REFLECTION FOR TODAY
September 20, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” Lk. 8:18
Our gospel reference today may seem unfair and absurd in that if someone has much, then he/she will receive much more; but if someone has little, then he/she will lose even what you have. These words were said on the background of being productive and using the gifts that has been given to us well.
When Jesus said those words, He wasn’t speaking in worldly terms. He wasn’t saying that if you have much money, then you will gain more, or if you are poor, then you will become poorer. Instead, Jesus is speaking about the grace that comes from understanding His holy Word. Observe the above reference began with, “Take care, then, how you hear.”
To “hear” the Word of God implies that you truly receive what Jesus teaches. Hearing is not just hearing the words spoken with your ears. Truly hearing the Word of God, involves hearing with our minds which leads us to love that Word, and loving the Word leads to understanding.
This form of hearing is not accomplished by an intellectual exercise alone, as if our natural gifts are the primary means by which we comprehend all that Jesus teaches. Rather, it comes through spiritual insight gained by the supernatural gift of the Spirit Who teaches us all things.
If you want “more” understanding of the mysteries of God, then commit yourself to engaging the holy Scriptures with your mind. Study the Scriptures, ponder them and pray with them. It’s easy to forget that the Word of God is a Living Word. This means that when we prayerfully immerse ourselves in the Scriptures, we are prayerfully encountering God Himself. God is alive in His holy Word.
The beautiful aspect of this teaching of Jesus is that the more we understand His Word by this grace, the more we will immerse ourselves in it, and it will continue to grow within us. If, however, we devote little time to engaging the Word of God in prayer, we will begin to “forget,” so to speak, the spiritual depths of the wisdom of God. Every day is an opportunity and an incentive to invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Jesus’ endless mercy can prevail over our lack of faith, our self-centeredness, our selfish concerns and even all our sins as we choose to turn to him, for the strength of the holy Spirit can never be underestimated.
Reflect, today, upon your practice of prayerfully meditating upon the Scriptures. If this is not your current practice, resolve to make it so. Perhaps start with one of the Gospels and commit yourself to prayerfully reading it little by little every day. The goal is not to get through the books of the Bible. The goal is to enter each book. Every chapter and every line provide us with a depth of spiritual insight and understanding just waiting to be given and received. Commit yourself to this holy practice, and you will be amazed at the spiritual riches our Lord bestows upon you.
Lord, I thank You for the way in which You come to me and all Your children through Your written Word. Fill me with a love for that Word so that I will daily engage my mind in the deep truths revealed within it. May I meet You, dear Lord, and grow in an understanding of Who You are and what You wish to reveal to me. Jesus, I trust in You.