The Word of God nourishes and challenges us at the same time


June 5, 2020 – Friday 9th Week in Ordinary Time; Memorial of St. Boniface

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The Holy Scriptures or the Bible is of great importance and gift to our Christian faith. The Second Letter of Paul to Timothy tells us that the scriptures will give us wisdom that leads to salvation, through faith is Christ Jesus. This means that by knowing and developing a relationship with Jesus brings us to freedom being experienced as individuals and as a community, as a church.

Paul reminds us too that “all scripture is inspired by God.” As this is inspired by God, the Bible teaches us how God reveals the Divine Plan of Salvation. Hence, God in his great love for us has become man like us to feel what we feel, that God may be in solidarity with us.

Moreover, the scriptures also refute error and corrects us. It means that the bible is not merely a passive literary work of some people, but it confronts us of what is wrong with us, of what is unjust and oppressive, of what is sinful. The scriptures then, bring us to be closer to God’s presence and to understand better the wisdom of God working in our life.

Consequently, the scriptures serve as our guide to follow closely the Lord in our life. This is what Paul shared with Timothy. Following the Lord gives us peace and confidence in what we do yet this will also bring us challenges and difficulties as Paul experienced persecution from people who rejected Jesus.

Paul was inspired by the Lord and committed his life to God. This was how Paul’s heart was captured by God. Paul’s heart gladdened at the revelation of Jesus to him which made Paul to be converted. This is what we have heard from the Gospel today, “many people came to Jesus and listened to him gladly.”

That gladness came from that revelation of God, of God speaking to us. As Jesus spoke to Paul, Paul could not keep silent then. This was how Paul turned from being a brutal persecutor to a life-giving apostle of the Lord.

Today, the Lord invites us that as we celebrate the Liturgy of the Word, let us also listen gladly to the Lord.

Thus, let us allow the Lord to speak to us, to nourish us and at the same time to teach, correct and challenge us. Let the Lord confront us of our passivity and indifference towards others, of our sin and guilt, to confront us when we only settle to what is only comfortable and beneficial for us and to confront our hearts and conscience when we choose to keep our eyes blind from an unjust system.

In this way, we may become Christians who like St Paul and St Boniface who were martyred because of what they preached, to also become a light and inspiration in this time of pandemic where our religious freedom is also being tested. Hinaut pa.         

Jom Baring, CSsR


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