15th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Pulpit Plan

Theme: The groaning world will be transformed by disciples of hope!

1st Reading:     Isaiah 55:10-11

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 65

2nd Reading:     Romans 8:18-23

Gospel :           Matthew 13:1-23


  • In the craziness of our world today, the Prophet Isaiah, the most popular prophet in Judaism, has a very clear and rather blunt message for us all!
  • Like any good preacher, he is under no illusions about human nature!
    • He was well aware of the blindness and stupidity of the people!
  • Paul is also well aware of the troubles of our world!
    • Failure seems to be a theme of this extract of his Letter to the Romans!
    • And yet, it does not keep him down or keep him from his mission!
  • Despite the insights of both men, like good preachers, they have a message of hope!
  • They both insist on two things:
    • That God’s ways, although mysterious, are in the end successful; and
    • That God is in control; that the future is God’s!
  • And these are the reasons for our hope as Catholic Christians!
  • Hope is based, not on ideas of progress or on any optimistic view that human nature is very good – NO!
    • Hope is based on the power of God!
  • The reality for us may often be groaning – as we do now during this pandemic!
    • But it should be a positive groaning because deep down we know that the Spirit will set us all free!
  • Unfortunately, so often we forget this!
  • Like Isaiah’s exiles in Babylon we write off God and his involvement in our world!
  • We so easily become dejected and think that God can do nothing and that even if he could, he is not really interested!
  • Perhaps we are even tempted to interpret these events as signs of the end of times and that the world is sliding towards destruction!
  • Others start to formulate wild conspiracy theories – like a few rich and powerful people have planned all this – the creation of the virus and the control of the media to spread fear in order to take over the world and destroy the Church!
    • But we cannot do that!
  • Instead, times like these call us to really examine our world and our Church; as well as our own commitment to both!
  • And when we do, we will have to admit that there is indeed a lot of suffering in the world and that the Church is very far from perfect!
    • We Catholic Christians would be silly or very naïve to pretend otherwise!
      • There is still a great groan of creation in our time!
    • But we do not lose hope because we are promised that, in spite of appearances, a new creation is possible!
    • Not in heaven at some future date, but here and now!
      • Our world, our Church are waiting to be transformed!
        • By the Spirit working in and through us!
      • We have to face and tackle what is wrong and bad so we can spread hope!
      • We have to be missionary disciples of hope; of Jesus who is the reason for our hope!
      • That means:
        • We must strive to build and grow our relationship with Jesus – primarily through prayer but also through our participation in the life of our parish community!
        • We must be open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and lovers of Scripture!
        • We must be people who want to serve others, to reach our brothers and sisters through our ministry
        • We must want to worship God in the Eucharist and the other sacraments!
      • These are not membership requirements but rather attributes of mature disciples!
      • It is what we want for every person – what we hope for!
      • When we live like this, God’s life comes alive in us and through us, God accomplishes all his purposes!
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