Give God’s Word a Chance!
By Bishop Alex Dias
As we all ought to know, Pope Benedict XVI, has chosen “The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church” as the topic of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held on 5-26 Oct ‘08.
One of the most powerful texts we find in the New Testament about the word of God is from the letter to the Hebrews: “ For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and the spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12)
The Power Of The Word
It expresses very well the power of the word of God and what it can achieve in our lives. Every time I read this text, an old experience we had, way back in the early 80’s, comes to my mind. We had this field which was dry and cracked for lack of water. Together with the students of theology we decided to irrigate it well, so that we could have some vegetable plantation there. And so the first operation of the pumping of water into the field began. As soon as the water began to get into the cracks in the parched land, several creatures like scorpions, snakes, centipeds and the like, which had taken shelter in them, began to creep out of their comfort zones. The water which was penetrating the depths of the cracks was slowly but steadily upsetting the creatures, which could no longer feel safe with the water penetrating their comfortable shelters.
Like those creatures in their cracked zones, we too have taken shelter in our own comfort zones. Our lethargy in living our Christian faith, our selfishness, which makes us think of none but ourselves and perphaps our next of kin or our ethnic group, the erosion of our values, which makes us crave for money, sacrificing our basic spiritual values, our getting seeped in drunkeness, giving in to the illusion that we are drowning all our sorrows and problems in the alcohol we consume, our tepidity in matters concerning our faith, etc.What we really need is to be upset and disturbed out of our comfort zones.
We Need To Be Disturbed
We need to be disturbed by a force which is mightier than the earthquake and tsunamis. Such a force is the word of God, living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword……
We need to be confronted by the Word of God in order to be able to see what we are, and what we ought to have been, what we are doing and what we ought to have been doing.
We have the example of our first parents, Adam and Eve. They had disobeyed God’s commandments and deviated from the path of eternal life and happiness God has mapped out for them. They would have been doomed forever had it not been for the Word of God confronting them, and making them realize the nakedness in which their sin had thrown them. “Whereas are you…… and what have you done……have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” (Gen 3:8ff)
Yet another striking example is the one where Cain, who had slain his brother Abel, is confronted by the Word of God. “Where is your brother?” The Word confronted Cain without giving him any chance to hide from it or to justify his misdeed. (Gen 4:8 ff).
The Beginning Of Paul
In the New Testament, one that stands out is the episode of the confrontation of Saul by the Word of God. Saul was instrumental in persecuting the Christians and even having them put to death (Acts 9:1 ff). He might have been even cheering when Stephen, the first martyr, was being stoned to death (Acts 7:54-60). But not even he, with all the venom he breathed against the Christians, was able to withstand the power of the Word of God as it confronted him on the way to Damascus. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” That was the end of Saul and the beginning of Paul!
How amazingly true are the beautiful words we find in Isaiah 55:10-11: “For as the rain and the snow come down from the heaven, and do not return there until they watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it”.
While that is certainly true, we must also sadly accept the fact that many a times the Word of God does not produce the desired and possible result in us. Very obviously this happens precisely because we are not giving the Word of God the chance to make a dent in our lives. We do not bother to read it, or reflect on it. It happens so many times that we listen to the Word of God during our Sunday liturgy. Once that is over, we do not seem to even remember, what we had heard!
Much change could have been brought about in our lives through the reading of and the reflection on the Word of God. But we do not give it a chance. Sometimes we do not even have the Bible in our homes. And if we do, it is gathering dust in some corner of the house. We have beautiful opportunity now to let ourselves be confronted by God’s word by participating in the small Christian community prayer meetings.
The forthcoming Synod should, therefore, truly be a special grace for each one of us, individually, for each one of our Christian families and for the Church.( Courtesy: The New Leader Oct 1-15, 2007)
Etiquetas: God's Word