Homily 15th Sunday July 16 2017

I didn’t record my homily this weekend, so here is the written version. 
God bless!

Whether it is farming or gardening, growing food is at the heart of who we are. There is nothing more rewarding, after seeding, tending, and caring for our crops and gardens, than harvesting a garden of vegetables or acres of crop. In this process, there are many things we can control, but there are also many things that we cannot control: rain, sun, disease, etc. We do our best work, and trust that God will take care of the rest. 

The Gospel today draws an analogy between the condition of the soil in which we grow our crops, and the condition of our souls in which grows the word of God. When we take care of the soil, the seed will grow and produce a great harvest; when we take care of the soil of our soul, the word of God will grow in us and produce a great harvest! 
Jesus talks about four types of soil which we could have in our souls. The first is the hardened path and is like those who have hardened their hearts against God. They refuse to listen to any advice and think they have all the answers.
The second is the rocky ground and is like those who believe, but don`t have a deep faith, and as soon as difficulty comes into their lives, they leave God or the church.
The third is the thorny soil, those who try to hear the word of God, but the cares of the world consume them and keep them from listening to God’s voice.
The last is the ideal type of soil and as such produces the greatest of fruits. When we take care of our soul by prayer and good works, our harvest will be plentiful. And even when the winds and rains blow or the sun gets too hot, when life throws us terrible situations that tempt us to doubt our faith in God or in each other, a soul that is richly fertilized with love will prevail. 
Let us pray: Lord, help us take care of our souls, so that we may harvest abundantly the fruits of the Spirit: patience, gentleness, kindness, love, joy, peace, self-control, goodness, and faithfulness.

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