Homily for July 16

Image source

Homily for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scriptures for today's Mass)

Audio for homily

Consider the power that simple words have in our lives!
Our whole lives can be radically changed, in an instant,
by the words 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.”
“I’m gay.”
“You’re pregnant.” 
"I have good news.”    “I have bad news.”
“I’m sorry.”
"Are you ok?"'
"Just go away."
"Let me help you."
 “She’s gone.  He’s gone.”
“It’s a boy.”   “It’s a girl.”  “It’s twins.”
"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.”
“Not now, not yet.”

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 the Word  of God 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 take root and flourish in our lives.

Believers listen for God’s Word and seek to live by it.
So the question the parable poses for us is:
Are we believers? 
Are you?  Am I?

Do I believe in the word of God?
Do I listen for God’s word?
Do I believe God speaks to me?
Do I believe God speaks to his people through the Church?
Do I believe that people in my life who truly love me and care about me
speak God’s word to me?

And when God seems to be silent, do I wait?
do I wait to hear God’s voice, God’s word?
Do I want to hear the word God speaks to me?
Do I invite the seed 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, do I pray for, do I look 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.
Every word God speaks to us is even more powerful
and it might be helpful to remember some of the words
that God speaks to every single one of us, words like:

“I created you.”
“I love you.”
“I call you by name.” 
“You are mine.”
“I am yours.”
“I desire your happiness.”
“I forgive you.”
"Come to me."
“Don’t be afraid.”
“Do what’s good.”
“Love what is just.”
“Follow me."
"I will give you rest."
“Not now.  Not yet.”
“I am with you, always.”

God speaks all of these words in the lives of all of us here
and God is faithful to every Word that comes from his lips.
Remember the Lord’s word in the first scripture this morning:
The word that goes forth from my mouth
shall not return to me void - but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it…
God’s word is effective: but often on God’s schedule, not ours.

And God calls us, God calls each of us
to be ever so careful and gentle and strong and compelling
in the words we speak to one another,
mindful of how powerful
can be the words that spill from our mouths,
from your and from mine

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

To this very day, some 2,000 years later,
the words of Jesus have power
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 us a rich harvest
of the truth of the word he has planted
within us and among us.

Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!