Speaking the Word
Of the 150 million works and books in the Library of Congress the most valuable is a Gutenberg Bible. It is valuated between $25 and $35 million dollars! Even individual pages will sell from $20,000 to $100,000! Society values the Bible for its historical importance as the first printed book. For us the Bible is far more valuable not for its historical importance but because it contains the explosive and loving words of God!
When the Capernaum man saw Jesus cast out an evil spirit with a word he said: “what a word!” And they were all amazed and said to one another, “For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” Lk 4:38
We prize Holy Scripture for two important reasons. The first reason is that His word is powerful. Right from the opening lines of Scripture God creates the world by the word. All the beautiful realities of the cosmos around us are concrete realizations of His immaterial word! They speak of His love, care, and wisdom! “For the word of God is living and active “ Heb 4:12 The word for active is energas in the Greek NT. It comes from work. The word works wonders for us as we open our minds and hearts by listening to God’s speech. The dead and corrupting Lazarus comes alive to the powerful words of Jesus: “Lazarus come here!”
The second reason we value the word of God is that it is the door to God’s Heart! The closest we can get to another is by communication. When I decide to converse with another I think in the deeps of my mind what I want to share. Then my heart moves me to speak a word. The word goes hopefully into the ear and to the mind and heart of the other. What starts in the depths of my being, ends up in the heart and mind of another. That is most intimate we can be. When I welcome the powerful and loving word of God I can achieve a beautiful closeness to God.
At every Mass we correctly say: “Say but the word and my soul shall be healed!” “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Jh 14:23 I love the words of St Gregory the Great: “To know the Heart of God through the Word of God”
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.