Today is the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: This Sunday we begin a whole series of gospels that present us with one after another of Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of God. Parables take every day familiar things and situations and weave them into a story that teaches us something. Scholars tell us that Matthew’s Gospel is structured around five major sermons. Chapter 13 is the third such sermon and is structurally the centrepiece of Matthew’s Gospel and thus it is the core of Jesus’ teaching. This chapter contains seven parables, namely – the sower, the weeds among the wheat, the mustard seed, the leaven, the treasure found in the field, the pearl and the dragnet. One of the big urgent questions that the early Christians asked themselves concerned the Jewish people’s lack of faith in what they said about Jesus. The Gospel today (Matthew 13:1-23) goes some way in trying to answer that question. The sower scatters the seed and much is lost for one reason or another. Similarly, many are like the person on the pathway, the word cannot reach them, it is swiped away. Or many prove to be shallow – ready enough to receive, but they do not persist. Many are like the seed under the thorns: – they hear, but the word fights a losing battle against cares and distractions. The shallow mind, the wayward heart, worldly preoccupations, persecutions – all these are the obstacles which frustrate the growth of faith. However when the seed (word) and the soil come together effectively the result is an abundance of growth – an excellent harvest takes place beyond all imagining. “A legend tells the story how at the beginning of time, God resolved to hide himself within creation. One of the angels said; “Hide yourself deep in the earth.” God said “No. It will not be long before they learn how to mine the earth and discover all the treasures they contain. They will discover me too quickly and they will not have had enough time to do their growing” Another angel said: Why don’t you hide in the moon? God said: “No human kind will learn to fly through space. They will arrive on the moon and discover it’s secrets and they will discover me too soon before they had enough time to their growing”. There was silence. Where was God to hide himself? And one little angel piped up and said: “I know, why don’t you hide yourself within their own hearts? They will never think of looking there!”
“That’s it” said God, delighted to have found the perfect hiding place. And so it is that God hides secretly deeply within the heart of every one of God’s creatures, until that creature has grown enough in spirit and in understanding to risk the great journey into the secret core of its own being. And there the creature discovers its creator and is re-joined to God for all eternity” (Wisdom Stories by Margaret Silf (p32) Lion Book 2003)
Feasts of the Week: Saturday: St. Mary Magdalene. The “Apostle to the Apostles”. She stood at the foot of the Cross of Jesus; with two other women she discovered the empty tomb; she was granted an appearance of the Risen Lord.
Thanks for the collection last week. It came to £1850. Thank you for your generosity. Thanks also to our Readers, Singers, Ministers of the Eucharist and Ushers all who help in our weekend liturgies.
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