In anticipation of this weekend’s Mass on the Fifteenth Sunday of the Year: Teachers are often surprised at what some their former pupils remember. “I remember you saying one time. ..” and out it comes, if not word-for-word, at least in its general thrust as they heard it. Teachers and pupils will attest that spoken words can have an extraordinary life-span. Similarly, we remember things our parents said, long after they are gone; their words are not dead so long as we are alive and recall them.
What is true of our words is even more true of God’s Word. That is what is stressed in today’s readings. The prophet Isaiah, for example, speaks on God’s behalf: “The Word that goes from my mouth will not return to me unfulfilled, or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do.” Our experience tells us, however, that we are perfectly capable of providing obstacles against God’s Word in either inadvertent or deliberate deafness. And being deaf or hard of hearing is something today’s Gospel does not recommend. In fact, it urges us to have our ears always at attention; it urges us to let the Word fall into good soil, so that it can yield a rich harvest in our lives. The advice is simple, yet profound: be generous in cooperating with God. Be truthful, just, and caring in response to God’s Word.
“Lord, be always in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts as we both hear and proclaim your Holy Word.”