“YOUR WORDS, O LORD, ARE SPIRIT AND LIFE” (cf. John 6:63)
📕Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10; Ps 19:7, 8, 9, 14 (R.see John 6:63c); 1 Cor 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
🎤”YOUR WORDS, O LORD, ARE SPIRIT AND LIFE” (cf. John 6:63)
How do you normally conceive and treat the Word of God? What is your attitude towards it especially while it is being celebrated in the Church or elsewhere? Are you among those who treat it with less concern and contempt by noise-making or doubt? Then, listen attentively to what today’s Liturgy has in stuck for you.
The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council called for an active participation of all the faithful in the celebration of the Liturgy. That call is not a baseless one, and it is meant to strengthen our relationship with God who is made more real in the celebration of the Liturgy. In the First Reading of today, while Ezra, the priest, was reading the book of the Law, the scripture, “… the ears of all the people were attentive” (Neh 8:3).
You can see from that reading that the people did not begin to behave as if they are less important in the gathering. They belong to the same body of Christ, which St. Paul makes reference to in the Second Reading, and make their own contribution to make the Liturgy beautiful. Do you open your mouth to sing in the Church when others are singing, or pray when they are praying, or join in responses required of you? Do you pay adequate attention to the Word of God while it is read and allow it to penetrate into your being and affect your life?
Just as Ezra pointed out to the people, the word of God ought to inspire us to joy and not sorrow; it suppose to liberate us instead of keeping us hostage. Jesus is that word of God incarnate (cf. John 1:1, 14). This Word declares today in the Gospel that his mission is that of provision and liberation (cf. Luke 4:18-19). And he wants us to join him in that mission when he says, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matt 28:19). One way of doing that is by sharing that joy with those who are lacking in it – those who are poor, materially and spiritually.
May the joy of the Lord continue to strength us and enable us to put smiles on the faces of those who dwell in pains and tears. Amen