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Put Yourself Into It

As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit
Matthew 13:1-23 or 13:1-9

Sermon Topic God: word of

Sermon Week Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 13:23


A seminary student was showing little promise of developing into a good preacher. One day, as he stumbled through a practice sermon in class, his homiletics professor called out to him from the back of the room: "Why can't you be more enthusiastic? Speak louder. Open your mouth. Put yourself into it!"

No better phrase could describe the energy and enthusiasm of the New Testament writers: "They put themselves into it!" They wanted us to know and love Christ as they did. And they made a particular effort to try to get us to think of Christ as the Word of God. The Apostle Peter has written,

Your rebirth has come, not from a destructible but from an indestructible seed through the living and enduring Word of God.

Then, quoting from the Old Testament Prophet, Isaiah, Peter says:

All mankind is grass and the glory of men is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower wilts, but the Word is the Gospel which was preached to you" (1 Pt. 1:23-25).

Among all the other ancient religions, sight is primary in the relationship with God. There is an emphasis on visions or on idols that one can see. In our Judeo-Christian Tradition, the element of sight has not been absent. Prophets were referred to as "seers" or "visionaries," for example. Nevertheless, in the Judeo-Christian Tradition, the encounter with God is not primarily through seeing but hearing. The "Word of the Lord" is a phrase that occurs hundreds of times in the Old Testament.

According to a story told by the late humorist, Bennett Cerf, there were press agents at work all the way back to the time of Moses in the Old Testament. It seems that Moses' chief publicity person was urging him to build a bridge across the Red Sea as an escape route from the Egyptians. "There is no time for that," said Moses. "I have just received the Word of the Lord. I am to order the Red Sea to part in the middle and we'll just walk right through." To which the press [...]

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