Mary’s Tears That We Might Have Fruitful Spiritual Soil, 24th Saturday (I), September 19, 2015

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Visitation Convent of the Sisters of Life, Manhattan
Saturday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of Our Lady of LaSalette and of St. Januarius, Martyr
September 19, 2015
1 Tim 6:13-16, Ps 100, Lk 8:4-15

 

To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click below: 

 

The following points were attempted in the homily: 

  • Today in the Gospel, Jesus gives us the parable that describes the type of receptivity he seeks of us. There are three forms of defective soil: stubbornly resistant, superficially responsive, and hedonistically or fearfully distracted. The fourth, the type of receptivity God wants us to have, is abundantly fruitful. In order to have this type of soil, it’s key for us to till the hardened soil, to get through the rocks underneath the surface that can prevent God’s word or work from taking deep root, as well as to give over the thorns — our worldly cares and anxieties — to the Lord. The great model in this type of fruitful soil is the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Today, on the Feast of Our Lady of LaSalette, we able to ponder how that Woman with the greatest soil of all weeps for us to have similar soil. Mary appeared on this day in 1846 to two young shepherd children, 14 year old Melanie Calvat and 11 year old Maximin Giraud. They found her weeping. And she revealed to them she was weeping for four reasons, all of which have to do with the type of receptivity we’re meant to have toward God:
    • People were not praying — If we’re not praying, we’ll never bear great fruit for God. Prayer is the type in which God has the chance to sow, to fertilize, to irrigate, to prune.
    • People were not converting — Mary wept because even during Lent, the people of the time weren’t responding to God’s perpetual call to repent and believe. The first fruit that God asks of us is the fruit of conversation, the recognition that we’re not who we’re supposed to be but God wants to help us become more like him.
    • People were blaspheming — If we’re bearing fruit it will show in our speech. If we’re blaspheming, we haven’t really received God within.
    • People were not coming to Sunday Mass — If we have good soil, we will come to where God speaks live in the proclamation of Sacred Scripture and then implants himself within us.
  • Mary was weeping because people were in large numbers not doing any of the four. For us to please her, for us to imitate her soil, we can learn from these four things: to pray, continually to convert, to praise God and to make Mass the real source and summit of our life.
  • One saint who did was St. Januarius whom the Church celebrates today. He received the seed of faith on good soil, became the bishop of Naples and eventually a martyr in 304 during the persecution of Diocletian. Christ’s blood flowed through him to the point of shedding his own blood, the blood that the Church still has today 1700 years later, the blood that mysteriously continues to liquify and almost boil. And his blood, like the blood of all the martyrs, became the seed of the Church.
  • Today as we come to Mass, we ask St. Januarius and Our Lady of LaSalette to pray for us that as we hear the Word of God and receive within the Word Made Flesh, we might bear abundant fruit to God’s glory and the salvation of others.

 

The readings for today’s Mass were:

Reading 1 1 TM 6:13-16

Beloved:
I charge you before God, who gives life to all things,
and before Christ Jesus,
who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate
for the noble confession,
to keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ
that the blessed and only ruler
will make manifest at the proper time,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light,
and whom no human being has seen or can see.
To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm PS 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (2) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Sing joyfully to the LORD all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Alleluia SEE LK 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 LK 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.”

La-Salette-weeping1