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Sunday, July 14, 2002

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15th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 55:10-11
Romans 8:18-23
Psalm 65
Matthew 13:1-23

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the thorny question

"But what was sown on good soil is the man who hears the message and takes it in. He it is who bears a yield of a hundred- or sixty- or thirtyfold." —Matthew 13:23

We who read One Bread, One Body pray and study God's written word every day. We will be the most spiritually fruitful people in the world, if we are good ground fully receptive to the seed of God's word.

Jesus describes two kinds of good ground: good ground with or without thorns (Mt 13:22-23). Many Christians have received the seed of God's word and are deep in their faith so that the word can be deeply rooted in them. Nevertheless, this good ground may be fruitless if the thorns of "worldly anxiety and the lure of money" choke God's word (Mt 13:22).

We who read the Scriptures can do so much for the world. Our potential for bearing good fruit is astounding, but we must be very careful not to grow thorns. If we live "at the level of the flesh" (Eph 2:3), we will grow word-choking thorns. Consequently, "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24).

Through repentance and through receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, let us burn away the thorns. Let us resist temptations and let nothing but the seed of God's word penetrate our hearts. Be thornless and fruitful.

Prayer:  Father, may I lose my desire to be rich and to maximize my pleasures.

Promise:  "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but shall do My will, achieving the end for which I sent it." —Is 55:11

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the eternal Word of God, the Word made flesh, the Living Word. Alleluia!

Reference:  (Get into the Word. For an introduction to the Bible, order our tape series on Overview of the Bible. The six audio tapes start with AV 10A-1. The three video tapes start with V-10A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001