He who comes from above is above all; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth, and his words belong to the earth. He who comes from heaven speaks of the things he has seen and heard; he bears witness to these things, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does receive his testimony acknowledges the truthfulness of God.
The one sent by God speaks God’s words, and gives the Spirit unstintingly. The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life; but he who will not believe in the Son will never know life, and always faces the justice of God.
“Over the last few decades we have been inundated by a torrent of words … They form the floor, the walls, and the ceiling of our existence … In such a world who can maintain respect for words? … All this is to suggest that words, my own words included, have lost their creative power. Their limitless multiplication has made us lose confidence in words and caused us to think, more often than not, “They are just words.” (Henri Nouwen, The Way of The Heart)
In Biblical times, people gave greater weight on words. Words spoken could not be taken back. This is evident when Jacob deceitfully stole Isaac’s words of blessing that was meant for Esau. “Four things come not back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life and the neglected opportunity.”
If respect is rendered to ordinary words, there has to be greater honor when a lector proclaims, “The Word of the Lord.” We are what we receive at communion. We are what we hear at the Liturgy of the Word. An effective lector makes the Lord’s presence alive in himself/herself and in the assembly. We become the Lord’s Word that challenges and transforms the world.
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