We read in the Gospel today, “Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine.Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death.Jesus said to him,“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”The royal official said to him,“Sir, come down before my child dies.”While the man was on his way back,his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.He asked them when he began to recover.They told him,“The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.”
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,“Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe. Now this was the second sign Jesus did when he came to Galilee from Judea.” (John 4: 46-54)
Jesus says, “You may Go: your son will live.” Jesus simply has to say a word and it happens. We see in Genesis how God only has to say let their be light and it happens. The early Church fathers said that when the Father sent the Word he also sent the Breath. The Breath that carries the Word is the Holy Spirit. The Word has to power without the breath of the Holy Spirit.
Cantalamessa writes in his book, ‘The Mystery of God’s Word’ “The Spirit is thus conferred on Jesus primary for the purpose of bringing the glad tiding, for evangelization. He does not give Jesus the word to be proclaimed (for Jesus is himself the Word made flesh), but gives the power to his word; thus, he is the very power of Jesus’ word. The Holy Spirit makes the word of Jesus an ‘efficacious’ word; when Jesus speaks, wonders always follow: the paralyzed man stands up, the sea grows calm, the fig tree dries out, the blind recover their sight.”
Priests must asks themselves when they preach, ‘Am I preaching under the anointing of the Holy Spirit?’ It is possible to preach a beautiful homily. We might even say that was a beautiful homily but we leave with no change in our life. Just because a homily is beautiful doesn’t mean that it was anointed by the Holy Spirit. When a priest preaches he should seek the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is said I would rather hear 5 words in a homily that are anointed than 1000 words that are not anointed. How do we know if the preaching the word is anointed, simple is the preaching having an effect.
One way that priests can help to make sure that their homilies are anointed is to ask the people of God to lay hands on him before mass and humbly ask for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit is moving in the hearts of the people and in the Priest while he giving his homily.
Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. The priest’s words will have the same effect if he preaches always under and seeking the anointing of the Holy Spirit.