Church of the Advent
51 South First Street
Jeannette, PA 15644
724-523-9390

 

The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday, July 16, 2017
The Reverend Vicente Santiago

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It was Sabbath morning and Jesus was on the move with His disciples on His way to the Synagogue. While in the Synagogue, He healed a man with a withered hand.  After worshiping in the Synagogue, a multitude was following Him and He healed all who were sick - He healed a man who being possessed with a devil was blind and dumb.  He took the opportunity to preach against the attacks of the devil and the tendency we have to doubt the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  He talked about how our behavior shows to those around us, who we really are and declared to all that His family is much more than a blood relationship.  He said, “whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”  Jesus did not deny His mother or close relatives; He recognized those “who shall do the will of my father who is in heaven” as part of His family also.  Many healings took place while He was going from the Synagogue to the house where He was staying.  Jesus appeared to be very busy all the time. 

And His day was not yet done.  He went out of the house where He was staying and sat by the lakeside presumably to rest for a moment.  He did not have too much time to rest because the multitude walked around and surrounded Him.  Everybody wanted to be where Jesus was, because where Jesus was people were healed and the message of the Gospel bringing a message of hope was always on His lips. 

Notwithstanding Jesus’ actions some of the Pharisees and Sadducees did not want to be close to Him because they considered Him to be a sinner, a winebibber and a friend of prostitutes and tax collectors.  Others were close to Him trying to get information to later use against Him.  There was so many people that Jesus had to get out of the lakeside and sat on a boat to teach them.  

What was Jesus teaching about?  Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven using parables.  A parable is a story about common life that is used to convey a moral.  Parables were commonly used at the time to teach and make complex ideas and thoughts clear to the students.  Parable was a tool used by Jesus to present information concerning the Kingdom of God to the people.  Parables help us connect events of our daily life with the life in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus told the story of a sower sowing seed plentifully. Some of the seed fell on the path, outside the field prepared for the seed; some seed fell on the rocks, some seed fell over thorns and some fell on the good ground.  After explaining to the disciples the reason for Him to use parable to teach the people, He explained the parable to them.

The seed is the spoken word of God.  Those who hear the message about the Kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in them.  The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it.  But it does not sink deep into them, and does not last long with them. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once.  The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message, but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don't bear fruit.  And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it - they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty."

God in His riches sows bountifully.  He knows that the seed falling on good ground is going to produce; “some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty."

We are called to spread the message of the Gospel everywhere: in the church and out of the church, in good ground and in hard ground, in rocky ground, and within the cares and tribulations of our lives.  We are call to share the message of Jesus and to restore all people to unity with God and each other. We are call to spread the word of God; to share the Good News with everyone.  To God belongs to effect growth and order the reaping.