As a preacher of the word of God, I sometimes wonder if the Sacred Word I proclaim every day from the pulpit fall on good ground, that is, if they are received and responded to by those I address them to. I am always confident in the authority of the words of the Sacred Scripture. I hold it to be true that as Prophet Isaiah says, God's word shall not return to Him void but shall achieve the end for which it was sent (55:11). I have an absolute belief that the words of The kingdom that Jesus commands us to proclaim will fall on different grounds but surely will fall on good soil, on receptive ears and hearts, and ultimately yield abundant fruits. God has always been faithful to his promises. Yet, sometimes I wonder if the word of redemption I proclaim is appropriately channeled and received with clear understanding and responded to by those who hear them. Do the Words proclaimed every day from our church pulpit work? Yes, they do.
Many factors must be in place for the generously given Word of God to work and to produce fruits. The word must be heard, understood, and appropriately acted upon. Our disposition and response must match the intent of the word, as William Shakespeare Hamlet's monologue suggests to actors' interpretation of their roles in stage plays, "Suit the action to the word, the word to the action" (Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 2). God intends that the word yield fruit. We hear the word proclaimed, we listen with understanding as much as the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts, and we act in response to the word, through the movement of God's grace in us. The response must match the proclamation.
Last Sunday, I proclaimed the word of Christ concerning the burden of sin that we all carry and the need to unburden ourselves of them and so find rest for our soul by frequent reception of the Sacrament of Confession. It made my day as a preacher and pastor that some responded to God's word by making an appointment for confession. The Boleskys family is an example of a good disposition and fruitful response to the Word of Jesus that I proclaimed last Sunday. The Word indeed works! Praise God!! The Word proclaimed from the pulpit and in the Sacraments work. The word will bear fruits in "a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold," Jesus promised in the Gospel according to Matthew.
What is our response to the Word of God spoken to us this Sunday?
Responding to the demands of the Word will set us free, but are we willing to make the appropriate response? May the Boleskys' exemplar response to the spoken Word of Christ inspire all of us to let proper action flow from God's Word spoken to us today.
In Christ's Healing Words,