GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings) DATE: 16TH JULY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 16TH JULY 2017
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
FIRST READING: Isaiah 55:10-11
PSALM: Psalm 65:10-14
SECOND READING: Romans 8:18-23
GOSPEL: Matthew 13:1-23
THEME: THE LIVING WORD
There is an African proverb which says: “A king does not need to shout for his words to be powerful.” In other words, the fact of being a king makes one’s public declaration authoritative. When a king issues a command, his attendants quickly go into action to bring to fruition what he has said. If the words of a human being can have such an impact, then certainly the ability of the Word of God to bring about change in our lives is guaranteed.
Jesus, in our Gospel text, likens the Word of God to a seed. By doing so, he communicates the central feature of the Word, i.e. it carries its own principle of life. We cannot make the Word of God powerful. It is already powerful. We can simply choose to accept the life inherent in it or reject it and perish.
In our First Reading, the Lord spoke words of salvation and deliverance to a distressed and broken people in exile in Babylon. With reference to His spoken Word, the Lord said to them: “It will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do”(Isa. 55:11). In due time, the Living Word bore fruits in their particular situation – they were set free and offered the opportunity to go back to their land. Just as it took the Word of God to set the exiles free, all of creation would be “set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God” by the Word of God (cf. Rom 8:18-23).
Come to think of it, we hear the Word of God every time in Church and in other places and yet the lives of many of us remain untransformed. One of the major reasons is that many of us are unable to hold unto the Word for a long time. There are many who are in search of miracles but not the Word of God that brings miracles. In search of fruitfulness and what people sometimes refer to as “breakthroughs”, many people, unfortunately, embark on a wild goose chase. They search for fruits in their lives, whereas the soil of their hearts is arid. They despise the Word of God but hope to find happiness and experience tangible evidence of the presence of God in their lives.
As we look at our lives, it is important to pause and ask ourselves: How much difference has the Word of God made in my life? Are there fruits to show that the Word of God has brought about a change in my personal world?
It is only when we are willing to hold unto the Living Word wholeheartedly that we would bear fruits. The ability of the Word of the Lord to make one bear fruits is exemplified in the seeds that fell on the good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
PRAYER: Lord God, I come before you as an arid soil, thirsty for water. May your Living Word pour forth as rain into my heart and cause the seed of holiness that was sown in my heart at baptism to fructify. 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).