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15th Sunday A

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Dearly Beloved Brothers & Sisters,


Let us allow the WORD of GOD to Grow in our Hearts and in the Hearts of All.


From the Heart,
Fr. Heart, SVD

Published in: Spiritual
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15th Sunday A

  1. 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time A 16 July 2017 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 1st reading: Isaiah 55:10-11  10 Thus says the Lord: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, 11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it. The focus is on the Word of God.
  3. 3. 1st reading: Isaiah 55:10-11  10 Thus says the Lord: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, 11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it. Commentary  Vv.10-11 form one long sentence.  V.10 is the subordinate clause.  V.11 is the main clause, whose subject is “my word,” which is the Word of God.  The Word of God is compared to the rain and snow.  Both the Word of God and the rain/snow come down from heaven.  Both will return to God only when they have accomplished their mission.  The rain and the snow come down to water the ground, making it fertile, giving seed and bread to the farmer and consumers.  The Word of God come to make us bear fruit so that we may give life to others.
  4. 4. Reflections on the 1st reading  The Word of God is effective.  Its mission is to nurture us.  We must allow ourselves to be nurtured by the Word of God.  It will change us. It will satisfy us. It will make us productive.  If you are not contributing anything to your family, to the church and to the world, examine your life if it is worth living.  Parasitical life is not worth living.  Surrender to the Word of God.
  5. 5. Resp. Ps. 65:10-11, 12-13, 14  R. (Lk 8:8) The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.  10 You have visited the land and watered it; greatly have you enriched it. 11 God’s watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain.  12 Thus have you prepared the land: drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods, Softening it with showers, blessing its yield.  13 You have crowned the year with your bounty, and your paths overflow with a rich harvest; The untilled meadows overflow with it, and rejoicing clothes the hills.  14 The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. They shout and sing for joy.
  6. 6. Resp. Ps. 65:10-11, 12-13, 14  R. (Lk 8:8) The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.  10 You have visited the land and watered it; greatly have you enriched it. 11 God’s watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain.  12 Thus have you prepared the land: drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods, Softening it with showers, blessing its yield.  13 You have crowned the year with your bounty, and your paths overflow with a rich harvest; The untilled meadows overflow with it, and rejoicing clothes the hills.  14 The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. They shout and sing for joy. Commentary  The psalm describes the condition of ancient Israel: agricultural.  Vv.10-11 indicate God’s actions on the land:  Visited, watered, enriched, filled  Prepared the grain.  V.12 indicates further God’s actions on the land:  Drenching…, breaking up… softening  Blessing…  V.13 speaks of rich harvest that gives joy.  V.14 talks about flocks and valleys filled with grain.  The result:  Animals and valleys (land) sing for joy.
  7. 7. Reflections on the Psalm  God is a good farmer and provider.  He takes care of all his creation.  Do you believe that God is such?  Can you appropriate the Psalm as your own?
  8. 8. 2nd reading: Romans 8:18-23  18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. 19 For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; 20 for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; 23 and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. The focus is on the revelation of God’s children.
  9. 9. 2nd reading: Romans 8:18-23 Glory to be revealed  18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. Creation awaiting  19 For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; 20 for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. Creation groaning  22 We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; 23 and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. A simple outline!
  10. 10. 2nd reading: Romans 8:18-23 Glory to be revealed  18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. Creation awaiting  19 For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; 20 for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. Creation groaning  22 We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; 23 and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Commentary  In v.18, Paul anticipates the glory that is to be revealed.  Our sufferings (put together) are nothing compared with the glory to come.  V.19 specifies who is awaiting and what is awaited.  Creation eagerly awaits this revelation.  Vv.20-21 form a parenthesis, but contain the content of the revelation.  Here, creation was made useless, but it would be freed from slavery and corruption and would live in freedom as children of God, through Jesus.
  11. 11. 2nd reading: Romans 8:18-23 Glory to be revealed  18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. Creation awaiting (freedom)  19 For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; 20 for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. Creation groaning (adoption)  22 We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; 23 and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.  In v.22, creation groans in pain (as it awaits the revelation).  V.23 indicates that we, Christians, also groan quietly, waiting for adoption (redemption).
  12. 12. Reflections on the 2nd reading  Christian life is a life of waiting.  We await a known future.  The known future is our redemption.  In the meantime, we suffer, creation groans, we groan, but “it is nothing compared with the glory to come.”  We must be patient.  Are you patient?
  13. 13. Gospel reading: Matthew 13:1-9 Setting by the sea  1 On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. Parable of the Sower  3 And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, 6 and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. 7 Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. 8 But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. A follow-up saying  9 Whoever has ears ought to hear." A simple outline!
  14. 14. Gospel reading: Matthew 13:1-9 Setting by the sea  1 On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. Parable of the Sower  3 And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, 6 and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. 7 Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. 8 But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. A follow-up saying  9 Whoever has ears ought to hear." Commentary  Vv.1-2 observe Jesus sitting down by the sea, and on a boat. The rabbis sit down as they teach.  In contrast, the people were standing up.  Vv.3-8 are about the parable of the sower.  This is the first of the parables in Matthew 13.  V.3 states the first line from where we obtain the title of the parable.  There are four kinds of grounds on which the seed is sown:  First, along a path (exposed to birds), v.4  Second, on a rocky ground (little soil), vv.5-6  Third,among thorns (thorns choked it), v.7  Fourth, on a rich soil (fruits, 100, 60 or 30 fold). V.8  Only on rich soil does the seed grow and bear fruit.  V.9 states the morale of the story.  All who have ears are obliged to hear and to learn, otherwise, they are ‘inutile’.
  15. 15. Reflections on the gospel reading  The gospel is about giving importance to the Word of God.  The Word of God prospers only on good soil.  We ask, “are we the good soil?”  We make ourselves the good soil, through hard work, through conversion.  Conversion is a lifelong process. That’s why, we need to listen always to the word of God, for instruction.  Through us, the Word of God bears fruit abundantly.  Do not let the Word of God fall on deaf ears.
  16. 16. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm  The first reading talks about the efficacious and efficient Word of God.  The psalm talks about God as a good provider.  The second reading talks about our destiny. (through the Words of the earlier missionaries and Paul)  The gospel reading talks about the Word of God sown on good people, who will produce much fruit.
  17. 17. How to develop your homily / sharing  Do you pay attention to the Word of God?  Is there a change in you after having encountered the Word of God in the liturgy and in your private reading?  How do we best receive God’s Word?
  18. 18. `  The gospel reading tells us how to receive the Word of God.  The Word of God does not grow if the soil is not well prepared.  We, humans, must be well prepared to receive the seed (Word of God) so that once it is sown, it will grow and bear fruit.  To be receptive to the Word of God, we must do a lot of work to change ourselves.
  19. 19.  We must remove sin (materialism, too much distraction, not seriously committed) from our hearts.  They impede the growth of God’s Word in us.
  20. 20.  The first reading tells us that it is God who sends the Word of God to all of us, humans.  That we may become productive.  It is compared to the rain that falls and nurtures the earth before it goes back to the sky.  Christians are supposed to be nurtured by the Word of God.  The Word of God does not go back to God until it is able to accomplish its mission of forming us.  Let us not delay the return of the Word to God, by our inattentiveness, by our negligence and by our disobedience.
  21. 21.  The second reading develops the theme of the fruit of the Word of God sown to Christians, who respond to it generously.  The fruit is the ability to suffer and to embrace that suffering as a transition to the promised glory (paschal mystery).  Are you willing to sacrifice for the Lord and embrace sufferings, when given tasks and mission in your church and community?
  22. 22.  The Word of God must be fostered in our communities and churches.  Our churches must become fertile ground for evangelization.  If we, Christians, are not growing in love and in the knowledge of God in our communities because the Word of God is not properly preached to us, we better shut our churches down.  Too much expense for nothing.
  23. 23.  We, Christians, have the right to demand to be evangelized.  The main job of the pastor is to evangelize, to sow the Word of God.  We do not allow ourselves to be led in the church by people, who are not evangelized, and have no interest in the Word of God, who do not attend Bible Studies/Sharing.
  24. 24.  The reception of the eucharist, the body and blood of Christ, is a manifestation of our acceptance of the Word of God.  The eucharist, like the Word of God, nurtures the spirit of every Christian who receives it.  The eucharist is for those who spread the Word of God.
  25. 25. Our Context of Sin and Grace  No time for Bible Study/Sharing  Tele-evangelists  No respect for the Word of God  Fundamentalist interpretation  Misinterpretation  Overinterpretation  Fear of the Bible  Training of lectors, commentators and ordained preachers  Evangelization  Re-evangelization  New Evangelization  Renewed Integral evangelization  Word of God sown anew on the young generation through modern media.  Conversion through God’s Word
  26. 26. Suggested Songs  The Heavens are Telling  I Love You All  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxaP-9mLXCE
  27. 27.  "Lord Jesus, faith in your word is the way to wisdom, and to ponder your divine plan is to grow in the truth. Open my eyes to your deeds, and my ears to the sound of your call, that I may understand your will for my life and live according to it".

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