The Scripture readings for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, July 16, 2017 are:First Reading: Isaiah 55:10–13
From the Epistles: Romans 8:12–17
The Holy Gospel: Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23The Preaching of the Word of Christ Bears the Good Fruits of Faith and Love
As “the rain and the snow come down from heaven” and “water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout” (Is. 55:10), so the Word of God accomplishes the purpose for which He speaks it, granting joy and peace through the forgiveness of sins and producing the fruits of faith and love in those who are called by His name. Christ Jesus, the incarnate Word, has established the name of the Lord as “an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Is. 55:13). He opens our ears to hear, our minds to understand and our hearts to believe His Word, lest the evil one come and snatch it away. He thus transforms our rocky hearts into good soil, which clings to the Gospel and “indeed bears fruit” (Matt. 13:23). He is Himself the firstfruits of all who “have received the Spirit of adoption as sons” (Rom. 8:15). Thus being “led by the Spirit of God,” we are not afraid, but we cry out in faith to our Father in heaven (Rom. 8:14–15). For as we suffer with Christ, the beloved Son, so shall we “also be glorified with him” (Rom. 8:17).