Homily :: July 16, 2017
07/16/17: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
07/16/17: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr Dave Reeson
(6:36, 6.05 MB)
07/16/17: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr Dennis Hanneman
(6:57, 6.37 MB)
One of the overriding themes of today’s three readings is the transformation of all of creation by the creative power of the word of God.
Isaiah is one of the more complex prophets because scholars have determined that it was written in 3 parts. Today’s selection comes from the end of part two, and is a call to the people to hear the word of God and be renewed by it. Calling on an image from nature of rain and snow nurturing the soil, the prophet assures all that God’s word will have a similar effect on their lives if they are open to the message.
Writing to the Romans, Paul calls forth the image of a “groaning creation” ready to be transformed in Christ. Composed at least 20 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, he is writing to a community that was still waiting for Jesus to return in glory, and he urged the people to be ready and open to more transformation even if they have received the “first fruits” of the spirit. There was more “life” to come which would be the redemption of their bodies. He emphasizes that “all of creation” will be transformed at the end of time.
The parable of the sower, itself speaks of the challenges to preaching the word of God. It uses an image common to the time in which the seed would be sown before the ground was ploughed, thus some seed was always wasted on soil unsuitable for growing crops. The interpretation given by the evangelist to the parable points to the difficulty that would be (was being) encountered in proclaiming the word of God, especially, the word of God as it was known and preached by Jesus and carried forth by the apostles and community. Certainly, not everyone would listen to the message and put it into practice, yet, the apostles were told not to lose heart. Promise of the Word’s efficacy is emphasized from Isaiah, that the Word of God will be transformative just like the rain and snow make the earth hospitable to the crops of the field.
By Dale J. Sieverding © 2008, OCP. All rights reserved.