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  • Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

Good Soil Grows Good Seed

For Sunday, July 12, 2020 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

On this Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time in today’s Gospel from Matthew, our Lord shares the Parable of the Sower who scatters seed on many kinds of land. This is a wonderful analogy for our walk as a Catholic Christian, demonstrating the slow and steady, yet powerful effect this lifestyle will have on those who fully embrace it.

In this parable, some of the seeds land on a path where birds carry them off before they can begin to take root. Other seeds land on rocky ground with little soil. As soon as things begin to heat up, they get scorched and die. Then there are seeds that land on soil cluttered with thorns which choke the seeds just as they are beginning to grow strong.

Finally, there are seeds that land on deep and healthy soil. These seeds produce abundant fruit.

As modern-day missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to give the best of our time, talent and treasure in service to God and to one others. In doing so, we create lives filled with that rare “good soil” needed for the Kingdom of God to thrive.

Christians are called to remove the “rocks” of narcissism and mistrust from our lives as we develop an unshakable faith knowing that God will always provide for our needs. We are called to clear away the “thorns” of worldly ambition that make us self-centered, fill us with needless anxiety and stifle our focus on God. We are invited instead to embrace a deep reliance on the Word of God and the sacraments which continuously nourish and fertilize the soil of our lives.

If we have not already done so, we can deepen our commitment to a Christ-centered way of life, allowing the Sower to do His work in our hearts and lives, slowly and steadily. The Master Gardner will surely produce miraculous fruits through us if we only invite him in.

Recently, “Catholic World Report” interviewed Father Tim Peters on the importance of reading the Bible. Father Tim is our weekend priest at Saint Joachim and also a Seminary Professor at Saint John Seminary in Camarillo. The interview can be accessed online at https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/07/02/catholics-start-reading-the-bible-an-interview-with-fr-timothy-peters/. As Father Tim says in the article, quoting Saint Jerome: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Father Tim also leaves this week for a few weeks of needed vacation and so pray for him while he is away for a little rest and relaxation. Father Tim will return to Saint Joachim on August 4th.

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