GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 23RD MARCH 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 23RD MARCH 2017
THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT
FIRST READING: Jeremiah 7:23-28
PSALM: Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
GOSPEL: Luke 11:14-23
THEME: THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS HERE
There are some people in this world who would never accept you no matter how good you are. Someone rightly said, “Haters will see you walking on water and say it’s because you can’t swim.”
In today’s Gospel text, Jesus makes a mute man speak by casting out an evil spirit. The miracle was clear – it was an act of the “finger of God”. However, the opponents of Jesus sharply criticized him accusing him of using the power of Satan, the prince of demons, to drive out demons. Others too sought to test him by demanding for a sign from heaven, in spite of the sign of a mute person speaking. Jesus responded, “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you” (Lk. 11:20).
There are some lessons that we can draw out from the text. Firstly, the Lord gives each one of us enough signs to lead us into the Kingdom of God. Those who choose to enter the Kingdom need no more signs but for those who have made up their minds not to accept the message of the Kingdom, myriads of signs would not be enough to convince them. With reference to the second group, the prophet Jeremiah writes, “This is the nation that will neither listen to the voice of Yahweh its God nor take correction” (Jer. 7:28).
Secondly, anyone who decides to advance the message of the Kingdom of God should brace him/herself for opposition. It has always been like that from the beginning of the propagation of the Gospel. However, like Jesus, we ought not to be discouraged on account of the activities of detractors.
Thirdly, we need to take to heart the words of Jesus, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Lk. 11:23). We may be intelligent and gifted in many ways but the moment we begin to lose faith in Jesus, our words and deeds scatter rather than gather the flock of Christ.
What Jesus asks of us is to believe in him and the message he proclaims. The world says “seeing is believing” but Jesus says “believing is seeing”.
PRAYER: God our Father, I thank you that through Jesus, your Son, you have established your Kingdom in our midst. May I not stand at the gates of the Kingdom complaining and doubting, but rather enter and discover the abundance of righteousness, peace and joy there. Amen
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).