February 28, 2019
THE WORD OF GOD! What happens when we encounter the Word of God, let us say at Sunday Mass? Looking back quickly on my long priestly ministry, I notice that the approach usually taken was to roll up our sleeves and tackle the Word to get Its’ message. When stated this way, we realize a problem immediately – we do not master the Word but we should let the Word master us!
Even though today in our culture, we think we shape the Word or Its’ meaning, the truth is the other way round – It shapes us. Our culture puts man/woman at the centre and heart of things and this wrongly determines our perspective.
Let us take a Jewish story from the Hebrew/First Testament in Genesis 32 to make our point – Jacob wrestling with an “angel” all night. In the wrestling match Jacob gets hurt, a hurt that lasts (“hip put out of joint”).
The Word is not our humble servant but we are called to be Its humble servant. This requires a lot of prayer and humility from our end. The Word (through grace) reveals and discloses to us what we are called to do or to be differently. There is a subtle distinction here: God reveals meaning to us and our response is to find this meaning rather than we wrestle the Word into submission and pull the meaning out of it.
Let us now move on to today’s Scripture Readings. The first reading from Sirach reminds us that the test of a just (holy) person is in tribulation; we know this is true because the last word in Christianity in all things is Christ’s resurrection. The second reading from Saint Paul really underscores this by powerfully reminding us that our perishable mortal body in Christ puts on immortality and imperishability – again a resurrection theme. The Gospel urges us to be able to see better and note again this really means “seeing” resurrection again! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for helping us see “better.”
“Lord, it is good to give thanks to you!”