Listening and Living God’s Word

Luke 8:19-21
Ezra 6:7-8,12b,14-20 / Psa 122

My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.
(Luke 8:19-21)

Thank You Lord for inviting me
As a member of Your family,
I shall serve with fidelity
Your kingdom in our community.

Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him, but they were not able to get near Him because of the crowd. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:19-21)

Reflection

Today’s Gospel passage of Luke may be short, but it can provoke a lengthy reflection on the message of our Lord Jesus Christ to all His followers, both in His time, in the early Church, and for all generations of Christians.

Before His mother and some relatives arrived, Jesus had been telling His audience about the importance of hearing the Word of God, embracing it in one’s heart, persevering in proclaiming it (Lk.8:15), and reflecting it like a lamp to others (8:16). He repeated it again, saying, “Take care how you listen” (8:18). Given to hyperbole to emphasize His point, Jesus was saying that no other relationship in this life is more important than our relationship with Him and the Father, and we can only sustain this intimacy by being faithful to the Word of God. Our Lord was not taking His own mother for granted, because as a matter of fact, no one could be more exemplary in obeying the Word of God than the Blessed Mother herself. More than her biological ties to her Son, she was beloved to Him because of her obedience.

Jesus became man in order to establish His family of believers. Through the inspired writings of His prophets, evangelists and apostles, He gave us a “guidebook” (Bible), compiled by His Church, that we must follow assiduously if we aspire to be included in His family as His true brothers and sisters. Through the laws and lessons that this holy Book teaches, we can live righteously, and practice God’s love towards all men.

“Take care how you listen.” Our hearts and minds must be fully attentive to all the values and virtues that the Bible imparts to us. This is the first step. Then we must always be aware in living these spiritual ideals in our daily life, in our thoughts, words and deeds, especially in regarding all the people in our life as our brothers and sisters. This may not be easy, but with perseverance and the assistance of the Holy Spirit, it is not impossible. You will find this easier to accomplish if you join a spiritual community (CfC, BLD, BCBP, Love Flock, etc.). We must also be aware of the evil forces that will try to distract us and our brothers and sisters from the Word of God with the lures of this world and temptations of the flesh. As St. Paul warned, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” (2 Cor.4:4) Therefore, we need to pray for our friends who may still be in the dark. We must make the light of the Gospel shine before them (Mt.5:16). At an opportune time, invite them to join the Lord’s family.

Lord Jesus, thank You for inviting us to Your family, our renewal community. Here we have witnessed genuine caring of like-minded Christians, and together we have grown stronger in our faith and love of Your Church. Grant us the perseverance and courage to bring Your Good News to the marketplace, and transform its traditional practices into the values of the Gospel. Amen.

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