Her Doctrine and Morals

Sexagesima Sunday

12 February 2023


The Sunday


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The Sunday Sermon Archive

Dear Friends in Christ,

(The following is from the archives. It was written by Bishop Louis Vezelis, OFM.)

All great things have humble beginnings. And all failures start big. Today's Gospel reading is so clear that the only thing required is to read it attentively. Many other parables spoken by Our Lord leave some room for misunderstanding, depending upon each individual's supernatural grace. But the Gospel portion for this Sunday is so significant that even Our Lord might have felt it necessary to explain clearly what He meant.

He said: "The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock; as soon as it sprung up, it withered away because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it choked it. And other some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold. Saying these things, He cried out: "he who hath ears to hear, let him hear." And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be. To whom He said: "to you, it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing may not understand.

Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. And they by the wayside are they that hear; then the devil cometh, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock, are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no roots; for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation, they fall away. And that which fell among thorns, are they who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground, are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience."

Even though the words are clear to those of genuine faith, they remain obscure to others. That is why Our Lord addressed those without faith as having eyes but unable to see and having ears; they hear but cannot understand.

It is not for the three-fourths who turn away from God that any comment needs to be made because they turn away from His word. But, for all those who aspire to be classified as the "good ground," a word of warning and encouragement is required.

The truth is plain to see and understand. The conclusions are unavoidable. "Our Lord's words shall not pass away even though heaven and earth pass away!" It is clear: Out of the four kinds of souls that receive the word of God, only one type of soul accepts the word of God and lives by it, thus producing the fruits of virtues. As for the others, let them go; do not disturb your peace of mind and heart over them. They have already chosen to resist God's grace. It is not your fault — at least, let us hope not.

But, are you going to lose your soul just because someone else is on the way to perdition? Why do people give in to the pressures of the lost? It is just this side of madness to abandon God and try to please those who are the enemies of God. Does it really matter if these enemies of God and their own souls happen to live in your own home? That they are among the members of your own family? That they are your flesh and blood? Who do we think we are that we would place ourselves above God, the just Judge, and defy His laws just to "protect" wayward members of families? Of course, it is deplorable and heartbreaking. But will it be any better for them if you lose your soul, too? Be assured that today's blindness to reality will be tomorrow's gnashing of teeth for all eternity.

We should all strive to be among the elect. The operative word here is "strive." Is it wise to follow those who have heard the word of God and almost as quickly abandon it for some fleeting care, for some hope of riches or pleasure? God has called everyone to be a winner. We cannot blame Him if three-quarters of humanity choose to be losers.

Look around you and judge for yourself: Look at the losers and imagine yourself among them. Is it all worth it? Most people who have sold their souls to Satan can only pretend to be happy. They are not satisfied; they merely go from one passing distraction to another, not to find happiness but to stifle the loud rebukes of conscience. Filled with hate for themselves, they can only hate others, especially those they perceive to be truly happy.

All things pass away — good things and bad things. There are no pockets in shrouds for those who hoard their wealth and have no compassion for the needy; there is an end to the pleasures of this world through sickness and debilitating age. All things pass away, but one thing will not pass away: The day of judgment when every person will stand before Jesus Christ to be judged. Then, all the heretics will hear that dreaded sentence: Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. Where shall they go? Heaven is closed to them because they chose the swill of the pigpen rather than the pearl of great price.

There are only four choices for every man: three are very bad, and only one is good.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces, Protect Our Faith!

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