THE FRUIT OF THE WORD OF GOD
⏰Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
📕Jer 1:4-5, 17-19; Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab and 17 (R.v.15ab); 1 Cor 12:31 13:13; Luke 4:21-30
🎤THE FRUIT OF THE WORD OF GOD
Last Sunday, we reflected on our disposition towards the Word of God and what it means to our lives. Indeed, we concluded that the word of God has a transforming power and can influence our lives greatly. More importantly, it serves to engender an abundance of life and joy in us.
However, we could see from the Gospel of today that that same word has a different effect upon the Jews. From the Gospel of last Sunday, Jesus informed them that he is the long-awaited Messiah (cf. Luke 4:18-19). That would not go down well with them because they know him too well the son of Joseph, a carpenter (Luke 4:22). Have you not heard that familiarity breeds contempt and contempt rob us of opportunities to succeed? It is because of such contempt that they were robbed of miracles in the past (cf. Luke 4:25-27).
Are we not equally as guilty as those Jews in our present time? What does the word of God mean to us? Have we not turned the Sunday Mass into mere obligation that we are just required to fulfill? Do we not treat homilies and reflections as one of those things we have always heard in the past? Is the Church still a sacred place to us or just one of those places we can enter and make noise as we wish? Think of these before hauling stones at the Jews.
Note also that the reaction against Jesus today did not only arise from over-familiarity. Listen to what the Gospel said, “When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath” (Luke 4:28). Do we not sometime take only the parts of the scripture that favour us while rejecting the others as adulterated? Are we challenged to change when we hear the word of God or does it spring up the devil in us and push us to attack the preacher?
The word of God belongs to God himself and anyone who attacks it or the bearer attacks God (cf. Acts 9:3-5). Hence, God makes a promise, in the First Reading, to the carriers of his word that he is always with them to protect them.
For all of us too, once we allow the word of God to bear good fruit in us, he would make us a fortified city against the manipulations of the enemy. St. Paul discussed that fruit in the Second Reading. It is the fruit of faith, hope and love. The most important of them is love. God is love and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him (1 John 4:16).
May God give us the grace to shun all temptations that push us into treating his word with contempt. May he also deliver us from the hands of those who turn against us because of him, and make his word to always bear the fruit of love in our lives. Amen.
Have a fruitful and lovely Sunday. Peace be with you.