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Word Alive — Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD / July 16, 2023

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A

A professor in a college English class said to his students, “If you will just take a new word and use it 100 times, it will be yours forever.” Whereupon, a young woman in the class looked dreamily out of the window and sighed, “Piolo, Piolo, Piolo,…”

Jesus’ parables have been told and retold many times so that his teachings “will be yours forever”–but not to win a partner!

* * *

One such parable (story with a lesson) is that of the sower which is the subject of this 15th Sunday’s gospel (Mt 13,1-23).

In the parable, Jesus is the sower; the seed, the word of God or his teachings. The soil symbolizes the various types of people who hear and give responses to God’s word.

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The people who received the seed on the WAYSIDE refer to those who allow the devil to take the word of God out of their hearts. For instance, they give in to the thoughts that there is no God or that they can do evil acts as long as they don’t get caught.

* * *

Those who received the seed on ROCKY ground refers to those who welcome it with great joy and enthusiasm. But having no depth, they fizzle out–a case of “ningas cogon.”

These people start enthusiastically like, in renewal seminars or various organizations, but then they drop out and no longer attend the prayer meetings.

* * *

The THORNY soil refers to people who hear the word of God but are so busy. They are preoccupied with work, with business, and recreations that other important things, like prayer and Mass going, get crowded out.

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Obviously, this is not to spurn material pursuits and wholesome recreation but our human life should not exclude the greater spiritual need.

Remember Christ’s words: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul” (Mt. 16,26). What matters most is our eternal salvation. * * * Finally, there is the GOOD soil. It symbolizes those who are receptive to God’s word and respond by applying it in day-to-day life, thus bearing fruits thirty-fold, sixty-fold, a hundred-fold.

* * *

Which soil are you—the wayside, the rocky, the thorny or the fertile? God wants us to be the fertile soil productive in good deeds.

The trouble, however, is that some people do not value and realize the importance, joy, and the highest call of God for our salvation.

* * *

Remember that Jesus’ word will bear fruit only to the extent that we allow to do it. That’s what “human free will” means. The fruitfulness depends on our response by our openness, sincerity, generosity, our persevering faith. The wonderful transformation undergone by Peter, Paul, Mary Magdalene, St. Augustine and legions of other saints, can become our own greatest achievement, if we want it.

* * *

LAUGH ONE ANOTHER. A small boy asked his friend why his 80-year old lola (grandma) was always reading the Bible.

He replied: Because she’s cramming for her Final Exam!

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COUPLE FIGHT THROUGH POEMS: WIFE: Twinkle twinkle little star, you should know what you are. And once you know what you are. Mental Hospital is not so far.

Husband: The rain makes all things beautiful; the grass and flowers too. If rain makes all things beautiful, why doesn’t it rain on you?

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WIFE: I wrote your name on sand; it got washed. I wrote your name in air; it was blown away. Then I wrote your name on my heart and I got Heart Attack.

HUSBAND: God saw me hungry, He created pizza. He saw me thirsty, He created Pepsi. He saw me without problems, He gave YOU to me.

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