#50 COPYRIGHT OF THE SPIRIT

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Lk 4:16 “The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me.”

The Word of God is the most powerful force on the face of the earth. Look around. Everything you see and perceive, even your very self, is a product of the Divine Word. Today, we are reminded not to get too familiar with it that we take it for granted. We must listen to it, reverence it and put it to practice.

LITURGY

The word “Liturgy” means “public worship”. The Church at worship is the home of the Scriptures. Before the advent of the print media, the Word of God was almost only heard in Church at Mass. It was purely a liturgical book. It is in the Church that it is read and explained. From the Word, we find courage to approach the Eucharist where we draw strength to live a life of love.

REVERENCE

You can never be the same after listening attentively to God’s Word. The Israelites realised how far they were from God’s law because they were ignorant of His Word. Listen to the readings attentively. Reverence it in the way that is custom in your faith community and take the preacher’s word to heart. Do not be saddened by what you hear. Thank God that you have the opportunity of a fresh start.

INSPIRATION

St Luke tells us something unique about the Gospels. He says that there were so many in his time. Many of these have resurfaced in our time fuelling curiosity and suspicion. He tells us that his is “an ordered account” of the events of Christ’s life. There are four criteria by which a writing is considered “inspired”:

Apostolic origin; its author should be an apostle of Christ or one of their disciple to establish their authenticity.

Rule of faith; the work must tell the truth about the person and mission of Christ. Works which betray the true identity of Christ were ruled out and considered purely works of fiction.

Addressed community; the Christian community to which it is address had the duty of promoting it and proving that it is genuine and a work which promotes the Christian faith.

Church intuition: Some works, even when they did not meet the above requirements, got approval because of a sense that they teach the true Christian faith.

POWERED BY THE SPIRIT

Jesus is God and the second person of the Holy Trinity. But He wasn’t just doing his own thing. The ministry of Christ is the action of the whole Trinity (Totas trinitas). Jesus was prompted by the Holy Spirit and the approval of the Father who called Him “my beloved Son” (Lk 9:35).

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SCRIPTURE ACCOMPLISHED

The words of Isaiah 61:1-2 is accomplished through Christ. Through the Word, He brings good news, liberty, sight, freedom and favour to all. What is your disposition to the words you read and hear?

LISTEN

Listening is the first step in the renewing process of the Word. You should realise that God’s Word is addressed to you in your situation. Never be indifferent to its demands. Always ask, “What must I do?” and follow through with action.

BAPTISM

We receive the power of audition by our reception of the Sacrament of Initiation. In the waters of baptism we are made heirs to the Father’s kingdom (Jn 1:12), sons (and daughters) with the Son (Gal 4:6) and the same Spirit has been given to us all (1Cor 12:13).

PARTS OF A WHOLE

The power of God’s Word is seen in the powerful witness of the lives of every member of the Church. Our witness is a life love and genuine concern for others, of compassion and tolerance, forgiveness and meaningful collaboration. The Word of God can be a binding factor leading us to genuine personal conversion and global evangelisation. This is only possible when we truly consider each other parts of one body.

The power of the Holy Spirit is manifest in each of us for different purposes (apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, helpers, leaders and polyglots among others). It has also made us dependent on each other (weak and strong) so that we can partake equally of hurt and honour.

THE WORD 

Psalm 19 reveals the secret power of God’s word; it Revives the soul, gives Wisdom, Gladdens the heart, gives Light to the eyes and is True and Just.

The Word of God is so important in our day. But its power is revealed only to those who seek it sincerely and diligently.

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Prayer: Lord, let your Word dwell richly in me. Let it melt away my indifference and mould me and use me to bring glory to you.

Keepsake: God’s Word has the power to transform you into a Vessel of God’s glory. Listen to it.

Today’s Readings: Neh 8:2-6,8-10; Ps 19:8-10,15; 1Cor 12:12-30; Lk 1:1-4,4:14-21

#46 WISDOM IS WEALTH

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Who needs wisdom when you have wealth?”

I can almost hear the average Nigerian youth speaking. It is easy to be disillusioned when you are hungry. Who can blame you? Desperate times do not always call for desperate measures. Sometimes you have to sit and look at the situation carefully before acting. Now back to the issue at hand. If you have to choose between wealth and wisdom, which would you go for? Let me tell a story before you give me your answer:

A rich young man came to Jesus and asked a very curious question, “Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” It is curious that he would be asking for something from a poor itinerant preacher like Christ. To be rich implies that you have very little need of others. But here he was asking for what to do in order to live. He probably has realised something that most rich people find hard to admit to themselves. He realised that he was empty. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mk 10:17).

It is interesting that he said “inherit”. An inheritance is not a right. It is a gift, a privilege, something someone else has worked for. Jesus, by his life, death and resurrection, gained eternal life for everyone who believes in Him (cf. Jn 3:16,17). The rich young man sought something that money cannot buy. Jesus tells Him that the only way to earn eternal life is to lay down the false security he clung so tightly to. Jesus is not saying that wealth is evil. He is pointing out that if your gifts are only used for your selfish gains, then it is useless. True wealth seeks to make others better. Others must share in the gifts that God has given you (cf. James 1:17). Wisdom helps you realise this fact. To possess wisdom is to have true wealth. And true wealth is that which builds others in the community. In using your gifts to make others better, you receive the gifts of eternal life. In fact, to have wisdom is to have everything.

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It takes wisdom to see Christ as the truth and to follow Him. Wisdom alone opens our eyes to our need for God and the gift of eternal life. King Solomon who is famed as the richest man in the Scriptures had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask God for anything he wanted. But he humbly asked for “wisdom…a wise heart that is able to distinguish good and evil” (1Kg 33:4-15). Wealth and the beauty of life is nothing compared to wisdom. When we seek the world and all the pleasures it afford for their own sake, we are soon exhausted and left with a bitter aftertaste in our mouths. How many times have you longed for the latest phone, dress or car only to receive it? How did it make you feel? Did it give you the joy you expected? Maybe it did but not for long. Does that tell you something about the world and created things? There is nothing in this created world that can give you happiness.

Now back to the question: The question itself is misleading. It is not the case of either-or. Wealth is God’s gift to some for the good of all. They must seek to better the lives of others by it.

Yours,

BLOGATRON

#42 6 REASONS TO ATTEND MASS

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Dear Doctimus Prime,

I just wanted to tell you about tomorrow.

  1. WHAT’S NEW?

Tomorrow is the celebration of all celebrations. It is the reason we can call ourselves CHRISTIANS. Tomorrow is the celebration that makes us God’s holy and covenant people (cf. 1Pt 2:9). God made man becomes the centrepiece of our Christian worship and life. Tomorrow, we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the Holy Eucharist, Corpus Christi in Latin.

  1. DESCRIPTION

The Eucharist is the sacrament of the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, together with His soul and divinity, under the appearance of bread and wine. This means that at no other time and in no other place is Jesus truly present on earth than in the Eucharist. The Opening Prayer of the Mass gives us a beautiful summary of what Jesus wishes to accomplish in you through the Eucharist by pointing out that:

  • In it, Christ leaves us a remembrance (memorial) of His Passion (death on the Cross for love of us);
  • An opportunity to worship and adore Him in His Real Presence;
  • And experience the fruits of our redemption as often as we approach him in the sacrament.
  1. WORSHIP

Catholic worship exists and thrives because of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is Jesus Himself, in body, blood, soul and divinity, to nourish us in soul and body. Jesus left us this rare and extravagant gift of Himself because he knows that without Him we cannot perform any good or meritorious action (cf. Jn 15:5). It is also interesting that His divine present only appears on the altar during the sacrifice of the Mass, when a Catholic priest says the words that Jesus Himself said at the Last Supper when he took bread and wine and gave thanks. From this sacrament we are also given Jesus, placed in the tabernacle and in the monstrance for us, to worship. All of Catholic worship draws strength and points to the Eucharist as their source and summit. If you wish to offer God a most solemn worship and the highest honour, attend Mass!

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  1. THANKSGIVING

“Eucharistia”, the Greek word from which the English word “Eucharist” is derived, means “Thanksgiving”. This refers to the prayer of Thanksgiving which Jesus offered when he lifted up the bread and wine in prayer at the Last Supper (1Cor 11:23-27). When we come to mass, we come to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. This is symbolised in the offering we bring to the altar just before the priest blesses the gifts. Through our offering, we give ourselves to God along with the fruits of our labour. God accepts our offering, blesses us and transforms our gifts into His body and blood and returns it to us in the Eucharist for our spiritual nourishment.

  1. BANQUET

The Eucharist is called a Sacred Banquet because it mirrors the celebration which we shall have in heaven. Jesus told his disciples that he will not drink wine until he drinks it anew in heaven; this is an indication that the Eucharist is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet (Mk 14:25). The best party of all time happens every time you come to mass and admission is absolutely free!

  1. FAMILY

When we gather around the table of the Word and Eucharist, we answer God’s call to make our home with Him. Jesus should be the king of your home and the head of your family. By nourishing us at the table of His Word and Eucharist, he fills us with love for each other. We are no longer to look at each other as strangers but siblings of our one and true Father (Gal 3:28; Col 3:11). Draw strength and inspiration from the Eucharistic table to gather as a family daily in prayer. A Eucharistic family prays together and by praying together they remain together.

You have six reasons to relish every moment at mass tomorrow. God bless!

Yours,

BLOGATRON