Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week of Ordinary Time
One of the great privileges of the priesthood is the honor of witnessing the vows of couples in the sacrament of matrimony. The rite itself is fairly simple. Quite unlike the great fever expended upon the flowers, dresses, tuxedos, and decorations, the vows are notable for their lack of pretension. How powerful they are, and yet how fragile. Simple words uttered by each spouse for the other to hear. At that moment, these words are received in utter trust that what the other says is true. Each trusts the fidelity of the other, and they declare that they will change the entire course of their lives based upon this fidelity.
So it is with the Word of God. Like the marriage vows, it does not compel, but rather elicits trust, invites a response. We receive this word, not as a law of nature always available for our testing, but as a promise for the future, that God will be faithful to the good work He is accomplishing. This loving trust, as St. Ignatius points out, should show itself in deeds more than further words. “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and observe it.”