Living the Gospel – January 27, 2019

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Nehemiah 8:3b

“……and all the people listened intently to the book of the law.” I don’t know about you, but this part of the scripture really convicted me. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word intently means “with great effort, attention, or concentration.” When Father is reading from God’s Word, do I listen intently or is my mind thinking about the afternoon football game or all the things at home I need to get done before the weekend is over. The scripture says Ezra read “from daybreak till midday.” We sometimes find it hard to give God 15-20 minutes on Sunday during mass, can you even imagine “from daybreak till midday.” Not only did all the men, women and children old enough to understand listen intently, “they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the LORD.” That means they were stretched out with faces on the ground in adoration and submission to God. Wow! Let’s think about that for a minute. Do we have reverence for God and his Word? I challenge us to see where we can make improvements in this area. When we walk in front of the alter, do we bow down? Do we genuflect or show reverence? If we don’t, we should. After all, Jesus is in the tabernacle. How cool is that! He is in our presence! I heard a story once that a priest and a protestant minister were talking about faith in a Catholic church. As they walked across the altar, the priest bowed in front of the tabernacle. When the pastor asked the priest why he bowed, the priest explained that we as Catholics believe that the presence of Jesus is in the Host and that the Host is in the tabernacle. The pastor replied, “If I were to believe that, I would never get off my knees!” Do we have this kind of reverence? We are so blessed to have the true body and blood of Christ! Let’s listen intently to God’s Word and give Him the reverence He so deeply deserves!

God Bless,

Don Barry