Homily 15th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A - Be the seed that grows

Homily (Sermon)

Be the seed that grows.

The Readings for the Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A:
Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 64
Romans 8:18-23
Matthew 13:1-23

[All these readings can be found at www.universalis.com for the next few weeks. Remember to scroll down for the readings of the day.]

Let me ask you some questions. You don’t have to put your hands up or shout out answers. Just ask yourself the question and think about your answer, and if you would like the answer to be different.

Are you the seed that falls at the edge of the path and is carried away? Do you find it difficult to understand the Christian message?

Are you the seed that falls on rocky ground?
Do you love what you hear in Church but forget it during the week?

Are you the seed that falls among thorns?
Do you place the worries and desires of the world above your faith?

Are you the seed that falls on rich soil?
Do you work for the church for your faith and help those around you?

If I am honest I can answer yes to all those questions at some time in my life. And that is where this beautiful parable breaks down. Seeds don’t move themselves once they are planted, but you can.

Did you notice or think about what Christ said in between the parable and the explanation. It was an inspiring and troubling line, “Anyone who has will be given more; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Jesus is talking about faith, your faith! You have to work at your faith, work at being Christian, work at being a member of this family. Let me say right now how proud I am of all of you in this parish, the work you do. How privileged I feel to be able to live my ministry among you. This is a vibrant and growing parish, an active church that is an example for parishes in communion throughout our diocese and country.

But I also want to challenge you to do more, to learn more, to put yourself in a place to be given more by God.

As we grow as a community we should do more for this church and for the wider community it is part of. As we do more God will show us the needs of the community and ask us to minister to them. We need to be involved we need to be looking for things to do. We need to be willing to step outside of our comfort zones and risk disappointment, criticism, embarrassment and pain.

As you might guess I work with the leaders of many of our church groups, both here and across our communion of parishes. I have seen shy and scared people volunteer for roles they were scared to take on. I have seen them grow, like little saplings to mighty oaks.

A man who had never spoken in public volunteered to give a lecture to new Christian’s at the RCIA meeting. A lady with no leadership experience volunteered to be on the committee of the CWL. A young man terrified of reading aloud in front of other people because he couldn’t read well and wouldn’t make sense, gave in and agreed to read at Easter.

The first man now leads regularly in the RCIA and teaches with an authority and knowledge that inspires those attending the group. The lady went on to hold multiple positions and even campaigned for the roles of nation president. The young man found that with practice he could read and he is now standing here giving this homily.

I don’t know where my journey will end, God is still giving me more to do, and I am still terrified about the next thing I will be asked to do. I understand that you have many demands on your time. I understand that you may be scared about doing something you have never done before. I understand being comfortable and not wanting to change. But while I understand all those things I still believe you can do more, I still believe you should do more, and I know, I know with absolute certainty that by doing more you will be given the gifts to grow and thrive. God will support you and help you grow.

I challenge and implore you, to be the seed that moves to rich soil. Be the seed that grows, be the seed that produces a crop a hundredfold. If you do, no when you do, you will be amazed at what you can do and the joy that comes from serving God.

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