GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings) DATE: 1ST JULY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 1ST JULY 2017
SATURDAY OF THE TWELFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
FIRST READING: Genesis 18:1-15
PSALM: Luke 1:46-50, 53-55
GOSPEL: Matthew 8:5-17
THEME: IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?
For many of us, the unfolding events of our earthly lives are akin to complex quadratic equations. Some of us feel dizzy when we see a combination of numbers and alphabets and we easily get depressed when we are asked to find the x factor in an equation. Similarly, the challenges of life may weigh our spirits down. However, the fact that I am unable to solve a particular equation does not mean that the equation is not solvable. Every problem in life has a solution. If you cannot handle a problem of life all by yourself, get help from the Lord.
In our First Reading, Abraham and Sarah got help during a divine visitation to solve an ancient problem that had plagued their marriage — an issue of the fruit of the womb. In that encounter, the Lord said to Abraham, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son” (Gen 18:10). Sarah upon hearing this news laughed. The laughter of Sarah has an important function in the narrative. It helps the reader to see the apparent hopelessness of the case. Humanly speaking, there was no way Sarah could give birth. She had long passed the age of menopause (Gen 18:11). However, the laughter of Sarah evoked a response from the ‘divine visitors’: “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Gen 18:13-14).
Life is full of challenges and often we find ourselves powerless and vulnerable in the face of some difficult situations. God, however, is faithful. There is no problem too hard for God to solve. Not even the barrenness of an old woman was a problem for God to handle. Indeed, “God is not a human being, that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Nb 23:19).
What we need in the face of any challenge is the kind of faith that the centurion in our Gospel text had. In seeking healing for his servant who was not well, he said to Jesus: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Mt. 8:8). He had complete trust in the power of the Word of God to bring wholeness into what, humanly speaking, appeared to be hopeless.
Are you faced with a very difficult situation? Is there something that is bothering you? Be reminded that “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1Co 10:13).
PRAYER OF BLESSING: Like Abraham and Sarah, may you too receive a divine visitation very soon – a visitation that will put laughter on your face. When that happens, may you join the psalmist to sing: “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations: ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced” (Psalm 126:1-3).
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).