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Jul 15, 2017 Written by  Rev. Fr. Paulino Twesigye Mondo

15th Sunday of ordinary time year A Be the first to comment!

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Theme:  Powerful word

When a word is spoken it is more than the articulation of an idea; words are dynamic entities pressing onward toward realization in time and space. Once uttered, they can not be revoked; the effectiveness of human words of blessing or cursing can persist and extend beyond the moment of their utterance cf. Genesis 27. More potent than human word is the word of God. In the Bible God’s word is communicated in three ways, as prophecy, as law and as a creative utterance. When God put his word into the mouth of a prophet or commissions someone to speak to the people, that person is assured that his/her ministry will not be in vain. When Samuel was called by God to prophetic service he “grew up and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect” 1 Samuel 3:19. If we want to progress, the word of God has to find proper space in our lives.

First reading: Isaiah 55:10-11

Despite their best efforts at parenting and their good intentions, many parents will probably, at one time or another, become reluctant participants in a conversation which unfolds like this: Parent (speaking to child): It’s time to get ready for bed. Child: But, why? I haven’t finished my game. Parent: It’s late and you will have to get up early for school tomorrow. Child: But, why? I am not tired. Parent: But you will be in the morning and you know how difficult it is to wake up when you haven’t had enough rest. Child: But I don’t want to go to bed. May I stay up another half hour? Parent: No, it’s really time for bed now. Child: But why? Parent: . . . Because I said so! Usually, there is compliance at this point in the dialog, not because the child has no further objections or questions but because of his/her acceptance of the parent’s authoritative word. When Isaiah wished to assure his community that God was mindful of their situation and would act on their behalf, he reminded them, through both oracles and visions of hope, that all would be well because God had said so!

Prophet Isaiah declared to his exiled companions in Babylon that “the word of our God stands forever!” Isaiah 40:8. In today’s reading he utters these amazing words that consolidate his entire message on the effectiveness of God’s word. If God had said so, so it would be, just as surely as the falling rain and snow make a visible difference in the world of nature. God’s saving word make a difference in the lives of his people. Like his prophetic colleagues, Isaiah had interpreted the years of their displacement in Babylon as deserved discipline for sins against Yahweh, the law, the covenant and their shared faith traditions. In comforting his people with the idea of returning to Israel, Isaiah counseled that their homecoming should be a comprehensive one; Israel was called to return not only to its allotted territory on earth, but  to God, to the law, to the covenant and to a renewed commitment of their shared faith. In looking back at Israel’s history through the perspective of the Christ-event, it is clear that divine pronouncement described by Prophet Isaiah reached its climax in Jesus Christ. The word who was with God in the beginning, and who is God, was spoken into human flesh cf. John 1:1-5, he did not return to God before accomplishing the end for which he was sent to do.

Second reading: Romans 8:18-23

Chapter eight is the most important of Paul’s letter to the Romans because of its pedagogy concerning the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian. In both literary and theological sense, Paul put forward the fruits afforded to us through the Spirit. These gifts allow us to experience happiness as it was originally intended by God. There are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. The gifts of the Holy Spirit come to us from the heart of God; we cannot grab or buy them: Love: is the genuine self-sacrifice that is beyond pleasure.  Love is kind, patient and never keeps record of wrongs. Love is always ready to serve. Joy: is a deep, long-lasting, inner delight in the knowledge that God is with us. It assists us to live in our hearts and not in our heads. Peace: results from the experience of our closeness to God even in the midst of tribulations. It is an inner tranquility in the midst of severe trials. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of God. Patience: is to accept that God operates on His own timetable, not ours. Patience protects us from not suffering because of the decisions of others. Their choices may hurt us but with patience we overcome and regain our serenity.

Kindness: is the gift that builds up relationships by acts of caring for others. Kindness builds up rather than tear down. It seeks the well-being and selfless good for them. Goodness: This gift is a sibling of decency. It seeks the higher rather than the lower values for self and others. It upholds honor and respect. It points to truth. It shuns all that is base. It respects the dignity of all human beings, even when they are not worthy of respect.

Faithfulness: This is the gift that maintains commitments. In this era and time of hypocrisy faithfulness stands firm. It does not give up too easily and too quickly. A person gifted with faithfulness is steadfast particularly in times of difficulty and trial. Dependability, loyalty and stability are the result of God’s graces that are well received within us. Gentleness: This is a gift built upon self-control. It is manifested in the way we treat others, particularly those who may be unbearable and obnoxious. Gentleness is a healing touch that is Christ-like and powerfully redemptive. It is calm, tranquil and balanced. Self-control: is a gift that frees us from the tendency of being ruled by our feelings. Often we make decisions based on our feelings, decisions that we later regret. Feelings are good, but we ought not to be governed by them. Self-control assists us to base our decisions on our convictions. In the opening verse of this reading, Paul seeks to reassure his audience that their present sufferings, difficult though they may be, are nothing in contrast to the joy that awaits them in heaven.

Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23

Today’s gospel with its three distinct sections offers us the basic level of the development of the oral gospel dating back to Jesus time. The basic parable is addressed to the crowds who stood on the lakeshore. As in any crowd, those gathered were no doubt a diverse sampling of all various peoples with differing personalities, attitudes, background and degrees of openness to what they were hearing. To teach them, Jesus borrowed an image from common agricultural life; unlike other parts of the world, farmers in ancient Israel sowed their seed before plowing. The farmer in this parable was not being careless or lax; he fully intended to plow the temporary footpath, rocky ground and thorny areas along with the fertile area, thus distributing his seed and enabling it to grow. The point in the parable is that God sows his seed and reveals his word indiscriminately. Like the sun and rain which falls on the weeds as well as the wheat, and like the fishnet which snags all types of fish. God does not distinguish among the recipients of his word but crisis may not be amiss cf. Matthew 13:24-30.

You and I; like good farmers need a check list and accept to undergo some thorough discernment. We need to think of ourselves as good people and in the sense of a fertile soil that received the seed and produced much fruit. But since none of us is yet a saint we each have areas that need a spiritual cardiac surgery. Let’s compare ourselves to the people in the parable to see where we stand.

The first type of person is: the seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, the evil one comes and steals away what was sown cf. Matthew 13:19. This seed unfortunately doesn’t get a chance to sprout because it didn’t land on soil. We have allowed prejudice, lack of understanding to prevent us from seeking understanding. Whenever we reject the message of the Gospel, we allow the evil one to steal the word from us.

The second type of person is: The seed sown on rocky ground where one hears the word and receives it at once with joy but has no root and lasts only for a while. When tribulations come, he/she quickly falls away cf. Matthew 13:20-21. Have we ever been moved in our heart by God through a good experience in Confession or at Mass but we quickly fall back to our old way because we could not see beyond some temporary difficulty and disappointment?

The third type of person is: The seed sown among thorns meaning, one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety  choke it and it bears no fruit cf. Matthew 13:22. ‘worldly anxiety and lure of riches’ are moments when we are too busy to pray. Whenever we put worldly anxiety and lure of riches before God the word dies.

The fourth type of person is: “the seed sown on rich soil bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirty fold” Matthew 13:23. These four types of person are found in each one of us, yet one of these types of person happens to be predominant for a certain time of life.

Application

We need to perceive God’s word as his revealed will. Once proclaimed, it becomes a decisive force guiding the course of human history. We are encouraged to remain steadfast; like good soil and be receptive to the seed so as to yield hundred, sixty and thirty fold. We are burdened by consumerism, materialism, pessimism and indifference leading into prejudice and anxiety. Yet if we put ourselves under ideal conditions, we shall be pleased with a yield better than our imagination.

 

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Sunday Masses

Luganda: 7:30 am.  English: 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 5;00 pm.

Crowd possible, please don't be late! May God bless you!

About Our Church

Welcome to Our Lady of Africa Parish Mbuya. We are located near Bugolobi Township in Nakawa Division. It is about 5 kms from the City Centre of Kampala. Mbuya Catholic Parish is a vibrant and diverse community made up of people from different parts of Uganda. We welcome you warmly and joyfully.

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