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.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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