In both the Traditional Rite and the Novus Ordo today’s reading proclaims this passage from the Prophet Isaiah about the Word of God:
“As the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilising it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word that goes from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do” (Is 55:10-11).
In our Lenten journey, it is indispensable to make abundant use of the Word of God. It strengthens and enlightens us. It is a “two-edged sword”, which divides soul and spirit (Heb 4:12a). In describing the spiritual armour in chapter six of the Letter to the Ephesians, Paul speaks of the Word of God as the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph 6:17), and we can consider it as an “offensive weapon” in spiritual combat. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert (Mt 4:1-11), He repelled his attacks with the Word of God, and in the end the devil had to withdraw from Him for a time (Lk 4:13).
The reading of Sacred Scripture – even if it is only the readings of the daily Mass – should be part of our daily repertoire, because it is a spiritual food that can penetrate deeply into our soul, depending on the intensity with which we internalise it. The Word of God will also help us to identify and reject errors. The more we assimilate the Word – we Catholics always do so in context with the authentic doctrine of the Church – the more we will find pleasure in it.
In this way, the Holy Spirit can work more and more in us and also make us see the errors, the relativisations, the modernisms, etc… All these do not taste good to the spirit, they do not nourish, they are not healthy food and, in a way, they seem to be rotten. They do not rejoice the spirit or the heart, while the true Word of God flows like crystal clear water from the Throne of the Lamb, illuminating us with its light.
It is important that we do not fall into any false doctrine and that we always adhere to the true doctrine of the Church, for it is the Church that explains the Scriptures to us. If the Word of God dwells in us and we keep it in our hearts, like the Virgin Mary (Lk 2:51), then we begin to heal: “…only say the word and my soul shall be healed” – we confess to the Lord before receiving Holy Communion.
Error, on the other hand, makes us sick in the long run. It spreads its false light and stands between God and our understanding, darkening it instead of enlightening it. It is not a “light of light”, but a shadow of the kingdom of darkness, which presents itself as light.
For our journey of following the Lord to be authentic, it is essential that we put the Word of God first. This is what the Church teaches us. There are many private revelations, prophetic words, addresses, etc., and if they are authentic, they are all welcome as a marvellous work of the Holy Spirit, who will help and instruct us. It would be foolish to despise them! But they need to be given their rightful place, so that they do not come to replace Holy Scripture and perhaps even be considered more important. This would inevitably lead to an imbalance and could even end up misleading us.
As the Apostle to the Gentiles exhorts us (cf. 1 Tim 4:16), let us hold fast to sound doctrine, which is an invaluable asset.
Every word that came out of the mouth of Jesus comes from the Father of lights (Jn 12:49). “Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mt 24:35).
To conclude, let us summarise the key points we have addressed so far in our Lenten journey:
– Marked with the cross of ashes, we heeded the call to conversion and embarked on this holy itinerary throughout Lent until the beginning of Holy Week.
– Through fasting we strengthen our spiritual life and add wood to the fire, so that it does not die out.
– Whatever we do, our gaze must always be on the Lord first, and the reward is to be expected from Him and not from people.
– We must expect adversity along the way and face it with serenity.
– In the Name of the Lord, we are to repel the attacks of the devil.
– We are called to be shepherds of people and to serve them with works of mercy.
– If we accept the Word of God in abundance within us, it will point us to the right path and preserve us from error.
Meditation on the reading of the day: http://en.elijamission.net/2022/03/08/
Meditation on the Gospel of the day: http://en.elijamission.net/2021/02/23/