The WORD in Other Words by Fr Edwin Fernandez SVD (Philippines)
Tuesday Week 22 Ordinary Time, 1 Thes 5:1-6, 9-11, Lk 7:16
St. Gregory the Great (540—604 AD) was well known for his generous alms to the poor. He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person. During his papacy, assets of the Church were liquidated to provide income for alms. St. Gregory also made certain to dine with a dozen poor people at each meal. Because of his great respect for the poor, it was Pope Gregory and the Church that became the most respected and obeyed force in Rome and across Italy.
In today‘s Gospel, the people in Capernaum were greatly amazed because Jesus taught them with authority, unlike the teachers they had heard before. This means that Jesus spoke of what he personally knew by experience. He was not merely borrowing and repeating what others had said. He was sure of what he was saying, and his listeners could perceive this quite clearly.
The authority and power in Jesus‘ words got manifested even more convincingly when he commanded an unclean spirit to come out of a man: “Be quiet! Come out of him!” The demon obeyed Jesus and did no harm to the man. Jesus’ words are truly liberating and life—giving.
Can we say that we too speak with authority, especially when we share with others what we believe? Do we speak of what we really know and have experienced in the realities of life?
St. Gregory preached with authority on loving the poor because he himself loved and cared so much for them.
Jesus deserves that we listen to Him with all our heart because He Himself is the Word of Love who humbled himself to become our Brother, Servant and Friend.