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Bulletin: July 19, 2020

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


WE NEED TO GROW

We live in an instant world of microwaves and drive-throughs and a disposable society in which things quickly become obsolete, so today’s message is very strange. In all the readings today, and especially in the Gospel, we see transformation, but it is not something that happens overnight, nor does it take place without effort. We are met with parables of a patient and loving God who can see a positive outcome at the end and is willing to wait and nourish us and help us all get there. The sower’s seeds require a growth period and some careful sorting. To make the bread, one must knead it and wait patiently. In planting a mustard seed, something so tiny yields great results, but not until after completing a period of dormancy and waiting.


WHAT IS OUR LEAVEN?

In our own growth, something usually spurs us on and calls us to change. For a young couple who find out they are expecting, this may be the impetus to “grow up” and straighten out their spending habits. For another, perhaps a heart attack or prolonged illness calls one to wake up and gives one a second chance at life. Losing a job or a spouse or surviving a car accident may mean it is time for a “do-over.” Isn’t it amazing to realize that we are blessed with a tender, loving God who will walk through all these changes in our lives, who is cajoling us into a better self? Here is a God who doesn’t pull the plug because of our sins, but is willing to wait and sort and “gather the wheat.” Let us be grateful for this gift of loving mercy. Recall the simple prayer found in Psalm 86:15–16: “You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, / slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity. / Turn toward me, and have pity on me; / give your strength to your servant.”


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