What is there about Jesus’ word?

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The WORD in other words (2021) by Fr. Abs Borja, SVD (Jerusalem)

Tuesday 22nd Week in Ordinary Time

Image source: Wikimedia Commons / Pammakaristos Church (Fethiye Museum)

“What is there about [Jesus’] word?” asked the astonished inhabitants of Capernaum. Earlier in Chapter 4, Luke points out: “Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee” (v.14). Hence, in Jesus’ words is the power of the Holy Spirit – operative and effective.

The force of Jesus’ command, “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb 4:12), cut and separated the demonic spirit from the man,  on a Sabbath, the day of rest for the Jews. While the people were at rest, Jesus was actively working by His mighty words. 

For Christians, Sunday is the Lord’s Day – sacred time to rest from work and worship God. What do I do on Sundays? I go to Mass. Perfect! Do I also allocate time to read the Bible? I will. Great! And when I read the Gospel, do I find myself amazed and wondering at the words of Jesus? When I open the Bible, do I recognize the authority and power of God’s word that directs and molds my life?

However, it is not enough to be simply astonished by Jesus’ words and acknowledge the authority of the word of God. There are some steps to be taken further. James exhorts: “Welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.” He adds, “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves” (Jas 1:21-22). 

To highlight the importance of the Word of God in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, in 2019, declared that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is “to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God” (Aperuit Illis, #3).

This particular Sunday dedicated to the Word of God “can enable the Church to experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world” (AI,#2).

Celebrate, study, experience anew, and disseminate the Word of God with an open mind and humble heart trusting in the company and guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

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