homily – July 13

Matthew 13:1-23

I read a short reflection on today’s gospel. The author of this reflection thinks that many who read today’s gospel will try to figure out what kind of soil they are into which the seed, the word of God, the life of God has been sown. Do we see ourselves as people of superficial faith, with no depth, no convictions or are we so distracted with more important life issues that we call upon our faith only in times of troubles or crisis. Do we imagine ourselves as good soil in which the gift of faith takes roots and flourishes? The author of this reflection wisely cautions us, “don’t go there.” He claims if we do we’ll only end up in self-negativity and preoccupation. We’ll keep wondering ‘how am I doing?’ or well get into comparing our faith life with others we imagine to be of deeper faith and end up centering on our failings or weaknesses.

He maintains we should go to the Sower, the Rain-Sender and open our lives to the wonder and the mystery of God’s grace working in our lives in the simplest of ways, in the most mysterious of ways. He tells us, “Listen with the ears you have and see with the eyes you have and know that certainty and security are traps and lead only to yourself.” The life of God, our own personal relationship with God is established on the fidelity of God, a God Who has made promises God will keep. Our relationship with God is founded on a Love that will remain around and within us until what it was sent to do in me and you is accomplished.

We may be tempted to see only our faults and failing, we may be tempted to get into comparing ourselves with others and that is a waste of time. I remember a poster I saw years ago of a young boy – a bit of a ragamuffin – and the poster said, “be patient with me, God’s not finished with me yet.” God’s not finished with any of us yet. The seed of God’s life in each of us is growing in its own mysterious ways and we have to trust that truth. God’s work is not finished.

Going back to our first reading we can hear with new hearing the promise of our faithful God, “As the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return until they have watered the earth, making it spring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be, that goes out of my mouth, it shall not return to me empty but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and succeed in all the things for which I sent it.”

There is that quote from scripture, “God works in strange ways God’s wonders to perform.” This is true for all of us. We have to leave ourselves open to the mystery of God’s grace working in all of us – we don’t step out of ourselves and wonder “how am I doing?” In a way we are not the doers – we are a graced and gifted people – “before the world began God chose us in Christ”. As St. Paul knew “by God’s grace I am what I am and His grace has not been in vain”.

As we continue to celebrate this Eucharist, we can pray for ourselves and for each other that we make our own the prayer of the Church, “May God Who has begun this good work within us bring it to completion.”