Several Catholics, have come to love the scripture, by-heart it, quote and use it for prayers, but what about becoming it?
Scripture describes the Lord Jesus, who is a living being, as The Word, which seems non living! It seems so ironic that God would allow Himself to be called this, but just as the Eucharist is the real body of Christ, The Word of God, is living and alive – more than you and me.
Since the Word of God is so sacred, it has phenomenal power to create, command miracles and all the elements of nature, bow down to it! However, have we ever wondered why this is so? It is because Jesus, the Son of God is the Word of God, so He perfectly embodies every precept of the Father, as His very own (showing perfect love and obedience to His Father), therefore, He is also, the one who has been put in authority over all things and is creator of all.
The point of being a Christian, is not only to be saved, but to be another Christ.
To show shallow interest in our faith, needing only to be saved, will make the Christian experience so dead, boring and even irritating – as one does not allow themselves to dive deep into grasping and enjoying its rich empowerment!
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? (John 10:34)
Prayer, fasting, regular mass, preaching and declaring love for scripture or frequent quoting are all important – yet, in order to be like our God, what is the most important? That the Word of God must take flesh in us!
All these things we do, must assist us in embodying the precepts of God, like the Son did, so that we eventually, become, another Christ. We cannot give greater glory to God than this; to imitate His very nature, precepts to the core and in faith. It tells our Father, that we love His Wisdom, how He thinks, operates and His very being – that we want to be more like Him. So, to begin with, we are willing to leave behind our ways, to embody His.
This also gives Him, joyful tears of satisfaction for His extreme labour in pulling us out of the wrong path and moving us to the right one, which made Him endure the worst death, so He could feed us His flesh – only that we would become more like Him. Therefore if He gave Himself to us, we ought to give ourselves back to Him, as we originate from Him.
In the end, to be more like Jesus, is to be life giving and really living, to follow the ways of the fallen one, is to be self seeking, unquenchably thirsty and like a dead-man walking.
Science – is an understanding of “how things work” – as per God’s principles:
The action of all creatures under nature, are governed by a natural law/order, that God has created. This works in both the physical and spiritual realm.
When a seed is planted in good soil, watered and supplied with heat/light – we expect it grows from root to plant – nothing surprising or amazing in this. We call this biology. Yet this biology/branch of science, is actually God’s law on how he devised, such definite outcomes, from the coming together of certain elements, etc.
In the same way, in a spiritual realm, when the Word is planted in the soil of our hearts (which we try to keep pure by de-weeding), showered with prayers of grace and warmed with practicing deeds of love – the definite, outcome, as decreed by God, is that a person grows from cradle Catholic, to a strong, powerful, anointed light of Christ. This too, should be no surprising outcome, because, this is a very “natural” phenomena, as per God’s science of how the soul grows/flourishes.
Why be faithful and embody the Word; what are the advantages of doing so?
Since Jesus is the living Word, we need to become the living Bible. Just as our body is made up of blood and plasma, similarly our souls must be composed of scripture, in other words, the precepts of God, should be our mental makeup – the mental makeup of Christ.
These precepts are not just laws per se, they are the very nature of God, His perfect Trinitarian way of living. It causes us to love our Father, ourselves and others, perfectly – unlike any law of a country. Because being laws of love, they are also life giving and uplifting, when practiced out in brotherly love – especially to those who live without hope. This has a far greater outcome, than the secular laws of a country.
The more one imitates Christ, in following Him – not only through daily prayers, but in allowing the Word to take flesh in us, the more we become divine. We too will be empowered with fruits and therefore, more charisms, doing such works that are even greater than Jesus (as He said), to bring God’s miracles, healing and life to a lifeless world.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12
The more we embrace and love His precepts and practice them, the more our thinking will change from centering it on ourselves and our family, to longing, thirsting and thinking about the good of the community or people (as well). Automatically, blessings and doors that were shut before will open, new opportunities will come up, that will bless us but more importantly, use us as channels to be a blessing to others and further God’s kingdom. Yet, we will be tested more and more along the way, in proving to be more faithful, with the little that He starts to give us, so that He can entrust greater things to us.
The more we have the precepts of God, the more Wisdom we acquire and the more we see things like He does – for which reason, we will automatically be detached and joyfully state: I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ (Philippians 3:8). If we think about this, we may not like the idea, but the freedom in not desiring such wants, nor what the world thinks about us, is so great a confidence God can grant us, that it fills us with true happiness.
If we truly want to enjoy our Christian life and get full benefit out of it, by following these precepts, we will also be like Saint Paul (another Christ), have such seemingly supernatural faith and declare:
Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church (Colossians 1:24).
Suffering will not make us gloomy, nor tearful, nor tremble, rather we will confidently give glory to God like Paul and Silas. We will be at such peace, that it will bring God’s power into us and where we are, which will shake the hellish prison walls that clutch us (as it did for Paul and Silas).
A true Catholic is one who when he says loves the Word, loves the precepts of God. When we see the life of Jesus, He walked His talk (the Word), because Jesus is all about His precepts. In fact, the very reason Adam and Eve had a fall out with God, is because they failed to follow His precepts. Hence, Jesus came to teach us the precepts and He lived them out, ultimately going as far as dying, to make reparation for us going against these precepts/Him – because they are so important. To ensure that we do not go the Adam and Eve way, He wrote them in our hearts with the ink of His sacrificial blood, fed us with these precepts (consuming His body) and poured out His Spirit – all that we may embody His laws perfectly in ourselves, firstly by having love for Him and His nature.
Even though the Word of God, came to mankind from the start of creation, the Old Testament, the earlier followers, had a hard time accepting its precepts and continually sinned against it. Centuries later (after several falls from not following the Word, including being exiled in Babylon), Jesus came to create a healthy appetite for us, to digest the Word (by writing the law in our heart) and finally feeding it to us, with His body.
Worship most Pleasing to God – is based on Scripture and its principles:
As a Catholic, you may have heard (even from Jesus’ revelations to saints) that, the Mass is the greatest form of worship which pleases God.
The Mass is such a structured banquet, that starts with Catholics cleansing themselves before the meal, preparing to receive it, participating completely and finally feeding on the living Word, as given below:
Firstly we begin Mass, by being sorry for not following the precepts by sinning, we renounce this in the Penitential Act.
Thereafter with cleansed hearts and anointed hearing, we once again absorb the Liturgy of the Word (the three readings), which highlight the ways of God. This is broken down for us to understand, through the homily.
We give God the offering of our life’s labour and ourselves, that He may take it and inscribe with His ink of blood, His Word, transubstantiating it into Himself.
Finally, we feed on this Living Word and His life-giving precepts, through the Holy Eucharist.
This is the kind of worship that pleases God the most and it is all centered on the Living Word, that aims to live in us, through repentance, listening and consuming it.
The dynamism of God:
God is a supernatural being, whom we will always be learning about, (more and more) and this learning will never stop even in eternity.
“And eternal life means knowing you, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” John 17:3
One of the reasons God the Creator is so dynamic, is because His work, is superlative, that no one can even fathom how He could create all these things, nor can they come anywhere close to mimicking a fraction of His works. Yet, it is not only because He is a powerful supernatural being, but because at His core, He is perfect love, and that is why all His physical works are dynamic.
Meaning, if human beings were creators, they would create things for themselves and be happy. However, because God is Agape (love), His creation plans a complete ecosystem for all creatures to receive love, in which all creation is not only breathtakingly beautiful but duly compliments the other, by serving others.
The sun gives energy to all, plants that create oxygen, medicine, fragrance and food, animals that take from it and humans that feed on it for sustenance from all of this and give back to the earth, their contribution – all in all, a ecosystem of love (especially when we follow it to the tee). All this perfect planning of creation, in harmony and love, cannot come from a selfish thinking heart, but from a mind and heart, that contains, pure, perfect, dynamic love, as its core value, behind everything.
In fact, His love is so unselfish, as He knows none of these things in nature, could physically benefit Him! Which human would want to work so hard to create something and keep looking after it (with all its faltering), without having any personal gain from it? The only take back that God wants from this is, that we learn to love perfectly!
This is why God’s creation is so superlative and successful and we being fallen, can only at best, copy a little of these great ways from our Father.
Therefore a heart that fills itself more with His precepts, will really become more dynamic and a visionary (unlike one that is closed to a change of heart). This eventually changes the mind which is refreshed by God, with dynamic ideas to change the world for the better (e.g. Saint Francis of Assisi who changed from living for himself to be a servant for others and touch thousands).
So a person who embodies these precepts, will start to do dynamic things, that positively impact and influence others, creating greater waves of goodness and giving life to many others. This will not only be good for that time, but will have a lasting effect through the centuries – because the hand of the eternal God is in it!
For example, legendary seeming people like Saint Mother Teresa, whose fertile heart of love, started spreading goodness to a few others. This impacted others (of other religions too), to help and thereafter open centers worldwide, which continue to serve the marginalized. The life she put into her work, was so alive, it continues to have a life of its own, that never dies, even after its founder passed on.
Saint Paul, who changed to be such a second Christ, that, till today, his works and deeds and life are celebrated, marveled and studied, for the rich wisdom and secrets he had on being truly happy, with the least and in the greatest sufferings.
The Best way for the Word to become flesh in us:
God chose the apostles to be the first to let the Word become flesh in them. He did not do this by forcing them to obey, but by love and friendship with Him. When they first met and asked Him, where He lived, He invited them to come and see.
They changed because they realized looking at His lifestyle (though He was not a rich man), He had an inner glory, wisdom, richness and perfection. They compared it to what they were holding on to, sinful attitudes, ego, anger, revengefulness, including their little riches, profession. This seemed silly and powerless, compared to what He had. Slowly all these ways of His (precepts) and His love, transformed them to see with maturity (and dislike their old ways, almost as if it was bad fashion).
We too can have a lifelong Jesus experience, by holding on to the crux of the Word, always being in personal prayerful friendship, placing long distance “phone calls” to the living Eucharist to speak to Him (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd7YbWyPcQo) and listening back to Him in inspiration.