Saturday of 24th Week of the Year, September 19, 2020

How will the dead rise? A person dies but dies like a seed and from that seed a new plant is born and rises in glory.
We hear today Luke’s version of the parable of the seed. In Jesus’ original intent it pictured the difficult growth of the kingdom towards its final accomplishment, of which also Paul speaks in the first reading. Luke applies it in the explanation of the parable to the reception of the word of God and the life of faith in people’s hearts. God sows the seed, but people receive it differently and react to it in various ways, for it is hard to let it grow and remain loyal to it in the humble and sometimes difficult realities of daily life. How does God’s word grow and bear fruit in us? Remember, we are the real seeds that the Lord sows in the world. Bumper harvest is expected.

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
we thank you for speaking to us
the word of your Son Jesus Christ
and sowing in our hearts and minds
the seeds of faith.
Open our ears to his word, day after day,
that it may grow in us
in pain and effort and joy,
that it be rooted ever more deeply
and bear fruits of justice and love,
until the final coming of Jesus Christ,
your Son and our Lord for ever. Amen!

1 Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49
Brothers and sisters: Someone may say, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?” You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonourable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one. So, too, it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being,” the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.

Responsorial Psalm 56:10C-12, 13-14
R. (14) I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.

Now I know that God is with me.
In God, in whose promise I glory,
in God I trust without fear;
what can flesh do against me? R.

I am bound, O God, by vows to you;
your thank offerings I will fulfill.
For you have rescued me from death,
my feet, too, from stumbling;
that I may walk before God in the light of the living. R.

Alleluia Luke 8:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Luke 8:4-15
When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable. “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” After saying this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He answered, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand. “This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”

The differences between the present body and that of the future are considerable. Paul gives some attention to this question in today’s reading. Trying to speak of the present and the future is a question of apples and oranges. The present body must die before the new body can emerge. What is here corruptible is raised incorruptible; the dishonourable becomes glorious; the natural becomes spiritual. Just as we are all children of the first Adam, so we become children of the second Adam, a life-giving spirit.
There are many things about the future that we believe but cannot visualize. Some things we must leave to God. He brought us into this world, which, with all of its problems, is a wonder that we would not have imagined. So too for the future. We had best leave it in the hands of God, without pressing too hard for answers.
For the present, today’s Gospel calls us to be the fertile ground that will embrace the word through to the finish. The seed has been sown in our hearts. In fact, we are the real seeds God has sown in the world to bear fruits for the kingdom. We want to turn away from coldness and indifference. As to the future, let us leave it in the hands of God. We believe that we shall be with Christ and those we love. That alone makes it worth the effort.

– Lord, give wisdom and courage to all teachers in the Church, that they may help us understand your word and proclaim it as Good News, we pray:
– Lord, inspire by your word all the mighty of this earth, that they may join forces to bring to all lasting peace, food and human dignity, we pray:
– Lord, make us receptive to your word. Free us from banality and fear for our security and certainties. Give us new insight in your message, that we may live as we believe, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
accept in this bread and this wine
our eagerness to receive your Son
and to listen to his word
with noble and generous hearts.
Give him to us as our companion on the road,
that he may keep speaking to us
in people and in the events of life
and that we may understand him
and bear a rich harvest
that lasts for ever and ever. Amen!

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
let our words and deeds
echo the message of your Son
and fill us with his life.
Make our human words reliable
and serve unity and the truth.
Pour out your compassion in them,
your love and your joy,
that they may bring strength,
insight and friendship,
by the power of Jesus Christ,
your living word and our Lord for ever. Amen!

Let the seed of God’s word fall in the good soil of our eager and receptive hearts, and may almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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