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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Mass Readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

  • First ReadingIsaiah 55:10-11: The Lord’s word is likened to rain that nourishes the earth, promising that it will accomplish its intended purpose without returning void.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 65: You enrich the land, making it fruitful. Your generosity fills the year with abundance, causing fields and valleys to flourish and sing with joy.
  • Second ReadingRomans 8:18-23: Current sufferings are minimal compared to the future glory awaiting God’s children. All creation yearns for this liberation and shares in the anticipation of redemption.
  • GospelMatthew 13:1-23: Jesus shares a parable about a sower who scattered seeds, symbolizing the spreading of God’s word. The seeds fell on different types of soil, representing various responses to the message. Some seeds produced abundant fruit, while others were hindered by thorns, rocky ground, or birds. Jesus explains the meaning of each element, highlighting the importance of receptive hearts for the growth and understanding of God’s teachings.

Themes for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A tell of how our relationship with God helps us grow, which in turn allows our lives to bear fruit. The first reading explains that God’s Word is like the rain, which falls on the earth and makes it fertile. The second reading reminds us that a new creation is going to emerge. And in the gospel Jesus tells the parable of the sower and explains that our hearts must be ready to receive the Word of God.

  • God’s Word: The first reading highlights the power and effectiveness of God’s word, comparing it to rain and snow that bring nourishment and produce fruitful results.
  • Spiritual Nourishment: The imagery of rain and snow in the passage symbolizes the spiritual nourishment and refreshment that come from engaging with God’s word, highlighting the life-giving nature of Scripture.
  • Receptive Hearts: Jesus teaches about the different types of hearts or dispositions of people who hear the word of God, emphasizing the importance of having a receptive heart that receives and embraces the message.
  • Responses to God’s Word: The parable illustrates various responses to the word of God, including unbelief, superficial faith, distractions, and genuine faith and fruitfulness.
  • Fruitfulness and Growth: The parable emphasizes the power of God’s word, depicting the potential for growth and abundant fruitfulness in the lives of those who receive and apply it.

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

Resources for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Lectio Divina

On the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, we can consider the practice of Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina invites us to receive the Word of God with open hearts and minds. In this ancient spiritual practice, we read and meditate on the sacred text, allowing it to penetrate the depths of our being. Like the seeds that fell on good soil, Lectio Divina cultivates the fertile ground of our souls, nurturing the growth of God’s wisdom within us. Through careful reflection, we can discern the ways in which the divine Word takes root, bears fruit, and transforms our lives, enabling us to become true disciples of Christ.

Start a Prayer Journal

Introduce the practice of writing in a prayer journal on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. Within its pages, we carefully sow the seeds of our emotions, desires, and questions, allowing them to be nurtured and cultivated by the Divine. In this sacred act of journaling, we create space for the Word to take root, grow, and bear fruit in our lives. Through the reflective process of writing, we invite God to speak to us, to guide us, and to transform us, fostering a deeper intimacy and connection with the Divine presence in our journey of faith.

Fruit Salad Game

On the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we can explore the concept of bearing good fruit through a youth ministry game called “Fruit Salad.” Through this game, the youth are reminded of the importance of bearing good fruit in their thoughts, words, and actions, and how these fruits can contribute to building a more compassionate and loving community. Use this on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

Letter to the Romans

Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Faith, Grace, and Righteousness

The Second Reading for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A is Romans 8:18-23. It highlights that present sufferings are outweighed by the future glory awaiting God’s children. Creation longs for this liberation, joining in the hope of redemption. The letter delves into salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, transcending strict law adherence. Paul emphasizes universal sin and the potential for righteousness through Christ’s sacrifice. The concept of grace and the significance of faith are central. For more resources on the epistle, refer here.

the gospel of matthew

Resources for the Gospel of Matthew

On the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, when the Gospel reading is from Matthew 13:1-23, exploring resources and background information for the Gospel of Matthew can deepen our understanding of the parable of the sower and its significance.

Homilies and Reflections for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 12, 2026

In this reflection for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Jeff Cavins discusses the parable of the sower. Jesus describes the different types of soil: the path, rocky ground, thorny ground, and good ground. These represent the receptiveness of our hearts to God’s word. Cavins emphasizes the importance of truly listening to the word of God, not just hearing it superficially. By understanding and truly receiving the word, we can bear much fruit. Cavins encourages listeners to focus their hearts during Mass and to deepen their connection with the word of God.

Fr. Mike Schmitz reflects on the various ways people approach reading the Bible. Initially, it may be seen as a collection of captivating stories from childhood. As we grow older, we may seek inspiration from the Bible’s quotes but find that not all passages are inspiring. Some turn to it as an answer book for guidance but often feel unsatisfied.

Fr. Mike explains that while the Bible contains different genres, it always conveys truth. He encourages adult readers to engage both heart and intellect, recognizing human authors used by God to convey divine truths. By embracing the richness of God’s word, we can find truth in its message of salvation.

A Sower Went Out to Sow

A homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A from Bishop Robert Barron. “God is a farmer who sows the seed of his love liberally, on good and bad soil, to saint and sinner alike. There is no limit to God’s willingness to save. If we are the least bit cooperative, the grace of God will cause life to spring up in us thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold.”

The Word’s Return

A reflection on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A from Scott Hahn. “Today’s readings, like last week’s, ask us to meditate on Israel’s response to God’s Word—and our own. Why do some hear the word of the kingdom, yet fail to accept it as a call to conversion and faith in Jesus? That question underlies today’s Gospel, especially.”

The Word That Accomplishes Its Purpose

Another homily from Bishop Barron for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. “This week, we hear from the book of the prophet Isaiah, and the theme of this short passage is the Word of God. How wonderful that we are hearing one of the greatest speakers of the Word precisely on this topic. How central to ancient Israelite religion was the Word! Biblical Israel knew itself to be a people to whom God uniquely had spoken.”

More Thoughts for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Life-Giving Word

In the 1st Reading for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, the prophet Isaiah presents a beautiful analogy of rain and snow descending from heaven, nourishing the earth and enabling it to bear fruit.

This imagery serves as a reminder that just as water sustains and revitalizes the land, God’s Word holds a profound purpose and effect in our lives. It is not a mere collection of empty words or futile ideas but carries with it the power to accomplish precisely what God intends. His Word has the extraordinary ability to breathe life into our beings, bringing about transformation and fulfillment in ways we could never fathom.

When we open ourselves to the Word of God, we allow it to permeate the depths of our being, to penetrate our hearts and minds. It becomes a guiding force, leading us on the path of righteousness and virtue. God’s Word has the power to ignite change within us, helping us to shed our old ways and embrace the transformative journey of faith. It renews us, breathes new life into our spirits, and offers a compass to navigate the complexities of life.

In the presence of God’s Word, we find solace, wisdom, and strength to face the challenges that come our way. It serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring us to persevere and to seek a deeper relationship with our Creator.

Enduring Change for the Kingdom of God

Change is a challenging process, and in the 2nd reading for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A St. Paul describes it as the labor pains of a woman. The arrival of the Kingdom of God will not be a smooth or easy journey; it will require a birthing process that involves pain and struggle.

Similarly, the Parable of the Sower illustrates this idea of birthing new life. Some seeds thrive and bear fruit, while others do not. This parallels the mix of anticipation, joy, and sorrow that can accompany the potential for life. For those who have experienced loss, it can be difficult to trust in the emergence of new life. However, we must be willing to take risks and engage in the birthing process of the Kingdom of God.

Just as a woman perseveres through the pain of labor, we too must endure the challenges and uncertainties that come with bringing forth the Kingdom of God in our lives and in the world. It calls us to step out of our comfort zones, trust in God, and have faith in the possibility of new life and transformation. Even though the process may be arduous and we may encounter setbacks, we are encouraged to embrace the journey, knowing that God’s grace and presence will sustain us. Let us have the courage to take risks, endure the pain, and persist in cultivating a world where God’s love and justice can flourish.

Cultivating Receptive Hearts for God’s Word

The gospel for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A speaks to the different ways people receive and respond to the message of God. It challenges us to reflect on our own openness and receptivity to His Word.

Are we like the hardened path, where the Word cannot penetrate our hearts because of indifference or distractions? Are we like the rocky ground, where we may initially embrace the Word with enthusiasm but lack the perseverance to endure challenges and trials? Are we like the thorny soil, where worldly concerns and desires choke the Word and prevent it from bearing fruit? Or are we like the good soil, where the Word takes root, flourishes, and yields a bountiful harvest?

This reflection on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A invites us to consider the condition of our hearts and the disposition with which we approach God’s Word. It challenges us to cultivate a spirit of openness, attentiveness, and receptivity to His teachings. We are called to remove the hardness of our hearts, deepen our roots in faith, and detach ourselves from the distractions and entanglements of the world. By doing so, we create fertile ground for God’s Word to take root, grow, and bear fruit in our lives.

Reflection Questions for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 12, 2026

  • How can I cultivate a receptive heart to God’s Word in my daily life? What steps can I take to deepen my openness and attentiveness to His teachings?
  • In what ways am I like the different types of soil mentioned in the Parable of the Sower? Do I tend to allow distractions or worldly concerns to hinder the growth of God’s Word in my life? How can I create fertile ground for His Word to take root and flourish?
  • Reflecting on the imagery of labor and birthing, what is a new idea or initiative that I feel called to bring forth into my social circle? Am I willing to embrace the challenges and potential pain that may accompany this process for the sake of the Kingdom of God?
  • Have I ever taken the time to empathize and connect with women who have experienced the pain of loss from miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion? How can I extend compassion, support, and understanding to those who have gone through such experiences?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

rich soil
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. – Matthew 13:8

A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
The sower spreading seed, for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.
Parable Garden Parable of the Sower Activity
Another image for the parable of the sower from Matthew 13:1-23.

Witnesses do not lose themselves in words, but rather they bear fruit. They do not complain about others and the world, but start with themselves. They remind us that God is not to be proven, but shown; not announced with proclamations but witnessed by example.

Pope Francis

Music Suggestions for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Sunday July 12, 2026

Frequently Asked Questions for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

What date is the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A?

The next date is Sunday July 12, 2026

For other years see the links below:
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

What are the Mass readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A?

The Mass readings for Sunday July 12, 2026 are:
First Reading – Isaiah 55:10-11: The Power of the Divine Word
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 65: The Bounty of the Earth
Second Reading – Romans 8:18-23: Sufferings and Future Glory
Gospel – Matthew 13:1-23: The Parable of the Sower
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A and links to the readings.

What are the themes for the Mass readings for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A?

Some themes include the power and effectiveness of God’s word, His faithfulness to His promises, His provision of spiritual nourishment, the importance of receptive hearts, different responses to God’s word, the role of understanding in fruitfulness, and the transformative nature of God’s word in producing growth. These passages highlight the significance of engaging with God’s word, having a receptive heart, and allowing His word to bring forth transformation and fruitfulness in our lives.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.

What is the First Reading for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Isaiah 55:10-11) about?

The First Reading from Isaiah emphasizes the power and effectiveness of God’s Word. It compares God’s Word to rain and snow that water the earth and make it fruitful. The passage affirms that God’s Word accomplishes its purpose, just as the rain brings forth growth and nourishes the land.

What is the significance of the power of the Divine Word in the First Reading for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Isaiah 55:10-11)?

The passage highlights the transformative power of God’s Word and its ability to bring about change and fruitfulness. It illustrates how God’s Word has a purpose and does not return empty, but accomplishes what God intends. The imagery of rain and snow suggests the life-giving and nourishing qualities of God’s Word.

What is the central message of the Responsorial Psalm for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Psalm 65)?

Psalm 65 is a song of praise and thanksgiving for God’s abundant blessings and provision. It celebrates the bounty of the earth and acknowledges God’s care and generosity. The psalmist rejoices in the harvest, the streams of water, and the fertility of the land as signs of God’s goodness.

What does the Second Reading for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Romans 8:18-23) convey?

The Second Reading from Romans speaks of the present sufferings of believers in light of future glory. It acknowledges that creation, including humanity, groans and suffers in anticipation of redemption and restoration. The passage emphasizes the hope and expectation of future glory that surpasses the temporary trials and challenges of the present.

What is the main theme of the Gospel for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Matthew 13:1-23)?

The Gospel passage from Matthew presents the Parable of the Sower. Jesus uses this parable to teach about different responses to the Word of God. The parable highlights the importance of hearing and understanding God’s Word, avoiding distractions and obstacles, and allowing the Word to take root and bear fruit in one’s life.

What is the significance of the Parable of the Sower in the Gospel passage for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (Matthew 13:1-23)?

The Parable of the Sower underscores the importance of receptivity to God’s Word. It portrays various types of soil representing different responses to the Word of God. The parable challenges listeners to examine their own hearts and attitudes towards the Word, encouraging them to cultivate a fertile soil that receives, understands, and bears fruit.

How do the readings on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A connect to each other thematically?

The readings on this Sunday explore themes of the power of God’s Word, abundance, suffering, and growth. The First Reading highlights the effectiveness of God’s Word in accomplishing its purpose. The Responsorial Psalm expresses gratitude for God’s abundant blessings and provision. The Second Reading acknowledges present sufferings in anticipation of future glory. Finally, the Gospel underscores the importance of being receptive to God’s Word and allowing it to take root and bear fruit in our lives. Together, these readings invite us to recognize the power of God’s Word, be grateful for His blessings, endure present sufferings in hope, and cultivate fertile hearts to receive and live out His Word.

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Comments

2 responses to “15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A”

  1. Leo Antony Avatar
    Leo Antony

    Very clear, apt and useful for selection of suitable hymns for thevliturgy. Thank you.

  2. Stella Mary Cheyip Avatar

    I find this reflections very down to earth and easy to understand. I enjoy reading this as preparation for the upcoming Sundays. Thanks a million for this great Divine ministry.

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