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The Generosity of God – Homily 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

Today’s First Reading, as well as the Gospel from Mark, both have to do with farming, and sowing and harvesting. Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser offers an interesting reflection  take on this idea:

 

We see this in the parable of the Sower. God, the sower, goes out to sow and he scatters his seed generously, almost wastefully, everywhere—on the road, among the rocks, among the thorns, on bad soil, and on rich soil. No farmer would ever do this. Who would waste seed on soil that can never produce a harvest? God, it seems, doesn’t ask that question but simply keeps scattering his seed everywhere, over-generously, without calculating whether it is a good investment or not in terms of return. And, it seems, God has an infinite number of seeds to scatter, perpetually, everywhere. God is prodigious beyond imagination.

Among other things, this speaks of God’s infinite riches, love, and patience. For us, there is both a huge challenge and a huge consolation in that. The challenge, of course, is to respond to the infinite number of invitations that God scatters on our path from minute to minute. The consolation is that, no matter how many of God’s invitations we ignore, there will always be an infinite number of others. No matter how many we’ve already ignored or turned down, there are new ones awaiting us each minute. When we’ve gone through 39 days of lent without praying or changing our lives, there’s still a 40th day to respond. When we’ve ignored a thousand invitations, there’s still another one waiting. God is prodigal, so are the chances God gives us.

Sr. Margaret Halaska once captured this wonderfully in a poem she entitled, Covenant:

The Father knocks at my door, seeking a home for his son:

Rent is cheap, I say

I don’t want to rent. I want to buy, says God.

I’m not sure I want to sell,

            but you might come in to look around.

I think I will, says God.

I might let you have a room or two.

I like it, says God. I’ll take the two.

            You might decide to give me more some day.

            I can wait, says God.

I’d like to give you more,

            but it’s a bit difficult. I need some space for me.

I know, says God, but I’ll wait. I like what I see.

Hm, maybe I can let you have another room.

            I really don’t need that much.

Thanks, says God, I’ll take it. I like what I see.

I’d like to give you the whole house

I’m not sure I want to sell,

            but I’m not sure—

Think on it, says God. I wouldn’t put you out.

I’m not sure I want to sell,

            Your house would be mine and my son would live in it.

            You’d have more space than you’d ever had before.

I don’t understand at all.

I know, says God, but I can’t tell you about that.

            You’ll have to discover it for yourself.

            That can only happen if you let him have the whole house.

A bit risky, I say.

Yes, says God, but try me.

I’m not sure—

            I’ll let you know.

I can wait, says God. I like what I see.

 

God likes what He sees. Research is telling us that one of the primary reasons that people do not come to Mass is that they feel unworthy. They say, “You don’t know who I am. You don’t know what I have done. You don’t know my past.” God doesn’t care. He keeps throwing seeds around on poor soil. The same applies to the people-in-the-pews every week. Each of us has a tendency to beat ourselves up for something.

None of that matters to God. He likes what he sees.  Rolheiser continues:

If we look back on our lives and are truly honest, we have to admit that of all the invitations that God has sent us, we’ve probably accepted and acted on only a fraction of them. There have been countless times we’ve turned away from an invitation. For every invitation to maturity we’ve accepted, we’ve probably turned down a hundred. But that’s the beauty and wonder of God’s richness. God is not a petty creator and creation, itself, is not a cheap machine with barely enough energy and resources to keep it going. God and nature are prodigal. That’s plain everywhere. Millions and millions of life-giving seeds blow everywhere in the world and we need only to pick up a few to become pregnant, fecund, capable of newness, maturity, and of producing life.

Where does this apply in our lives?

  • Where are you stressing the most ?
  • What’s the dark place in your heart?
  • Who are the people that are causing you the most pain and heartache?

What does God provide? Seeds of hope; Seeds of forgiveness; Seeds of rest. Seeds of sleep.

             

Audio version of the homily is here:

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