Pastor’s Corner for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, by Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ
The readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A tell of how our relationship with God helps us grow, which in turn allows our lives to bear fruit. The first reading explains that God’s Word is like the rain, which falls on the earth and makes it fertile. The second reading reminds us that a new creation is going to emerge. And the gospel invites us to reflect on the parable of the Sower and explains that our hearts must be ready to receive the Word of God. In order to do this we need to ask ourselves:
As parish communities, what are we doing to cultivate the seeds that have been entrusted to us? Do we provide ample, rich soil for seeds to grow, or do we choke the seedlings by creating a culture that is not conducive— even detrimental—to healthy flourishing? Do we create rocky ground by quantifying grace and weaponizing sacraments? Do we perpetuate thorns by crafting divisions and distinctions that are not of God? Do we leave people vulnerable to isolation and fear, insisting that we know best instead of listening and accompanying?
We cannot lament that people are not coming to our parishes if we refuse to be places of nourishment and support. But if we want safe spaces, we must be willing to create those spaces ourselves. Following the example of Christ, we must lower ourselves, choosing vulnerability over power, humility over prestige, and weakness over strength. We must be willing to make room in our hearts and minds for other voices, even when they challenge what we find comfortable. We must be willing to work for peace and justice, even when it is not convenient. We must be willing not only to advocate for, but to stand in solidarity with the immigrant and refugee, the person who lives without a home, and the person who lives with anxiety and depression. We must combat the evils of abuse, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and all forms of discriminations. In doing so, we cultivate an environment where seeds can grow, where people can thrive.
But we do not do this on our own. While we must work to cultivate the ground, the psalmist reminds us that it is God who waters the lands and breaks up the clods. It is God who crowns the year with bounty and harvest. Everything we do is a response to God’s invitation. May we respond to this invitation with renewed zeal, remembering that we cannot expect our parishes to grow (or even survive) if we are unwilling to accept God’s invitation to collaborate in the vineyard.
For the sick
Let us continue to pray for the sick members of our parish especially Benedicta Ngwebelele, Tebogo Mavuso, Magola Legoale, Phoebe Ngwenya and Andrew Ledwaba.
Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ