|The Sower, Vincent Van Gogh|
TRINITY V (OT 15A ) STM Toronto July 12, 2020
We continue to meditate on Israel’s response to God’s Word. Why do some hear the word of the kingdom, yet fail to accept it as a call to conversion and faith in Jesus?
We see in the Gospel today that the mysteries of God’s kingdom unfold to those who open their hearts. Our hearts are the rich soil in which the Word, like a seed, can grow and bear fruit.
We grow to understand that the grace of God joins with nature as the seed gives itself to the earth to fulfill God’s purpose.
Despite attempts in the past two centuries to split the purpose or essence of the human person from our physical reality, the Church continues to affirm the nature of the human person as a single, unique, precious and infinitely loved being -- not a being either disposable or plastic in the hands of the individual.
The first fruit of the Word, then, is the Spirit of love and adoption poured into our hearts in Baptism, making us children of God. St. Paul reminds us in today’s Epistle (Romans 5:5; 8:15–16) that we are made a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), the first fruits of the new heaven and the new earth (see 2 Peter 3:13).
However, humans continually reject God’s Word and so creation has been enslaved to futility (Genesis 3:17–19; 5:29). In our day this rejection and futility is expressed in the pride of those who reject the Word of God and its transforming power as well as those who reject their own God-given nature by insisting that humanity is plastic and so may be shaped by the human will whether that be in terms of origin or sexuality. For example, gender dysphoria is increasingly allowed to re-shape society to the detriment of all.
God’s Word goes forth, we are told, in order to return bearing fruit, as we heard in today’s First Reading. God’s Word awaits our response. We show ourselves to be children of that Word when we allow the Word i.e. the Logos or divine plan to accomplish God’s will in our lives.
Jesus warns that we must take care that the Devil (the Adversary of the Light and of the Word of God), careful that the many-faceted Satan does not steal the Word away or allow it to be choked by the worldly forces of pride and unbridled choice that deny the ultimate value of every person established by God not the will of the individual or collective.
In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ, the Word, gives Himself to us as bread, the fruit of grain and of human hands. This holy bread is given so that we, ourselves, may be made fertile, yielding fruits of holiness.
As we are nourished on the Bread of Heaven, we await the crowning of the year, the great harvest of the Lord’s Day (Mark 4:29; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 1:10)—when God's Word will achieve the end for which it was scattered.
Isaiah 55:10–11, Psalm 65:10–14,
Romans 8:18–23, Matthew 13:1–23