REMAIN IN FAITH
In today's first reading we hear Paul's words, which are very important for us to reflect on and are worth repeating. "Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from Whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:14-15).
One of the principle causes of the advancement of civilization was the development of written languages. That human beings have been able to communicate with each other through sounds is marvelous enough, but the fact that the meaning of these sounds could be permanently recorded and disseminated through writing is astounding. This development is part of God's plan and He has used it to communicate Himself to us through sacred Scripture - sacred writings - which God Himself has inspired.
St. Paul, today, tells us that the Scriptures - inspired by God - are useful for teaching, for reproof, correction, and training, in order to lead us toward holiness on our journey. In a sense this is a classic understatement! Next to the Eucharist, the Scriptures are our most precious possession.
Words, written or spoken, are the expression of a person's ideas. The words of Scripture are God's Words, but He has only one idea and that idea is a person, His Son. We say that parents conceive a child and that people conceive ideas. This double meaning of the word is helpful in understanding that God conceives His Son after the fashion in which we conceive an idea. The Church teaches, then, that Jesus - the Word of God made flesh - is present in the words of sacred Scripture. Consequently, this explains why the Lectionary that we use at Mass and which contains the Word of God deserves such great respect and honor. It is with much of the same reverence and appreciation in which we receive Christ in the Eucharist.
We always talk about the importance of "listening." The other night I was watching the Discovery health channel and was appalled as they openly spoke about sperm banks! Marketing and looking for the right gene to sell the sperm to, I found to be quite unnerving; a woman seeks a donor who is the most educated and whose performance is the greatest.
Who do we listen to and learn from? In today's Gospel, David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, calls Jesus "Lord," and He is our Lord. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make Jesus known to us. What does it mean to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord? Jesus is the Master of our lives. He is the Person to Whom we give our lives over to or submit to in a complete and total self-offering. We can be ruled by many things; for instance, our unruly passions, the love of money, giving birth by selling genes to produce only what we call the elite, love of money, alcohol, or drugs, etc. Only the Lord can truly set us free to love and to be loved as God intended from the very beginning.
At the dawn of civilization, oral communication was rudimentary and a written language did not exist. God foresaw the development of written languages so that we might benefit from the permanent record of His revelation. But it is up to us to listen. It is only then that we will let Jesus reign in our hearts!
Deacon John Ruscheinsky
Deacon John Ruscheinsky