GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 14TH APRIL 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 14TH APRIL 2017
FIRST READING: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
PSALM: Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
SECOND READING: Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9
GOSPEL: John 18:1-19:42
THEME: IT IS FINISHED
Normally, the last words of a dying person are invaluable. This is because those words often emanate from the deep recesses of the person’s being. Similarly, the last word of Jesus on the cross encapsulates his whole mission and helps us to unravel the mystery surrounding his death.
The author of the Gospel of John renders the last word of Jesus on the cross as “tetelestai”. A good number of English bibles translate this Greek word as “It is finished.” The verb at the root of this Greek word fundamentally denotes “to carry out” the will of somebody, whether of oneself or another, and so to fulfill an obligation.
Hence, from a theological perspective, the last word of Jesus interprets his suffering and dying as the crowning conclusion and high point of the work that he performed in radical obedience to the Father. The second reading of today summarizes this point: “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered” (cf. Heb 5:8). By this singular act of Christ, what needs to be done to save us has been done. It is finished!
Faith in the words, “it is finished”, gives one a certain divine boldness to jump out of every “hot water” one falls into. It arouses in a person a certain inner conviction that there is a way out of every problem. Faith in these words of Christ will enable you to rise up after every fall into sin and overcome every evil that comes your way. It will take you to unimaginable heights in every sphere of life and make you soar like an eagle. It is the secret to victorious living here on earth.
The good news is that the salvation that Christ offers is free. You do not need to pay money to anybody, be it a pastor, a priest or a mallam to perform any sacrifice for you so that you will be healed or saved. You do not need to pay any consultation fee to anybody so as to receive the help of Christ. That one eternal sacrifice has already been accomplished by Christ. Jesus has paid in full the price for our salvation.
Good Friday opens to us the immeasurable riches of Christ. It is finished!
Andrews Obeng, SVD
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).