St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
1008 Maple Dr.
Webster, NY 14580
Weekend Masses: Saturday- 5:00pm
Sunday- 7:30am; 9:00am (children's liturgy); 10:30am
Daily Mass is at 8:15am on Monday, Tuesday,
Thursday, and Friday (no Mass on Wednesday)
Reconciliation: Saturday from 3:30-4:30pm
Office Hours: M-Th 9am to 4:30pm; Fri 9-12:00pm

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinaty Time

In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) 
THE SEED THAT FALLS ON GOOD GROUND WILL YIELD A FRUITFUL HARVEST This Sunday's scripture readings offer some thought provoking analogies of the power of the word of God, how we respond to it and its effect on us.

In our first reading (Isaiah 55:10-11), Isaiah draws on the natural world and the cycle of life to remind us that the word of God, just like the spring rains, feeds our souls and transforms us, allowing God's word to return to him, achieving the good that he intended.
Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.

Our Gospel reading (Matthew 13:1-23) is the familiar parable of the Sower. We hear Jesus preaching to the crowds and then explaining in more detail to his disciples. The question to consider is how do we respond to God's word; that is what determines the kind of soil we are.

(Abridged version - click HERE for full verson Matt 13:1-13)
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear."

In our Epistle reading (Romans 8:18-23), St. Paul talks about our current sufferings while we wait for the glory to come. Our "groaning pains" will one day give way to the "glorious freedom". And while we wait, it is the word of God that sustains and feeds us.

Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

There are three actors in the parable of the sower - the one who sows, the seed itself and the one who receives the seed. We already know that the seed and the one who sows it is God himself. The variable in the story is us. How we receive God's word and Eucharist is what determines the good that it will do and whether it will return to God having accomplished the good that he intended. Pray God that it does.

Click Here to read, reflect and pray on the full readings for Sunday, July 16, 2017