HomeCommentaryPower of the Word

Power of the Word

If we want genuine change in our country, it should begin with ourselves. It is how the Word of God creates and renews."

If there is something that links together our readings for this 3rd Sunday in Ordinary time, National Bible Sunday, it’s THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD.

In the 1st reading from Nehemiah, the priest Ezra reads the Torah for six hours (from daybreak till midday) and interprets it. Not only do the people not get bored listening to it; it moves them to tears!

In our Responsorial Psalm the Word of God is proclaimed as SPIRIT AND LIFE. It also lists down what it does to those who take it to heart: it “refreshes the soul, gives wisdom, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eye, etc.”



Our 2nd reading from 1 Cor 12, Paul tells us how we are given to drink (the Word of God) from the one Spirit, and how it unites us and builds us into the One Body of Christ.

And in the Gospel, Luke’s prologue is referring to the original witnesses as “ministers or servants of the Word.” It is tied up with that scene at the synagogue in Nazareth, where Jesus using the words of the prophet Isaiah, proclaims that his whole mission is to fulfill this Scripture by giving hope to the poor, liberating those in bondage, giving sight to the blind, etc.

I invite you therefore to reflect with me on the power of the Word to TRANSFORM. I mentioned that our psalm calls the Word Spirit and Life that has the power to create and renew. That is what we say in our traditional prayer to the Holy Spirit: “Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.” Firstly, it changes us. Then it renews the world through us.

I remember how I began my own ministry as a SERVANT OF THE WORD when I was ordained to the diaconate. I never forgot the bishop’s exhortation as he handed to me the book of Gospels.

- Newsletter -

“Receive the Word of God whose herald you now are. BELIEVE WHAT YOUR READ, TEACH WHAT YOU BELIEVE, AND PRACTICE WHAT YOU TEACH.” They are the three things that unleash the power of God’s Word to change or transform us.

Believe what you read! Meaning, we don’t just read it, we reflect on its meaning, we allow it to enlighten our thoughts, and, most of all we take it to heart. Meaning, we read with faith.

Teach what you believe. Meaning, it is not enough to receive it. Share it. We are gifted with the Word so that we can give it too. But WE ARE TO TEACH ONLY WHAT WE BELIEVE, only what we are convinced about, only we are ready to die for.

And most of all, PRACTICE WHAT YOU TEACH, meaning, put it into action or allow it to take flesh in us.

“Huwad” ang tawag natin sa hindi totoo—ibig sabihin, hindi orihinal, peke, o kopya lamang. Wala namang masama na kumopya o tumulad kung ang resulta ay malapit sa tinutularan. Iyon ang ibig sabihin ng huwaran. Kapag bukambibig natin si Kristo sa turo natin pero malayong malayo na kay Kristo ang mga buhay natin, hindi na tayo huwaran kundi huwad. Hindi totoo.

Mahirap magturo kapag hindi tayo totoo, kapag hindi tugma ang iniisip sa binibigkas o ang binibigkas sa ginagawa. Paano natin matuturuan ang mga bata ng mga prinsipyo ni Kristo kung hindi nila nakikita ang mga prinsipyong itinuturo natin sa ating pagkatao?

Noong bata pa ako, nakita kong nagalit ang tatay ko sa isang bisita na nagbibigay sa kanya ng maraming pera sa portfolio. Namula si tatay. Nakasilip ako sa may pintuan ng silid malapit sa salas at narinig ko siyang nagsabing, “Makakaalis na ho kayo, bago ako mawalan ng paggalang sa inyo.”

Saka ko lang nalaman na sinusuhulan pala siya para paboran sila sa isang kasong hawak niya noon bilang Fiscal sa Prosecutor’s office ng Maynila. Maraming beses pinasoli niya ang mga regalong padala ng kung sino-sino.

Nasabi niya minsan sa amin nang makita niyang mabigat ang loob namin na isoli ang mga imported goods na niregalo ng isang nanunuhol: “Mga anak, tandaan nyo, hindi lahat ng regalo ay totoong regalo. Ang iba ay parang bulateng ginagamit na paen ng namimingwit. Para kang isda na hinuhuli para prituhin ka nila nang buhay kapag kumagat ka sa paen nila.”

Ganoon ang pagtuturo na tunay na natatanim sa isip at puso. Malakas ang dating, may integridad (galing sa wikang Latin na integritas—ibig sabihin buo). Hindi hati kundi buo ang salita: iniisip, binibigkas, ginagawa. Di ba iyon ang sinasabi natin sa panatang makabayan? Ang “ako’y maging isang tunay na Pilipino sa ISIP, SALITA, at GAWA.”

Kaya nga tinuturuan tayo na kilatising mabuti ang mga iboboto natin sa eleksyon. Kahit naman ang walang pinag-aralang bumoboto, nag-iisip din naman siya, may likas na talino. Kung hindi man niya lubos na naiintindihan ang mga isyu, alam naman niya kung sino ang pwede niyang pagtiwalaan na hindi magliligaw sa kanya.

Kaya nating kumilatis ng tama at mali, ng totoo at kasinungalingan. Kaya nating alamin kung ang yaman ba nila ay pinagpaguran o ninakaw. Ito ang hamon sa atin nitong darating na halalan. Kailangang umubra sa ating pagpili ang mga prinsipyong ating pinaniniwalaan, binibigkas at ginagawa sa ating paraan ng pagboto.

Bakit? Dahil ang desisyon natin ngayon ay makakaapekto sa kinabukasan ng mga anak at apo natin. If we want genuine change in our country, it should begin with ourselves. It is how the Word of God creates and renews—it begins with us being enkindled with the fire of God’s love, so that God can carry on with his ongoing work of renewing the face of the earth through us.

I can’t recall the name of the spiritual writer who wrote in his journal with a tone of regret:

“When I was 16, I wanted to change the world. Then I turned 26 and I wanted to change my country. I got married and at 40 I wanted to change at least my family. Now I am 60 and I just want to change myself. Perhaps if I had started working on myself already at 16, then I would have changed a bit of my family, a bit of my country and a bit of the world.”

Homily of Bishop Pablo Virgilio David for 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, National Bible Sunday, 23 January 2022, Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Make a difference!

We work tirelessly each day to support the mission of the Church by giving voice to the voiceless.
Your donation will add volume to our effort.
Monthly pledge

Latest