Pastor’s Weekly Message 7-16-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Today both the Gospel and first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah teach us about the word of God. From Isaiah we hear that God’s word is expansive. He offers the beautiful image of the word coming down from heaven as rain or snow, with enough strength to nourish the whole world. God sends out His word to the ends of the earth, and like rain or snow, it penetrates the soil, it is absorbed by those who hear it. It then gets to work, supporting new growth and new life to all who encounter it.
In the reading from Matthew’s Gospel we learn that God’s word is also contextual. In the parable of the seed and the sower, Jesus lays out a variety to options for where the seed can land- an image for how people can receive God’s word. Some people are not ready to absorb God’s word, like the seeds on the path. Others initially find great joy at God’s word, but cannot sustain it. They are like the seeds that fall on rocky ground. Still others are beset with anxieties and distractions that make it nearly impossible to truly take in God’s word, the seeds that are sown among the thorns. God’s word does not change, but the context of the hearer makes a big difference in how it will be received.
In our lives, God’s word will fall on us in all different contexts- some where were we are good fertile soil, ready to receive the seed and nurture it, others where birds and rocks, and thorns prevent us from fully absorbing it’s life-giving power. Thankfully our God is a patient and tireless Sower who continues to scatter the seeds of His word in the world for whenever we are ready to receive it.
 Both Isaiah and Jesus use the imagery of the natural world to teach about God’s word. It is not out somewhere in the ether, out of reach. Rather, the word is all around us, ready to be discovered and engaged. This week I invite you to join me in spending some prayerful time in nature to listen for God’s revelation.
I wish you and your loved ones blessings of good health, great hope, and true peace,
Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.
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