In today’s Gospel Our Lord reminds us that hearing the word of God is not enough; it has to be acted upon. God has put a plan into motion through his son, and he invites us to take part in it. In today’s First Reading the Israelites are rebuilding their Temple after years of exile and foreign oppression. Hellenic invaders had just made concerted effort, aided by some Israelites, to wipe out their cultural identity, and failed. Now under Persian rule they find a ruler who supports them in their faith. Through the Persian rulers, in response to hearing God’s will through the prophets, the Israelites reconstruct their Temple again as a place for God. In the past they’d separated themselves from God’s will, thinking that as long as the Temple was there, God was with them, but the Lord showed them a building and his will are two different things when they were exiled and their Temple destroyed. If we don’t build with God, nothing lasts.
Our Lord invites us to hear his word and act upon it by growing in holiness and spreading his word through evangelization. When his mother comes looking for him in today’s Gospel he is in the middle of doing exactly that: teaching and sanctifying a people who’ll come together and be built into his Church, in order to spread his word throughout the world. So is Mary; she’s bringing their relatives to Our Lord in order to hear God’s word and, hopefully, to act upon it.
Let’s ask Our Lord today how he wants us to put his word into action in our lives today, and how we can help him in the work of evangelization.
Readings: Ezra 6:7–8, 12b, 14–20; Psalm 122:1–5; Luke 8:19–21. See also 16th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday.