Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
The Thessalonians did well, according to St. Paul, when they recognized that the word he proclaimed to them was not the word of men, but the word of God proclaimed by a man (1 Thess 2:13). They recognized Paul’s word as something special and received it differently. Consider the different ways that we receive information.
Recent studies have highlighted the negative impact that technology has upon the way that we receive information today. Now we tend to skim headlines and maybe first sentences, while simultaneously listening to some music or watching a video or having a conversation. The glut of information presented to us every day is hard to manage, and we are forced to make rapid and repeated decisions about cutting off what is not really worth our attention. We become discerning consumers of information, accustomed to making our own decisions about listening.
When someone today says that a particular newspaper or book is their “bible,” they mean that it has content of greatest value and authority of the highest degree. For Christians, there is really, ultimately, only one “bible,” and that’s The Bible. But when we hear the sacred scriptures proclaimed at Church, it becomes hard for us to hear divine messages differently from the many messages we receive from other people and other media. We might feel bored, or (God forbid) we might even disagree with God’s word. How can we (1) remain interested and (2) remain docile when God’s word is proclaimed? In most cases like this, the best recommendation is to make a retreat. Take some time to study and pray over God’s word with greater intensity under the guidance of an expert. Pray for God’s grace and for God’s help, and trust that you will not be disappointed.