Pope Francis’ invitation to devote a Sunday to the Word of God is an opportunity that allows us to ascertain the depth of our relationship with the Holy Scripture that constantly calls us into question. How familiar are we with the Word of God? Today, many years after the Council, do we still consider it the prerogative of a privileged few or, in most cases, the object of study? To what extent, in listening to its proclamation, do we become aware of the centrality of the Word awaiting to become embodied into our lives? How can we be formed to renew our encounter with the living Jesus Christ at personal and community level as He invites us to the encounter, in unprecedented ways, with the men and women of today?
God speaks to the depths of human existence, invites us in silence, nourishes us as we listen, summons us in love. He calls upon us to incarnate his Word in the present moment, to make human values concrete. By listening to God we become prophets who can denounce abuses against the weakest brackets and build a world of communion with all others. By incorporating the Word we discover the beauty of relations lived in mutual respect, gratitude, forgiveness, mercy and peace.
Day after day, in the training ground of Trinitarian love, we reconfirm our Yes to God in a form that follows in the footsteps (cf. 1Pt 2:21) and the feelings (cf. Phil 2:5) of Jesus Christ. By listening to the Lord who speaks in history we learn to live the faith before God’s presence in our daily lives, in the quest of the faces of our brothers and sisters of our times, those who sometimes find it hard to open up to the Mystery.
The Word helps us raise our gaze towards extended horizons, to seek the infinite enshrined in humanity.
By seeing life through the lenses of the faith we discover that the value of human creatures does not lie in their usefulness or function, but in the fact that within the harmony of creation we are all called to the contemplation of God in symphony. What allows our Christian lives to thrive? What is the founding relationship that determines our own existence? What do we communicate with our presence in the places where we live – our ideas, projects, aspirations, or our life rooted in the Gospel? It is when, through the Spirit, the Word helps us discard a certain way of being that is no is longer capable of bettering us or of giving unto others, thus it recreates us, reshapes us, liberates us and restores our heart of flesh.
In this fragmented world, studded with “monads”, we find individuals at the mercy of a hastened pace, of a time that is often void or without meaning: they seem to have no more desires and to have stopped searching. They are no longer capable to further ad intra unification processes and ad extra unity. Could we be facing the urgent need for witnesses capable of reflecting the living encounter with Jesus Christ?
Life in the community and at personal level will thrive if it is rooted in the Word that opens up to sharing the path of faith, and ushers in the relationship with the Gospel.
Whence follows the prophetical courage that enables us to denounce, with non-violence, the injustices that disfigure humanity and the creation, that very courage that makes us discover the poor we need to serve. By letting ourselves be constantly formed by the Word and by the Eucharist, despite the fragilities we experienced, like all human beings, we wash each other’s feet (Cf. Jn 13:15) following the example of Jesus without grandiloquence.
The Word that is listened to, reflected upon, contemplated, waits to take shape in our existence: it guides us along the roads of contemporary men and women, to be their travel companions in the quest of signs of hope already present in history.
(*) abbess, Monastery of the Poor Clares, Otranto