September 20th, 2021

The Gospel according to Luke (8:16-18)

Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. 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.”

Opening Prayer: Living Word of God, my 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.

Encountering Christ: According to Jesus’ words, if you have much, then you will receive much more; but if you have little, then you will lose even what you have. Does this seem fair? Of course, our Lord is not speaking in worldly terms. He’s not 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. Notice that the passage above begins by saying, “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. One early Church Father, Saint Bede, explains that truly hearing the Word of God with our minds leads us to love that Word, and loving the Word leads to understanding. This 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. Read the Scriptures, ponder them and pray with them. It’s easy to forget that the Word of God is a Living Word. God is alive in His holy Word. We meet Him, personally, and this happens only by a special grace that we must be open to receive.

For example, today is the memorial and the Church honors the Korean martyrs who gave their lives for the Kingdom of God. In 1784, Korean Yi Sung-hun was baptized in China and returned to found the first Christian community. Bibles were sent in from China and the young Church grew. Between 1791 and 1866, waves of persecutions occurred, killing over 10,000 Christians. Saints Andrew Kim and Paul Chong were instrumental in leading the Church through this turbulent time. St. Andrew Kim was the first native priest of Korea, having had Christian parents. He was beheaded in 1846. 

St. Paul Chong was a lay leader who appealed before the government and because of his pleas, Pope Gregory X sent more priests to Korea. He was martyred in 1839. In 2007, His Excellency Mr. Roh Moo-hyum, President of the Republic of Korea, visited the Vatican. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the visit which, “…served to strengthen the good relations that exist between your country and the Holy See.” Today there are upwards of four million Catholics in the Republic of Korea (South), with Christians in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North) still underground 

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. 

Closing Prayer: 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

Action of the Day: Reflect, today, upon your practice of prayerfully meditating upon the Scriptures. Commit yourself to this holy practice, and you will be amazed at the spiritual riches our Lord bestows upon you.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Pexels.com

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