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20th Sunday After Pentecost 2017

Do You Believe His Word

The father, a ruler, believed the word spoken by Our Lord concerning his dying son and went on his way. In the Greek language there are two words for word. First,there is the rema which indicates a word for a specific time and circumstance. Then there is the logos which refers to the divine nature expressed in a human nature. As Catholics we believe that Jesus is both God and man and we call this mystery the hypostatic union. Certainly if Jesus had not revealed this we could never come to know it through human reason. Let us consider this healing action of our Lord from the perspective of the divine logos.

The son represents all of mankind who have chosen the world and its pleasures over the rema spoken by Jesus, the Logos of the Father. The sinner needs to study and reflect upon the words that Jesus spoke in order to free one from the death which is the consequence of our sinful ways. In this case the father seeks the healing of his dying son and Jesus responds with the statement that unless you see signs and wonders, you do not believe. No answer comes from the father only his continuing plea that Jesus come with him to save his son.

Now the divinity of Christ speaks the word that is active, prophetic and creative. It was the seventh hour and the boy was healed at the word spoken by Jesus. The father upon hearing that the fever left his son at the seventh hour came to faith. He and his whole household believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Divine Word of the Father.

Consider your own situation when sin was more attractive than the vision of the kingdom of God. At that time you were flirting with spiritual death. Sin has a consequence and ultimately it brings all of us to the moment of death. For the saint that moment proves the faith by which he/she lived. In faith the saints looked to the resurrection as a word that would bring about a new and eternal life. Jesus, the divine word, speaks and it happens. He had predicted His bloody death three times but his apostles could not understand the word until the event took place and Jesus opened their minds with the descent of the Holy Spirit.

So it shall be for us in these days. The Word of God must be reflected upon day after day as the most important moment of your day. You need the rema of God to interpret the moments of your life. Hence the spirituality is understood as the meaning you give to the moment you live in the light of the Cross of Christ. All of our lives must be reconciled to God through the Cross of our Lord. Through the study of the words and actions of God we derive the wisdom to walk through this world preparing for a holy death. Without the study of the Scripture we become ignorant of God and our faith is diminished little by little.

At every mass we repeat the words, “Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come to me but say only the Word and my soul shall be healed.” The power of the word spoken by the divine Logos rules the world and all who live therein. Take the example of our Lady who was the Mother of the divine Logos. The seed sown in her womb was the eternal Word of the Father. How amazing this mystery of the Word made Flesh, so incredible that we genuflect at the very words expressing the mystery of the Incarnation. Let us do as Mary did and ponder these and all the words of Jesus in our hearts. Take up the Word and pray over it and you will find direction and meaning.

In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fr. Richard Voigt, S.D.B.

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