GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 3RD MAY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 3RD MAY 2017
FEAST OF SAINTS PHILIP AND JAMES, APOSTLES
FIRST READING: 1Corinthians 15:1-8
PSALM: Psalm 18:2-5
GOSPEL: John 14:6-14
THEME: THE GOSPEL THAT SAVES
The Gospel is a road map which leads to salvation. However, not every “gospel” is the Gospel. A bible in one hand and a microphone in the other is no guarantee that the Gospel is being proclaimed.
The Gospel that saves has certain clear characteristics. First of all, it is Christ-centered. Thus in our Gospel text for today, Jesus states emphatically, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). Any purported gospel message that does not give Jesus a central place is no good news at all.
Secondly, it uncovers and deals with the reality of sin. Paul writes, “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures” (1Co 15:3). Unfortunately, in many churches today, sin is left untouched and instead we spend hours propounding theories on how to get rich.
Thirdly, the Gospel that saves gives birth to and nourishes a community of believers (i.e. the church). One cannot say that he/she believes in Jesus Christ but does not want to be part of the community of believers that that the Gospel has given birth to. The First Reading as well as the Gospel text for the day were all addressed to communities of believers.
Paul expresses deep conviction in the power of the Gospel to save when he writes, “Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved…” (1Cor 15:1-2).
It was this Gospel that Philip and James, whose feasts we celebrate today, preached. The history of Christianity teaches us that Philip preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and probably suffered martyrdom at Hierapolis in Phrygia. James, often referred to as ‘the Less’ to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee, also preached the Gospel extensively. He was the first bishop of Jerusalem and also suffered martyrdom.
The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is real. It sets free and brings salvation. It is God’s gift to every human being.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, your words bring life. Deepen my faith in your Gospel and lead me to eternal life. 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).