Last week we heard these words from the letter of St James: “Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls”. In today’s Gospel the crowd says “He has done all things well (…) he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak“. I believe these two statements go hand in hand.
The only reason the Father gives us His Word is so that it may penetrate our lives reaching as far deep as it can, into the recesses of our hearts… In a sense this very Word brings to light the “depth” that is in us. It helps us become aware of ourselves. God communicates His Word only because He communicates Himself, and He intends to communicate Himself fully. He is not scared of becoming a Gift! “If you knew the Gift of God ” He says to the Samaritan woman in chapter 4 of Saint John’s Gospel.
To become a Gift one must accept a certain vulnerability, one must be willing to take the risk, to take the initiative, to engage and to place oneself in the hands of someone else, since you cannot force a gift upon someone! All these things the Lord Jesus has done, and continues to do for us. Unfortunately, we are very able to misuse his Gift; we can take advantage of Him and abuse His Gift, at any time.
When we do receive the gift of His Word we become witnesses of His desire to make us able to hear and to speak. To hear Him is to become the place where He dwells. To hear Him is to have Faith and welcome His loving presence. To speak is to grow in maturity, to have something to share with others, to increase in confidence and trust. To speak is to take our position in the group, to find our place among our brothers and sisters. It also means an increase in responsibility and is often accompanied by a sense of mission. The Church is only well when both hearing and speaking are truly happening for each one of us.
Try to think about how well you are at both hearing and speaking the Word and pray the Lord lead all of us to discover the blessing of our Vocation and of our Mission!
Fr Sean Mary