Sunday, July 16, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts.”  — Confucius.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus “Got out of the boat and sat down ... and he spoke to them at great length in parables.”

As he did so he told them a parable of a man who went out to sow seeds in the field. The seed fell in various places: on the path, on rocky ground, among thorns, on rich soil.

When the disciples asked why he spoke in parables he told them it was because the people “look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.”

His parables ask us to work a little bit, to dig deeper and find the meaning. We are to hear the parable (a brief, succinct story, in prose or verse, that illustrates a moral or religious lesson) and apply it to our lives.

In this parable our hearts, minds and spirit are the soil into which the word of God falls and is to bear fruit. It is meant to be planted deeply which requires of us hearing and listening.

Hearing isn’t enough. If we are able to hear the words, even if we can repeat them, they are of little use unless we listen, too.

Listening means we allow the words to enter into our minds and our hearts. Listening requires a willingness to take it in, accept it, allow it to challenge us, reshape and reform our way of thinking and living.

Listening is active. Listening is faith-filled. Listening is humble. Listening is full of grace. When we listen, we give God room in our souls to clean house and make us new.

Listening is the first real step that leads to understanding. There are so many things out there that can block our listening. Some are overt. Some are hidden, indirect, subtle and very hard to recognize.

The verse before the Gospel prepares us to listen to the Gospel. This verse suggests the attitude or disposition of heart that is required.

Alleluia!

The seed is the word of God; Christ is the sower. All who come to him will have life forever.

Alleluia!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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