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Musical Musings
15th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Year A
July 16, 2023
MD Ridge

Irony, or Who Says God Doesn’t Have a Sense of Humor?

There’s a certain irony in today’s readings about the rain watering the land and the seed, and all creation groaning with labor pains, and the parable of the sower and the seed. The irony is that I am way behind on regular productive work because I am laboring in the heat in my yard because everything is whining, “Mow me!” “Trim me!” “Weed me!” “Mow me!” (What, again? I just did that!)

Sisyphus had nothin’ on me.

I know many people who find working in their gardens to be refreshing and enjoyable.

I do not have a green thumb. Nothing flourishes under my ministrations except, of course, stuff I don’t want to flourish. I know many people who find working in their gardens to be refreshing and enjoyable; they like getting their hands in the dirt. I am not one of these people. I have a yard, not a garden. This is hard labor, not what I’d call refreshing. And scrubbing dirt out from under my fingernails? Ewww.

There’s another irony, in that I have written songs on these very subjects. “The Seed That Falls on Good Ground” is a setting of Psalm 65. I wrote “Parable,” which combines the familiar text from Ecclesiastes with verses from the parable in Matthew’s gospel, for my beloved pastor who was being transferred out of the area; it’s been used for funerals, graduations, and many celebrations of passage from one life into the next. I had the honor of singing it at his funeral 17 years later.

Fortunately, parables are the opposite of literal. Also fortunately, psalms are poetry, often pastoral. And, fortunately for me, a hands-on knowledge of gardening is not a prerequisite for either.

MD Ridge
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Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C).
This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go

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