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  • Bill Miller

Scripture Reflection, July 16, 2023, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 55:10-11 Romans 8:18-23 Matthew 13:1-23

Like many other people I have kept a prayer journal over the years. To be completely honest, I use the term “kept” rather loosely. Sometimes I look back and see writing day after day, week after week, for several months before the entries become sporadic and the empty pages more frequent… I stop. Then, after some time, I start again.

Looking back over those journals I see traces of today’s gospel played out in my own life.

I see where I have begun a spiritual practice and then, over time, other demands in life interfered, called me away… until the practice became only a memory, choked out by the weeds of my own life. I see times when a book I read or a retreat experience inspired me. And for a time my fervor leapt off those pages! …until it didn’t.

I expect my own spiritual life is not unique. I think most of us experience highs and lows in our interior life, as our fervor waxes and wanes. Though God consistently reaches toward us, offers God’s self in love, our response has its peak moments and its valleys.

It is consoling for me to know that the abundant harvest in the gospel is not based on fervor but on faithfulness. While our feelings may come and go, warm and cool, God’s love can produce an abundant harvest in us if we are faithful, if we keep showing up. We keep praying. We keep serving the poor. We keep caring for others. And so we work the soil.

And then God's love in us produces a life that “bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. “

by: Pat Schnee

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