Fourth Tuesday of Advent
Quite a lot can happen to us when we hear or read the Scriptures. As this passage points out, the Scriptures have the power to pierce even to the deepest part of our hearts and minds. They can uncover our sin and lead us to repentance. They can cut away what is excess “baggage” in us, pruning us so that we can bear even more fruit for the Lord.
But the Scriptures do more than cut us or pierce us. They can “sharpen” us as well! God’s word has the power to make things clearer to us, helping us to see the world more as it really is and as God intends it to be. They can help us to grow sharper in our awareness of who we are and what’s going on inside of us. And that kind of sharpening only makes us more effective in drawing closer to the Lord. As the psalmist prayed, “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye” (Psalm 19:9).
Conversely, if we are not reading the Scriptures, we run the risk of our minds and hearts growing dull. We risk losing our heavenly perspective, thinking and acting primarily with an earthly perspective. We miss out on the privilege of being led by the Lord and end up going our own way instead. Ultimately, without the input of God’s word in Scripture, we risk losing sight of Jesus, for as St. Jerome said: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
Given all that is at stake, it’s no wonder that the church urges us to take up the word of God! Especially in this year dedicated to Scripture and to the writings of St. Paul, let’s make sure that we are letting God’s word sharpen us and give us clarity about our lives and the world around us. Let’s make sure that the Scriptures are cutting away all that stands between the Lord and us. May we all come to know just how “living and effective” his word can be!