A young priest was set for his first preaching.
>> He had chosen the theme, “Revival in Christian Life”.
Filled with enthusiasm and zeal, he began his sermon and breaking the Word of God.
>> Within a few moments, the young preacher was able to attract the appeal and attention of the audience.
The reason was not just his eloquence in preaching, his depth in reflection and his conviction in speaking…
… it was also a mispronouncing that was drawing the attention of the audience.
His theme was “Revival in Christian Life”.
> But due to his slight speech impediment, it was heard as “Rebible in Christian Life”!
The audience did not mind that, as that was also a tremendous message being put across!
Yes, Revival in Christian Life emanates from having a “Rebible in Christian Life – “Re-Bible!”
>> How strong is my Christian Life centred around the Bible- God’s Word and its proper interpretation?
>> How interested am I in having a deeper understanding of His Word and applying it my daily living?
… Or am I a person who gets stuck with my own interpretations and understanding of Scriptures, which fails to evoke any effects in my personal life?
The Gospel of the Day is an encounter with a group of people, who got stuck in their own “comfortable zones” of interpreting and understanding the Scriptures…
… failing to be open to the True Author of the Scriptures
>> And thus failing to tread the path of mercy, compassion and charity.
The Gospel passage is another Sabbath Day controversy.
Jesus is in the synagogue, teaching and proclaiming God’s Word.
>> His words would bring strength and courage to those in despair
>> His teaching would fill with hope those who were stranded on the peripheries of life
>> His preaching would invigorate those who were sapped of energy and felt themselves rejected.
Among those who heard Him in the synagogue, was a “a man whose right hand was withered” (Lk 6: 6)
It’s not mentioned how did he began to have a withered hand…
… maybe he was born so
… maybe he met with an accident
… maybe he had a sickness which made it so
But having a withered right hand had its own implications and difficulties to pose.
Right hand in the Bible, usually refers to..
… being the hand of blessing
… being the hand of strength
… being the hand of labour
So this man with the withered right hand is portrayed as being…
… disfigured in his purpose and goals of life
… pitiable in being rendered weak and sort of helpless
But more than this man with the physical disability, there were also some others, who had a “withered mentality” – the Pharisees
>> They had God, the source and origin of the Law, as their “right hand”
>> They had the privilege of learning and knowing the Scriptures, as their “right hand”
But, unfortunately, we find them with “withered”…
… Their focus on God, the purpose and goal of the Law was “withered”!
… Their opportunity to interpret and understand the Scriptures properly was “withered”!
To the man who had the physically withered right hand, Jesus said, “Stretch out your hand” (Lk 6:10)
Probably these words were also directed or perhaps intended more for the Pharisees who were “withered” in their understanding and mentality regarding the Law and the Author of the Law Himself!
Jesus was asking them to “stretch out their hands” which were withered…
… because they failed to understand the basic purpose of God’s Law which was aimed at reflecting on God’s Goodness and to reflect the same in their lives
… because they were stuck to their own rigid and arrogant interpretation of God’s Word and failed to put into practise the real meaning of God’s Word which is to do good, show mercy and extend charity
Are those words, “stretch out your hand” being directed to us also?
… Are we failing to centre our lives on the Precious Gift that God has blessed us with – His Holy Word in the Holy Bible – and failing to make efforts to read, learn more and understand God’s Word properly and effectively
… Do we consciously cultivate practices which help us to set apart time (on a daily, regular basis) to read the Bible and reflect and shape our lives, in the light of the Holy Word of God?
… Do we remain rigid, obstinate and closed to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who speaks to us, through different sermons, write-ups, talks etc. on the Word of God and allow transformations to happen in my life?
… Do we be zealous to learn God’s Word more deeply, to know Him more and to cultivate a personal taste to understand the Scriptures better with self-reflection?
Our Blessed Lord invites and exhorts us to have a “Revival in our Christian Lives”
>> And this experience of “Revival” should spring forth from a practice of “Re-Bible”!
May our Blessed Lord help us to have a “Re-Bible” in our Christian Lives and experience “the sweetness of honey” (Ps 119:103) in His Holy Word!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not, ‘What a lovely sermon’, but…
…I will do something!”