To return to yesterday’s theme, let us listen again to the short reading on the efficacy of God’s Word:
For, 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.
Yesterday we had talked about the great blessing of knowing the Word and receiving it within us. We had also reflected on the difficulties that prevent it from bearing abundant fruit in us.
To live with the Word and in the Word, it is indispensable to meditate on it. Time should be set aside every day to devote to the Word of God, even if it is only the biblical readings of that day’s liturgy. Of course, it would be even better if, in addition to the daily readings, we could immerse ourselves more deeply in the Holy Scriptures. This is called “Lectio divina”, a practice that is common in monasteries.
It can also be enriching to exchange with others who know the Bible. There are, for example, “scripture circles”, in which the Word of God is meditated upon and exchanged with others. When several people are gathered together, each person’s point of view can broaden our perspective on the Word of God.
It is also advisable to listen to biblical reflections, which can help to better understand the readings of the day. This is my intention with the daily meditations, for example, and the same applies to other such reflections. If we look for good literature, the Fathers of the Church offer us substantial interpretations of Holy Scripture.
When the Word of God becomes our daily nourishment, we may notice over time that we no longer want to miss it. Our soul begins to hunger for the Word, just as our body hungers for good, hearty bread. The more regularly we hear and internalise the Word, the more it will mould us. This is very important! In this way, the Word of God will define our thinking and we will learn to take it as a criterion and to penetrate life’s situations with it.
God gives us His Word as a gift. It is very important for Him that we learn to recognise His voice. Then we will no longer hear it only at Holy Mass and in the readings proclaimed there, but it will begin to resound and be constantly present in our hearts. In this way, the Holy Spirit will also be able to guide us more easily, reminding us of all that Jesus said and did (Jn 14:26). The more we internalise the Word of God, the stronger the presence of God will become in us, healing and enlightening us.
It is also important to remember that “repetition is the mother of wisdom”. This means that by repeating what we have heard or read, it will be able to take root in us more deeply. How often we hear the words of the Gospel and they take root in us! Moreover, each time we can discover something new in the Word of God, for its meaning is inexhaustible.
But its different dimensions can only unfold fully when we become “practitioners of the Word” (Jas 1:22). We could say that “the Word becomes flesh” when we apply it concretely to our life situation.
We see, then, that meditation on the Word of God is an immense grace for us. Listening attentively to Sacred Scripture when we are at liturgy is never in vain; meditating on it at home, with the family or with the community is never in vain. The Word of God transforms us when we listen to it properly and put it into practice!
There is another important aspect to this. I had told those who follow my publications in Balta-Lelija that I would like to explain in more detail the “armour of God” described in chapter 6 of the Letter to the Ephesians, so that we can put it on for the spiritual combat in which we are inevitably involved. In this context, St. Paul tells us: “You must take salvation as your helmet and the sword of the Spirit, that is, the word of God.” (Eph 6:17)
In this struggle, the Word of God is a “weapon of attack”, which separates truth from lies and error. In view of the present confusion, which has penetrated even into the Church, it is all the more important that we hold fast to the Word of God, that we internalise it and take it as a sure criterion for our action. When the Word of God is grasped and correctly interpreted and applied, the devil is forced to give in, as the passage of the temptations of Jesus (Mt 4:1-11) clearly shows us.
With the proclamation of the Word of God, the light that illuminates the darkness is spread. We then have in our hands a true spiritual sword:
“The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing is hidden from him; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.” (Heb 4:12-13)
Thanks to the Word of God, nothing turbid and dark within us can escape the divine light. This clear light also spreads when we know how to discern everything that comes our way according to the Word of God. For us Catholics, the authentic doctrine of the Church is added to this. We see, then, that we have an excellent armour to counteract the proliferation of darkness and confusion. Let us wield with prudence and conviction these weapons which the Lord has entrusted to us, so that He may be pleased with His “warriors of light”!