Father Stefan reflects on this Sunday Reading and the Word of God

This Sunday we will read, “So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.'” (Act: 6:3)

This Sunday May 18 is the 18 anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. I remember a week before my ordination so many years ago praying, ‘God do you want me to stay here? God do you want me to be a priest?” After I prayed this prayer I opened my bible at random. I opened up to this verse from the Acts of Apostles, “And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said, ‘You heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit…But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.'”(Act: 1: 4-10)

Here are some beautiful quotes from, ‘Verbum Domini’ “The same Spirit who acts in the incarnation of the Word in the womb of the Virgin Mary is the Spirit who guides Jesus throughout his mission and is promised to the disciples. The same Spirit who spoke through the prophets sustains the Church in her task of proclaiming the word of God and in preaching of the Apostles…As Saint Irenaeus states: ‘Those who do not share in the Spirit do not draw from the bosom of their mother (the Church) the food of life; they receive nothing from the purest fountain that flows from the body of Christ.’ Just as the word of God comes to us in the body of Christ, in his Eucharistic body and in the body of the Scripture, through the working of the Holy Spirit, so too it can only be received and understood through that same Spirit.”

Here is an interesting though from, ‘Verbum Domini’ about the Word of God and Sin. We read in this document, “We are thus offered the merciful possibility of redemption and the start of a new life in Christ. For this reason it is important that the faithful be taught to acknowledge that the root of sin lies in the refusal to hear the word of the Lord, and to accept in Jesus, the Word of God, the forgiveness which open us to salvation.” G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Most attempts to explain the Word of God are more attempts to explain it away.” St Francis showed us the way. Francis lived the Gospel without gloss. That means without commentary. 

The renewal of the Church always begins with a renewal of the Word of God. May we live the Gospel without gloss, without commentary. Come Holy Spirit and inspires us to hear the Word of God in a new and personal way.

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