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EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST  

Isaiah 55:10,11                                                                                                                    Romans 8:18-25                                                                                                                Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23                                                                                                         Psalm 69:6-15      

The parable of the sower describes the sowing of seeds. Some seeds fell on rocky ground, and were eaten by the birds. Some fell on thorny ground, but the seeds that fell on good soil, produced an abundant harvest. Picture God as the sower, the one who indiscriminately sows the seed of the Word. God's grace is generously offered to all people. It is a mystery why all the seed doesn't fall on rich soil, why all do not respond. Certainly in Jesus' day His message was met with resistance. The same is true today. Not all hearts are open to the planting and watering of God's mercy and love.     

The promise is nonetheless clear: there will be an abundant harvest. "Gather a harvest from the seeds that were sown", many of us sing as an offertory. The harvest that yields grapes and grain will become our food and drink. Fed and nourished by  Christ Himself, we are transformed. We are able to see the future with new eyes, confident that the mystery of God's providence is known in both the joys and struggles of life.     

Our hope is not only that our lives will be open to the Sower's planting, but that we may then be agents of divine grace, scattering the seeds of justice, peace and compassion in the fields of our everyday lives. We need to be generous sowers, confident of a great and promised harvest. We trust that seeds are being sown, though we cannot predict which ones will bear fruit. We will learn afterwards which seeds have taken root by the images and ides that live on in our memory and move us to action.     

Christian friends, As followers of Jesus we are to live lives which have a productive quality. The good seed, sowed in our hearts, is intended to produce a harvest of goodness in our relationships with others. Unredeemed human nature is incapable of such results, but the action of the Spirit within us produces a positive witness for God. As God's children we participate in His sufferings and in His glory. When the sun sets tonight, let it not be said that we have forgotten God.    

Take time to be holy,                                                                                                         Speak oft with thy LORD;                                                                                               Abide in Him always                                                                                                               And feed on His Word.  

PRAY with me; O almighty and most merciful God, of Your bountiful goodness keep us, we pray, from all things that may hurt us that we, being ready in both body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish whatever things You want done. In Jesus name we pray. Amen  

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