Lord, I have nothing that I have not received, and I am nothing but what You have made me.
Glory to You, O God, glory to You!
The Word of God is something alive and active…
Hebrews 4:12 Jerusalem Bible
that means it's actual, being spoken at this very moment, continuously and tirelessly repeated, born again in God's heart every day to be transmitted to living men, and it's always fresh, new for each and every man, personal, meant to illuminate him individually.
This Word is ‘the true Light that enlightens everyone who comes into the world’ (John 1:9). There's not a soul on earth that God doesn't speak to.
Do we believe wholeheartedly in His living Word, in that everpresent voice which keeps uttering for each of us the words that can heal?
‘Say but the Word…’ (Luke 7:7, Matthew 8:8).
Our faith in God's Word is measured by our faith in His love. We don't really believe He speaks to us because we don't really believe He loves us.
What's a saint?
It's someone who believes that God loves him.
‘We've come to know and believe in God's love for us’ (1 John 4:16).
Anyone who believes God loves him knows that God speaks to him.
God hasn't ceased being revelation any more than He's ceased being love. He enjoys expressing Himself. Since He is love, He must give Himself, share His secrets, communicate with us, and reveal Himself to anyone who wants to listen. His sole delight is to confide in us and give Himself to us.
God's revelation began with Adam in the Garden of Eden. There, too, began the Passion. Don't we say when someone trusts us, that he's put himself in our hands? He would come into the Garden in the cool of the evening and talk to Adam as to a friend. He was starting to manifest Himself and share His thoughts, trying to make us understand Who He is and delivering Himself up to us. And from the outset, He was shunned and rejected. ‘His own didn't receive Him’
(John 1:11). From the beginning, from the first day, Adam interrupted the dialogue, scorned God's confidences and shattered the alliance they gave proof of. From the very start it was man who walked away, man who turned a deaf ear to God's words.
The Passion began in Paradise.
But God has never wearied of talking to us. He keeps reopening the conversation, hoping we'll listen. He keeps offering His friendship, however often we spurn Him.
In the desert, He used to visit Moses in his tent and speak to Him ‘face to face, as a man speaks to his friend’ (Exodus 33:11). ‘At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, He has spoken to us through His Son…’ (Hebrews 1:1 JB).
His communications had grown so urgent, He'd given and entrusted His Word to us so completely, and He'd reached out toward man so far that the Word, His utterance, became flesh. The Incarnation was God's crowning prophecy, His supreme attempt to reveal Himself. He had created flesh, and He so ardently wanted it to accept and understand Him, that He became flesh Himself.
He took the Word, which He'd never been able to transmit to us without our garbling or forgetting it, voiced it fully, and made it man.
God doesn't repent His gifts. He placed His Word in our hands and has never taken it back.
Once and for all, He came down to the level of each of us. He became flesh so we could eat Him in His mystery, love Him in our neighbor, and hear and follow Him in the Gospels.
The Gospels are God's message directed to every one of us. We must believe that God inspired the evangelists in such a way that their words were really dictated by Him. Are we truly aware of that when we open our Bible? Yet that's what the charism of scriptural inspiration means. If God is the author, how can He fail to move us directly every time we take up His Book and expose ourselves to His influence?
‘…the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,Whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you’ (John 14:26 JB). This promise, made shortly before Jesus' death, indicates that the words He spoke once will have to be studied constantly, and that He said all of them while He was in the world precisely so that the Spirit might expound them till the end of the world.
The letters kills. Only the Spirit gives life, because He is alive. When we read a passage in God's Book, we must think of it not as a text to be perused, or an idea to be dissected, but as God Himself coming into our tent to speak to us face to face as a man speaks to his friend.
What must we do to read the Gospels with faith?
To read the Gospels with faith is to believe that everything in them is actually happening now, that they're a book of revelation, a book of discovery, that, far more than history, they are prophecy. They tell us who we are and what we're doing. God continues to live with us. He's always the same, and so are we. What the Gospels relate is still going on today. They show us our life, how God loves us.
— Fr Louis Evely, That Man Is You, pp. 25-42 passim
“Remember who your teachers were…”
2 Timothy 3:14
2 Timothy 3:14
Originally posted January 3, 2010