GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 4TH SEPTEMBER 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 4TH SEPTEMBER 2017
MONDAY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
FIRST READING: 1Thessalonians 4:13-18
PSALM: Psalm 96:1, 3-5, 11-13
GOSPEL: Luke 4:16-30
THEME: IT TAKES FAITH
There are moments when the Lord knocks at the door and offers his favour. These are moments of divine visitation. However, depending on one’s disposition, the favour can be received or forfeited.
The Gospel text for today offers us two flashbacks – the story of the widow of Zarephath (1Kgs 17) and that of Naaman the Syrian (2Kgs 5:1-14). These two personalities had immense faith in God. The widow of Zarephath expressed her faith through giving and chose to share her handful of flour and little oil with Elijah. Her act of faith evoked a miracle of divine provision. Naaman’s decision to journey to Israel and to bath in the Jordan seven times at the command of the prophet Elisha was an expression of faith. The result was healing from leprosy.
Jesus makes reference to the two personalities above and said: “In truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian” (Lk. 4:25-27). Jesus made this statement at a time when his own people in Nazareth had refused to accept him and his message. He had something to offer but they rejected it by their faithlessness.
Where there is faith what is humanly impossible becomes possible and where there is doubt what is humanly possible becomes impossible. The concluding statement of Jesus after he had read from the scroll of Isaiah is striking: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk. 4:21). Yes, today, September 4, 2017, if you would exercise your faith in the Word of God, you would have a testimony — a personal experience of the fulfilment of the Word of God in your life. For a person of faith, miracles are not rare; they are normal daily events.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, may the waves of doubt that buffet me not destroy the faith I have in you; and may this faith unleash divine blessings into my 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).