The Word’s Return: Scott Hahn on the 15th Sunday
Today’s readings, like last week’s, ask us to meditate on Israel’s response to God’s Word—and our own. Why do some hear the word of the kingdom, yet fail to accept it as a call to conversion and faith in Jesus? That question underlies today’s Gospel, especially. Again we see, as we did last week, that the kingdom’s mysteries are unfolded to those who open their hearts, making of them a rich soil in which the Word can grow and bear fruit.
In this Sunday’s responsorial psalm, we sing that in Jesus, God’s word has visited our land to water the stoney earth of our hearts, with the living water’s of the spirit. The first fruit of the word is the spirit of love, poured into our hearts at baptism making us children of God.
As St. Paul reminds us in this Sunday’s epistle, “in this, we are made a new creation. The first fruits of a new heaven and a new earth. Since the first human rejected God’s word, creation has been inslaved and subjected to futility. But God’s word does not go forth, only to return to Him void.
We hear in this Sunday’s first reading, His word awaits our response, but He also empowers us to respond. So we must show ourselves to be childre of that word. We must allow that word to accomplish God’s will in our lives.
As Jesus warns, we must take care, lest the devil steal it away, or lest it be choked by worldly concerns. In the Holy Eucharist, the word gives himself to us, as living bread to eat. He does so that we may be made fertile fruits of holiness, as we await the crowning of the year of the great harvest of the day of the Lord, when His word will have acheived the end for which it was set.