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Homily of Bishop William Crean – 12th July 2020

15th Sunday A
12th July 2020
St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh

“So the word that goes forth from my mouth does not return to me unfulfilled” Is. 55:11

My friends,

One of the side effects of peoples experience of working from home is that people are prompted to think again about the place they call home.  Some people have had the experience of working from a location where they have had a new experience of nature – be it hearing the birdsong in the morning, to walks in woodlands, parks or by the waters edge.  It is an experience that is a kind of reawakening – it has touched their lives on the level of wellbeing both of body and spirit.  It has helped of course that the weather during the early part of the lockdown was conducive to getting out into the fresh air.

Though mind you in this context also I heard a word of caution for those inclined to move to some idyllic home           in the wilderness that they should check out first what its like in the middle of winter and that might dampen their enthusiasm!

It all brings to mind the importance of our relationship not just with nature alone but also with the architectural environment in which we live – by way of our homes, schools and community services what we are coming to realise is that all these experiences home, work, school, music, play and spirituality are important threads in the fabric of our lives.  When they are woven together, we have a balance that enables us to live wholesome and contented lives.  The opposite is also true.

It is remarkable and enlightening to hear in the readings to-day all the elements of nature being used so freely to enable us understand more deeply the ways of God and our relationship with the divine and life itself.

The parable of the sower in the Gospel is the most familiar story to help us grasp something of our lives as seed once sown by God.

Less familiar to us are the words of Isaiah where the same idea of our lives as seed, as sources of possibility and rich harvest are in Gods design never wasted, never return to Him empty without having accomplished the purpose for which we are sent into the world. This means no life is without purpose and worth.  But we are not puppets in the hands of God – we are gifted and free.

While we are equal in dignity and worth, we are not equal in giftedness and opportunity. That is where our new understanding of the inter connected nature of humanity and our physical world – which Pope Francis is striving to get all nations and peoples to see as our common home.  This week is the 7th anniversary of his surprise visit to Lampedusa in southern Italy to draw attention to the plight of migrants – people displaced by poverty and violence from their home in search of a better life.

Just last week we were given the statistic of the number of abortions carried out in this country in 2019 – 6666.  The silence with which it was greeted by politicians and media was shocking in its acquiescent silence.  We were assured it would be a rare occurrence and only when necessary.  Those unborn got no choice they too were displaced by a calculated choice which violated their dignity and worth.  Contrast that with the statistics which came to us in the midst of the threat of Covid 19 – of which those at the twilight of life are the most likely victims – it is heart-warming to witness the care and compassion they have received.

The faith and trust we have in God as creator and giver of the gifts and our love and appreciation in return is the treasure of great price.  It gives us a rich and wholesome view of the work of God as the great sower casting out seed with abandon but with great hope.  Nothing and no one is wasted or lost rather together we form the threads of the rich tapestry letting our texture and colour contribute in our own small way to make it a wonderful world for all.

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