He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Luke 8:21
Jesus promised us the closest intimacy with him if we listen with great care to his word! This is among the most astonishing statements in the New Testament. How much closer can one be than a mother? Mary was instrumental in bringing about the greatest event in human history by listening and absorbing the Word. “let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!” Elizabeth captured the heart of Mary’s intimacy with God. “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45
If we ever hope to have an intense relationship with God we must have a passion for listening to God’s word. We must imitate Jeremiah: “Your words were found, and I ate them”. Jeremiah 15:16
In the great challenge of the new evangelization the first step is to come to some familiarity and relationship with Jesus Who is the good news of God. How can this ever come about if we are not listening to God’s word? The plaintive cry of Jeremiah still echoes in our ears: “O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD!” Jeremiah 22:29
When I was stationed in Southern California I used to love visiting the Huntington Gardens Library where there was an original copy of the Guttenberg Bible. Some years ago a copy was sold at 4.9 million dollars at Christie’s auction. It was the most ever paid for a book. God’s word is worth far more than this not because it is an important piece of history. Rather it is the living word of God revealing Christ in real time!
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.