When was the last time that you felt delighted hearing the Word of God? In the seminary, we are blessed to have Masses daily. The familiarity with the Word of God is considered the soul and guide of our seminary formation journey. As Saint Jerome said that “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ,” a seminarian must have a solid foundation and relationship with Jesus, the Word of God. In our seminary formation, we are challenged always to allow ourselves to be transformed by the Word of God.
Incidentally, I felt most delighted hearing the Word of God during apostolate weekends, specifically when I had an exposure in Basic Ecclesial Communities or BECs in the Archdiocese of Manila. Just like in today’s Gospel, people who are hearing the Word of God know when what one is speaking is the truth. I understand that BEC members look always for a true God-experience, or God-stories in one’s life. In my apostolate exposures I have learned to be open to God’s presence in the ordinariness of life. Oftentimes, I would hear stories of encounter with God in their sharing of their life’s struggles. There we can also learn and appreciate the presence of God at work in each of us. In our BEC Sharing, it is not just about being emotional but being connected to the experiences of others and their situation. I learn to journey with them, bridge those who are in conflict, and emphasize in myself the importance of community and family life. I can have a wonderful exegesis but I realize that it is not always the case for BEC. Usually, it is the truthfulness of the message, my way of delivery and sincerity that gets through ordinary people. It is enough for them to hear stories of how God moves in one’s own life.
That is the uniqueness of Jesus’ words as narrated in our today’s Gospel. The truthfulness and exactness of His words made the people feel delighted and maybe they would ask for more. They were hungry for spiritual food. This is also true in our world today. Having the longest quarantine experience in recent times, we were deprived to “encounter” God in our churches. But let us be reminded that God is dwelling in each of us. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. As we gather in our homes, we can have Jesus in our midst. We can be a presence of God to others, and we can also see in others the presence of God we are all longing for.
By: Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura
As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said,
“How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David?
David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:
The Lord said to my lord,
‘Sit at my right hand
until I place your enemies under your feet.’
David himself calls him ‘lord’;
so how is he his son?”
The great crowd heard this with delight.