Welcome to the Virtual Parish weekly worship! We encourage you to participate with your family in the following Liturgy of the Word. You will find audio recordings of the readings and videos of Father Au reading the Gospel and providing his Homily.
Have a blessed weekend.
Audio of the readings, read by Shrine parishioner Chrissy Kelleher
First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 65:10, 11 ,12-13, 14
Response: "The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest."
Second Reading: Romans 8:18-23
Our life is God's project, not ours.
Today's Gospel presents the parable of the Sower. While this parable has been given many interpretations, it was probably first used by Jesus to respond to the fear of His disciples who were reacting to the often negative responses they were getting from people to their preaching and their concern that they were not getting the results and responses they had hoped for from those to whom they preached.
Jesus uses the image of the farmer who spreads the seed all over the ground to be planted and then has to wait and allow the unseen forces of nature to bring a harvest out of his efforts.It is a parable through which He tries to teach them that they must be faithful to do what they are called to do and then trust God to bring forth from their labor what God has planned.
Jesus is seeking to free his friends from one of the heaviest and most destructive burdens we place on ourselves: the burden of trying to control life and the fear that motivates it. He wants to free His disciples from the fear that makes them feel that if they do not get the results and responses they need, or want, that they are failures. He is trying to teach them one of the most important lessons that we need to learn as well. We know the fear that seduces us into thinking that we must control things to get the results we need from our efforts and the responses we need from our relationships, for if we don't, we fear we will be failures and be without what we need for a meaningful and happy life. The problem, however, is that we learn all too painfully that life will not be subject to such control. It is the game of trying to control life to get what we think we need that, causes so much unnecessary sorrow and robs us of inner peace. It becomes the greatest burden we bear, for it is the burden of trying to carry ourselves in a way that only God can carry us.
In the face of the inevitable failure of this game, we fall into despair. It is here that we need the Risen Lord to sit us down, as He did with the disciples, and tell us the parable of the Sower. We need to allow Him to teach us that our lives are not our project that we are responsible to successfully complete according to instructions that someone forgot to put in the box. Our lives are mysteries, unfolding in God's love and plan, and we are never alone in the unfolding of that mystery. We must give up our illusion of control and do our part to sow the love that is in our hearts to give to each other, and God will bring out of our lives a harvest that we could not begin to imagine.
Gracious and loving God, aware of your loving but mysterious plan for us, we come before you as your family of hope. We dare to allow you to act as you choose best, realizing that to hope in you despite all twists and turns is to be assured of your timely help:
- That all civil and religious leaders may provide hope for their communities by assuring them of their God’s abiding care and providence, we pray to the Lord…
- That parents may inspire their children to ground hope for their future in God’s tender and loving care despite all problems and anxieties, we pray to the Lord…
- That all educators may teach an abiding sense of hope in their charges by acting in ways that communicate their God’s ongoing care and love, we pray to the Lord…
- For all our beloved dead, we pray to the Lord…
- For those for whom we have promised to pray, especially, Melanie Crawford, and Laura Dugan, we pray to the Lord…
- For those of our parish who are sick, especially those listed in our bulletin, we pray to the Lord…
- For the safety of those who guard and protect the public peace, and for the safety of those serving in the military, we pray to the Lord…
With grateful hearts we dedicate these prayers to your care, confident in your power to make life and make it new. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Lord, make me a channel of your peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
where there is error, I may bring truth;
where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
where there is despair, I may bring hope;
where there are shadows, I may bring light;
where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand than to be understood;
to love than to be loved;
for it is by forgetting self that one finds;
it is by forgiving that one is forgiven;
it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.