Our Lord’s words at the end of today’s gospel sum up the liturgical mood of this whole last week of Ordinary Time: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” So many things in our modern world come with expiration dates. Memberships, warranties, and magazine subscriptions run out. Products, fashions, and even laws grow obsolete. Tesco coupons expire. Even stars and planets die. And of course, after their allotted time on Earth, so do all living creatures.
But though our bodies are mortal, something in us longs to live forever. That’s because God created us to share in his eternal life. And because our God is a loving God, he gives us ways to begin tasting and growing in his life right now by meeting him every day. We do this as we prayerfully reflect on Scripture, the inspired word of God, which “will not pass away”.
The Fathers of Vatican II explained it really well in their document on Sacred Scripture: “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets his children with great love and speaks with them.” (Dei Verbum 21) And Saint Bernard, speaking from experience, said that anyone who eagerly meditates on Scripture knows “that there he is certain to find the One for whom he thirsts.” When we read Scripture, we can be sure that the God who created us to know and love him is with us, ready to bring his word to life.
Scripture reveals the enormity of God’s love. With a single word of reproach, it can shatter our selfishness and pride. It can teach us awesome truths, pierce our hardened hearts, and inspire us to praise and worship. It straightens out our crooked thinking, opens our eyes to Christ, and gives us what we need to face trials and disappointments with peace and joy. God’s word is new every day, always fresh and full of life and hope.