To listen to Fr. Vlad's homily on Australian Catholic Radio Online, please click:
Word is one of the powerful media for communication. It was gifted to man as part of his rationality; it is a product of his cognition which is absent from the other animals. Because of this cognitive process, language was born which aims at producing and understanding linguistic communication. Language is expressed either through a written script we call text or through a spoken sound we call speech.
Divine Revelation is the unfolding of God’s presence in the history of man in which both God and man enter into a relationship we call the Covenant. Since man cannot understand the language of God, it was God who condescended and made use of man’s language to communicate with him. It would be preposterous for man to use the language of God so it was God who spoke our language.
The Sacred Scriptures contain the Word of God using the words of man. In this way, we are able to understand God. But the Word of God is more than the language of man in its written and spoken forms. When we speak a word which either comes from our mind or from something being read, it produces a sound which travels through sound waves that reach the hearer. But it is different with God’s Word.
In the first part of the Mass which is the Liturgy of the Word, we listen to three readings and psalm: one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament (usually from St. Paul or the Acts of the Apostles) and the Gospel. When the Word of God is proclaimed in the assembly, we do not just listen to the spoken words, the words we hear become alive as if God is speaking to the congregation and to us personally. That is why, through the proclamation of God’s Word during the Mass, God becomes concretely present in our midst. It is very hard to comprehend how the Word incarnates Himself once again when the biblical texts are being proclaimed to us. They do not just reach our ears for hearing nor our mind for understanding but the very core of our being transforming us again and again.
How did God create the world and everything on it? Isn’t it through His Word? When He spoke everything came into being and it is through this Word that creation is still unfolding because the Word is continuously being spoken. At the appointed time, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn1 :14). The Word now is a Person who came to re-create us back to His own image which had been destroyed by sin.
After listening to the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus for the past four Sundays, we now come to the conclusion. It is not enough that we have listened to the Word being proclaimed to us. The Word is not just read, it speaks to us a Person. We come into a dialogue with God who speaks to our hearts. That is why Moses in the first reading reminds us about the choice of a blessing or a curse.
The challenge for us is: what do we do with the Word? First, how much of the Word that we heard stay with us after the mass? Do we ever care what was the first or the second reading? How do we further incarnate the Word after we leave the church? How do we make the Word concrete in our daily living and transform it through acts that bring out the divine in us and those people we come in contact with.
The concrete acts of our faith become our firm foundation when we face the uncertainties of life. We do not just cry “Lord, Lord” when we are in the midst of a difficult storm because if we are able to live the Word in our lives, He will be with us long before we call on him.