Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Announcements from our bulletin of July 12, 2020

Nature's Beauty

Our responsorial psalm today is a beautiful song of the joy of the Earth, putting forth its bounty and rejoicing in its fruitfulness. We are filled with joy when we see images of the earth blooming. So many people describe their experience of God's presence in their appreciation of nature's beauty. This alone is good reason to protect the beauty and wholeness of nature. "You have visited the land and watered it, / greatly have you enriched it. / God's watercourses are filled; / you have prepared the grain" (Psalm 65:10). Sadly, we do many things to destroy nature, even though it belongs ultimately to God and to all people: "[A]II creation is groaning in labor pains even until now" (Romans 8:22).

You have Crowned the year with your Bounty

"My word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11). Nature and people rejoice at these words, for they not only describe the beauty and fruitfulness of nature's gifts, which "shout and sing for joy" (Psalm 65:14), but profess a profound truth. This truth is that God's word is living and effective; that is, it accomplishes what it says. When God speaks a word of comfort or correction, what is said is done in its fullness.

The Sower Sows the Seed

Haven't we all wondered sometimes which kind of ground we are as the seed falls? Do we spring up with joy, but then whither because the word has not taken root in us? Are we so tied up in worry and concern for material wellbeing that the word is choked off in us with cares? Or are we the rich soil on which the word of God falls, bearing rich fruit in our lives and making the lives of others better? We are probably all of these at one time or another in our lives. As we concern ourselves with these thoughts, we can hope that we are or are becoming the rich soil of open souls, open to God's effective word in us. If we are devoted to God, we ask God for help to be the souls who are receptive to God's word every day.

There are those who "shall indeed hear but not understand . . . look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people" (Matthew 13:14-15). They shall not be converted and healed. But those who concern themselves with the things of God "see what you see" and "hear what you hear" (Matthew 13:16) and rejoice in God's wonderful gifts on this Earth. Blessed are those who are the good soil who hear the word of God and keep it.

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In the year 18884, the National Collection for the Black and Indian Mission began, and has served the Church ever since. Last year the Collection assisted tremendously in promoting evangelization with the Black and Native American communities. Each year by contributing to the Collection there is a real opportunity for Catholics to participate in evangelization programs.

Please be as generous as possible to this collection.

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” The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold” (Matthew 13:22-23)

Are we so caught up in our worldly activities that we have no time for God? Does the lure of riches and materialism choke God out of our lives? Do we put into practice what we learn on Sunday in our everyday lives? Stewardship is a lifestyle to be lived every day. It affects all decisions that we make, it builds a solid base of fertile soil so we, too, can bear fruit and grow.

Each day we are bombarded with thousands of words. From the moment our clock radios click on in the morning, until the last moment of the day when the television is turned off or someone bids us “good-night,” our life is filled with words. Some words that we hear bring news that leaves us feeling low. Some words lift our spirits. Many of the words we hear are trying to get us to buy something.

Some words are hurtful. Today the Church focuses our attention on hearing the word of God. Are God's words just more of the same - part of the endless stream of words that flow into our ears each day? The challenge today is to allow God's word to inspire us in new ways so that our outlook and attitudes align themselves more closely with the heart and mind of Christ Jesus.