Father Rick’s Two-Minute Homily for Saturday, 24th Week in Ordinary Time
September 23, 2023, Luke 8:4-15
Everything is Grace
Some things you experience stay with you all your life. I had one of those experiences in the seminary with a professor, Fr. Eric Doyle. He called me into his office for a final oral exam on the doctrine of grace. I sat down across from him in a chair. He held my hands and looked into my eyes. He said, “Rick, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is of supereminent importance.” Then he said, “Rick, everything is grace.” That was our final exam.
I recalled this experience when I prayed over today’s gospel, the Parable of the Sower. We are the ground where our Father plants His seed, the Word, who is Jesus. This unmerited relationship we have with the Lord is His initiative. The ground, even if fertile, can do nothing on its own. It is just there.
But watch what happens when the Father places His Son in a relationship with us. The fruits it bears are remarkable after the growth period of weeding, watering, and fertilizing. How blessed we are to be His fertile ground.
If we fear we are not, but perhaps rocky or thorny or a path, please know that underneath all that mess is fertile ground. The discipline of the Lord is the saving Passion of Jesus. He comes with the plow of His Cross and digs up all that is choking His love for us. Should we experience that cross, don’t resist it.
Take courage. Embrace it lovingly. The Sower will let His Son suffer for us and with us until He hits the fertile ground. Then, we will intuitively know He is with us in everything, and everything is indeed a grace, even down to the breath we take.
Ignite the Fire
Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.