“Listen, that you may live” (Is. 55:3)
Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Chapter 55 of Isaiah opens with a wonderful invitation to the Gospel: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters.” In a desert region, these words can be so inviting. Then the prophet goes further so as to offer free wine and milk, yes, luxuries to those who cannot afford even the basic necessities of life! But Isaiah, the prophet, is not really talking about food for the body. He is talking about real treasure: salvation and everlasting life which come through paying heed to the Word of God.
God has a design in giving His Word to His people just as He has in sending down rain upon the earth. It is never spoken in vain, and never fails to produce the effect which God intends (cf Is. 55:10-11). And so while it may seem that the Gospel may be spoken in vain when it falls on the hard and barren hearts of men, on the proud, the sinners and unbelievers, yet the Lord has some design in it, and it will be accomplished.
Every Christian should spend time meditating on God’s spoken Word. The homilies on our blog (which correspond to the Sundays and Solemnities of the Liturgical Year) are an invitation to this end. The homily is meant to foster a deeper understanding of the Word of God, so that it can bear fruit in the lives of the faithful. It brings the Scriptures to life in a way that helps us to realize that God’s Word is present and at work in our lives everyday.
The homily takes on an even greater significance when we consider that it occurs in the Mass between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Christian tradition has always connected the Scriptures with the person of Jesus Christ. Both are designated the Word of God because both participate in the mystery of God revealing Himself and His will in human form. Scripture is the Word inspired and is expressed in human language; Christ is the Word incarnate, the divine Word enfleshed in human nature. The homily thus prepares us to receive Jesus in the “Breaking of the Bread”. We relive the experience of the disciples at Emmaus. The Scriptures are fulfilled – the Word of His new covenant “burns within us” as if being written in our hearts; and our eyes are opened in faith to encounter Jesus, the Living Word of God, who came down from Heaven to redeem men and women from their sins (cf Jn 6:51).
May we hold on to God’s promise that His Word will achieve the purpose for which it has been sent in our lives. We should ask God to reveal Himself to us in a fresh, new way, and let Him speak to our hearts of His will for us. The more we read and meditate on His precious Word, and allow His Spirit to have His way in us – the more fruit we will bear in our lives.
Let us entrust ourselves to the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, who always kept her Son’s words in her heart and once said “Do whatever He tells you”, that she may obtain for us strength in our faith and an ardent desire for God’s Word.