The word that leads to eternal life

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - July 12, 2020 - 12:00am

We need to examine how we understand the word of God. To be sure, God’s word isn’t just any word. Neither is God’s word just a brilliant idea, a practical doctrine, and effective ideology. It’s not just a strategy, culture, or lifestyle.

God’s word, of course, can involve all these. But unless we understand that God’s word is Christ himself, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, the perfect image and word that the one God has of his own self, we will miss the real essence and character of God’s word. It’s this word that would bring us to the fullness of our humanity.

We need to realize then that the word of God is inseparable from God himself. That’s because God is so perfect as to be in absolute simplicity. As such, God has no parts, no different aspects, no quality or property distinct from his very being. His word and his being are one and the same.

Of course, in our effort to understand and to relate ourselves to God, we have to make distinctions, since that’s how we think and reason out. We analyze first before we synthesize. But in God himself, there is no distinction between his being and his word, between what or who he is, and what he says and does.

That is why we have to seriously take God’s word as spoken to us through Christ, and recorded in the Bible through the instrumentality of inspired human authors, who are recognized as such by the Magisterium of the Church.

This is the lesson Christ imparted to his disciples and to us when he talked about the parable of the sower and the seed. (cfr. Mt 13,1-23) The seed is God’s word as received by the different kinds of ground, signifying the different attitudes people have toward God’s word.

There are those that fell on the path, on rocky ground and on thorns, all of which obviously did not prosper in their growth. But the ones that fell on rich soil grew to maturity and bore a lot of fruit.

obviously should try to be the rich soil that receives the seed of God’s word with faith, but an operative faith that not only listens to God’s words but also acts on them, assimilating them into our life until they become our life itself, until they so identify us with Christ that we become “alter Christus,” another Christ, as we are meant to be.

Let’s always remember Christ telling us, “Whoever keeps my word will never see death.” (Jn 8,51) These words are not meant to set aside our human word in whatever mode it may come, whether in a conversation or in some more serious stuff like our philosophies, ideologies, sciences, etc. Christ’s words are meant to inspire all our human words.

We need to develop the proper attitude toward the word of God as contained in the Bible and authoritatively taught and transmitted through the Church. Is there faith and piety when we read and meditate on the gospel, for example? Do we realize that with faith and piety, whenever we read the gospel it’s like listening to Christ himself?

We have to be wary of our tendency to be so seduced by our worldly cultures and systems that we fail to discern Christ when we meditate on the gospels and even when we develop our philosophies and ideologies.

Christ should be the primary and ultimate object of any literature that comes our way. That’s because as St. Paul would put it, “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.” (Col 2,9) In other words, the fullness of our humanity can only be achieved through our full identification with Christ who makes himself available to us through his word!

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