15th Sunday in Ordinary Time- July 16, 2023
Theme: Go and Proclaim: Fruitful by hearing and understanding God’s Word

First Reading: Isaiah 55:6-13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 65:9,10-12,11,13
Second Reading: Romans 8:8-11
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

GO AND PROCLAIM: FRUITFUL BY HEARING AND UNERSTANDING GOD’S WORD
(A RECAPITULATION BASED ON THE HOMILY OF +FR. ROMIE JUN PENALOSA)

Every day, God is talking to us. He has something always to tell us…but, we do not understand. We do not understand, because we don’t want to understand.

In today’s gospel, there are three things that Father Jun pointed out for us to become. We can be the sower, the seed or the soil. Prophet Isaiah (First Reading) speaks about the power of God’s word. It is so creative that once He speaks, it will happen, because everything comes from Him; it will always achieve the purpose for which He said it. One word from God, once you receive it in your heart, it can change your life forever. But the way we receive it matters.

As Christians, we need to be mature in order to bear the fruit of a transformed life. Maturity is all about understanding what God is saying to you and responding to it. Many of us have grown old in our Christian faith, yet never achieve spiritual maturity. Why? Because we do not understand God. Though the word is powerful, it will never force us; instead it invites us always and waits for our response.

Our response to God’s word depends on how you understand. And how you understand depends on the condition of your heart. The key to receiving the word of God is understanding. And the level of our understanding depends on the condition of our heart or soul. Our gospel today teaches us the four conditions of the soils:
1. The hard one. Those who hears the word, but do not understand. The word was sown to them, but it doesn’t grow because the soil was hard. These are the people with unteachable hearts; a proud hearts.
2. The stony one. They are the ones who are so excited when they hear the word, so enthusiastic that it seems they will do everything for the Lord. But when trouble comes, their excitement wanes off.
3. The thorny one. These are the types of people who hear the word, but cannot let go of their past life. They cannot leave the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and they compromise the word, this is the reason why it doesn’t bear fruit in their life.
4. The good one. These are the ones who have been broken to God; they hear, they understand, and they respond which allows them to bear fruits. These are the hearts who have fully surrendered to God and long always for His love.

So, what is the condition of your heart?

In our everyday life, there are thousands of decisions that we need to make. These decisions determine the condition of our heart; and the condition of our heart determines how we receive and understand the word of God. If we truly understand Him, then we will be bearing fruits for we do not just hear Him, we also respond to Him. Let us remember then that the condition of our heart is our sole responsibility.

Recap by:
MERCY DE LA CRUZ-ESPIRITU

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