BRIDGEPORT—Summer is a good time for followers of Christ to look in the mirror, examine their conscience and assess the state of their spirituality, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said in his homily during the Mass for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
In his weekly online Mass from the Catholic Center chapel, the bishop said that hearing the parable of the “sower and the seed” (Matthew 13: 1-23) when summer gardens are at their height should lead us to ask if we are receptive to the seed planted by God in our own lives.
“In His grace and power, He seeks a place in your life and mine —in the seed bed of your heart, mind, and will. He wishes for us to be healed, to be set free, and to be sent on a journey to everlasting glory.”
The bishop said that the gospel written for an agrarian society equally challenges us to ask the question, “What part of your life or seedbed of mind and heart has not yet fully received the gift of the Lord Jesus?”
Discussing the pitfalls that prevent spiritual seed from growing and bearing fruit in our lives, the bishop said that in the gospel the seed that spills on the path and is eaten by birds is a reminder that we must prepare ourselves to receive the word by “spending time in the presence of the Lord through scripture and prayer.”
“Do we truly understand what a gift it is, and what it promises us? How many times in neglect and laziness have we not spent time in the presence of Christ, so he can be our teacher?”
The seed falling on rocky ground, which is initially received with joy but doesn’t take, is an analogy of the human heart, the bishop said.
Many of us accept the Lord joyfully when things are going good, but “when suffering and tribulation come, when our hearts are broken, troubled and disappointed, we turn away. Yet that’s the time we need to walk further with the Lord…because his spirit and his life can bring healing,” he said.
The seed that falls upon thorns represents our worldly anxieties and desires that often “choke the seed so it cannot bear fruit.”
Those who would follow the Lord need to persevere and to not be lured by possessions, fame, and power, or other things that don’t last, the bishop said.
“They are not important. Only Christ lasts. Yet how many times have we chosen not to make Christ the centerpiece of our life?” he asked.
The bishop concluded his homily by noting that none of us is fully prepared to receive the Lord.
“We all need conversion and change. That’s why we come to the Eucharist. Let us never forget in the tumult and distraction of modern life that the Word has come to us to heal and to bring us home to eternal life.”
Before giving his final blessing the bishop said that he prayed for all the faithful of the diocese and their families, and asked them to pray for him in his ministry as together we “traverse the unknown world of the pandemic.”
To join in the Bishop’s Sunday Mass, live-streamed weekly, click this link or visit the YouTube Mass Playlist.
To join the bishop and others in the weekly Sunday Rosary, please visit https://formationreimagined.org/summer-sunday-rosary/.
If you do not have access to a computer but still wish to join, please call 301-715-8592, 845-737-3993, or 312-626-6799, and enter this ID number when prompted: 853 2949 3207 If you call in a few minutes early, you should hear some music until we begin.