“THE WORD OF THE LORD”, “THANKS BE TO GOD”

“He read out of the book from daybreak till midday, in the presence of the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand; and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law.” —Nehemiah 8:3

At Mass, the lector concludes the reading by saying: “The Word of the Lord.” We respond with: “Thanks be to God,” that is, we state our belief that the Bible is the Word of God. Unlike any other written communication, the Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Tm 3:16, our transl.). Although the Lord used human beings to write the Bible, it is the Word of God, not man (1 Thes 2:13).
If others observed how often you read the Bible and how you obey, share, and live it, would they come to the conclusion that you believe the Bible is the Word of God? Look at how Ezra related to God’s Word. He read out of it “from daybreak till midday” (Neh 8:3). “Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read” (Neh 8:8). The people “bowed down and prostrated themselves before the Lord, their faces to the ground” (Neh 8:6). “All the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law” (Neh 8:9). “Then all the people went to eat and drink, to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy, for they understood the words that had been expounded to them” (Neh 8:12).
Do the actions of Ezra and the Israelites indicate that they believed the Bible is the Word of God? Do your actions in response to God’s Word indicate the same thing?

Prayer: Father, may my response to the readings at Mass not be lip-service but life-service.
Promise: “The harvest is rich but the workers are few; therefore ask the Harvest-Master to send workers to His harvest.” —Lk 10:2
Praise: All the farmers in Harry’s church obeyed the Third Commandment and went out of business rather than being forced to sell their produce in the market on Sunday.

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