”
“I forgive you.”
"Come to me."
“Be not afraid.”
“Do what is good.”
“Follow me."
"I will give you rest."
“Yes.”
“No.”
“Not yet.”
“I am with you, always.”

God has spoken all of those words
in the lives of all of us here
and God is faithful to every Word that comes from his lips.

The Lord has spoken to us today in the Word of the scriptures
and now we go to the altar of sacrifice,
to remember the words he spoke to us
on the night before he died.

His words have power, to this very day,
to change our simple gifts of bread and wine
and make of them his Body and Blood.

And his words have power, to this very day,
to change us, to change our lives
and to make of them a rich harvest
of the truth he has sown within us and among us.


 
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1 comment:

Cheryl Ann Flynn said...

Words are powerful to the listener. So, it's important to think and choose words carefully. Non-verbal language matters. Sometimes it might even be good to write the words down first. It's important to empower others with the right words. I like the song by John Meyer, "Say What You Need to Say." Sometimes families become so used to living with each other that its individual members take each other for granted and forget to say the things that really matter. A few words can change a life.