• We know the story of the famous young man of Carthage. He is St. Augustine who was
    later recognized as the Father and Doctor of the Church. He tried his level best to free himself
    from his youthful evil tendencies. But it turned futile. He was disheartened. He felt life to be a
    meaningless emotion. Sometimes he was depressed. What is the means for liberation? He was
    walking in the garden in deep thought.
    From somewhere a gentle and firm voice echoed his ears. “Take and read”. Before its
    echo was over, he entered his room. That powerful command was very strong to read The Book.
    There was a Bible on the table. He just turned the page. Suddenly a verse caught his eyes. It
    was part of the Epistle to the Romans: “Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the
    moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became
    believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and
    put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not
    in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead put on the Lord Jesus
    Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”(Rom 13:11-14). This word of
    God touched him. His heart was moved. He repented of his sins and began a new life. Thus we
    get St. Augustine, a man touched by the word of God. He started a virtuous life and became a
    great man and saint. This is the miracle of the word of God.

    The Functions of the Word of God


    St. Paul speaks of the functions of the word of God thus: “All scripture is inspired by God
    and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
    so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good
    work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) The word of God helps in the moral growth and integral progress in life.
    Besides, it purifies and leads men to conversion and healing.


    Life - Giving Word

    The word of God gives life. It awakens human hearts and gives spiritual inspiration to
    him. The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks thus about the life-giving power of the word of God.
    “Indeed the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it
    divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to Judge the thoughts and intentions of the
    heart”(Heb 4:12).
    The word of God that influenced and led Augustine, the wayward youth of Thagastha is
    a beacon to all at all times. It builds fortress of resistance against the attacks of evil. It transforms
    sinners into saints.
    Ignatius Loyola, born in a rich family in Spain found his high office, prestige, position and
    recognition in the army very attractive. When he was wounded in the war of Pamplona and
    hospitalized, he was attracted by the Bible placed in his room. When he came across the life -
    giving word of God closely, he realized that whatever he thought as gain was not eternal. He was
    attracted by the history of saints and began to think: If he and she can become saints, why can’t
    I? The word “For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?’’(Mk. 8:36)
    became the cause of the conversion of St. Francis Xavier.


    Sanctifying Word


    The word of God acts as an elixir to liberate us from sin and sinful circumstances. In
    daily life how many temptations are attracting human beings? In the Gospel we see even Jesus,
    the son of God, who became man had to face temptations. “one does not live by bread alone, but
    by every word that comes from the mouth of God”(Mt. 4:4) Jesus overcame temptations with the
    power of the word of God. The Word of God is powerful to liberate us from sickness and
    bondages of evil.
    Sin will not have entrance to the one who keeps the word of God in his heart. The
    psalmist says: “I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you” (Ps. 119 : 11).God asked
    prophet Ezekiel to eat the word when he was sent to the house of Israel. He
    ate the scroll of the word of God. He ate it and it was as sweet as honey in his mouth.
    It is a sign to be constantly kept in our hearts and minds – the eternal treasure to be
    handed over to posterity “You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul; and you shall
    bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem as frontlets between on your
    forehead. Teach them to your children, talking of them when you are at home, and when you are
    away, when you lie down and when you rise” (Deut.11:18-19).

    Life Based on the Word of God- Sign of Discipleship


    Christ considers the people who listen to the word of God and act accordingly as his
    mother and brethren. When Jesus was told by his disciples that his mother and brothers were
    waiting outside to see him, Jesus said: “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word
    of God and do it.”(Lk.8:21). St. Jerome, The father of the church says that ignorance of the Bible
    is ignorance of Jesus”. “All should hold firm the Holy bible with eager and enthusiastic reading
    and careful study.” (DV 25). The utmost call of a Christian is to meet the word of God. Pray it and
    live in it. In the words of St. Augustine “Your prayers are the words that you speak to God. When
    you read the Bible God speaks to you.” Pope Benedict XVI makes a particular request to the
    youth “I compel you to get acquainted with the Bible and to have a Bible with you so that it may
    become a direction giving machine pointing the way you must follow.”


    To Live a Life Based on the word of God

    We must pay attention to five things in order to lead a life based on the Word of God. We
    must know the Word, hear the Word, Understand the meaning of the Word, act according to the
    word and pray for strength.


    1. Know the Word of God


    The most basic thing to lead a life based on the word of God is to know it. The more we
    know the word, the word –giver and the power of the word, the more we will be inspired to listen
    to it, to understand it and to live it. People crowded around Jesus to listen His word. They know
    His greatness. Knowledge of the word of God is essential to lead a life based on the word of God.

    2. Listen to the Word of God

    The second thing we have to do to lead a life based on the word of God is to listen to it.
    We must listen to the word of God with an open heart. We must know and convince that today
    God speaks to us through the written word. With this conviction, read and listen to the written
    Word. We will be able to hear the voice of God.


    3. Understand the Meaning of the Word of God

    Understanding the meaning of the word of God is as important as listening to the word of
    God. Only through that we will be able to accept the divine message as our own. The disciples of
    Jesus were able to understand the full meaning of the parables only when Jesus interpreted
    them. Similarly, when we listen to the talks and classes which interpret the word of God, we will
    be able to understand the meaning and accept the message of the word of God.


    4. Act According to the Word of God


    When Mary heard the word of God, she said: “Here am I the servant of the Lord; let it be
    with me according to your word” (Lk.1:38). St. Joseph heard the word of God from the angel and
    he obeyed and acted accordingly (Mt.1:24). Thus the family was saved. When Zacchaeus heard
    the word of God and was ready to act accordingly, his family could experience salvation.
    (Lk.19:1-10). Similarly, only when we listen to the word of God and act accordingly, the word of
    God will bear fruit.


    5. Pray for Strength

    We need divine power to listen to the word of God to understand it and to act
    accordingly. Jesus said that unless one gets power from the Father, one cannot listen to,
    understand and live according to the word of God. Hence we must strengthen ourselves through
    prayers and sacraments. Then only we will be able to lead a life based on the word of God.
    Those who remain in the word of God will be made disciples of Jesus. Jesus said that if
    you love one another, the world will know that you are my disciples (Jn 13:35). Jesus again said
    that those who hear the word of God and act accordingly are like prudent men who build their
    houses on rock (Mt. 7:28). We must be careful in the present day challenging world to listen to
    the word of God, understand it and live the word of God. Our lives will become powerful and
    strong enough to overcome any adverse circumstances.


    II. Let us Discuss


    1. Life based on Word of God- a sign of discipleship.
    2. “How can a young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
    (Ps.119:9) “I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you” (Ps.119:11).
    What is the significance you have given to the word of God in your life?

    III. Activity

    I will listen to The Gospel proclamation in order to study the word of God.


    IV. Let us Enlighten our Hearts

    “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it
    shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Is 55:11).


    Find out Answers

    Let us Enlighten our Hearts