Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Being a minister of the Word is to be an authentic communicator of what God wants one to communicate. It is never conditioned by the circumstances and the personal difficulties. Prophet Jonah was brought back to preach the message of conversion (Jonah 3: 1,2). Prophet Jeremiah says that the Word remains like a burning fire that cannot be held in (Jer 20: 9) and he never ceased to speak His word. God too warns and prophesies through prophet Ezekiel that He is against the false prophets – who follow their own spirit (Ezek 13: 3, 8). In all this one must be clear and sure to preach the Word at all times and in all conditions as God wants. Paul and Barnabas, as we see in the first reading, went about preaching even after being persecuted. St. Paul admits this in his letter to the Corinthians that he is cursed if he does not preach (1 Cor 9:16).
In the process preaching, it is natural that the attention turns towards the messenger than the message. But, the messenger has the duty to deny any glory arising from his ministry, and to admit that it is God is to be glorified. As Paul and Barnabas denied and hurried to explain to the people that they are not to praised, every herald of Good News should, first of all, understand and communicate the same that every glory is due only to God.
Our Loving Lord Jesus stands as a perfect model in this regard. Being the second person of the Trinity, He was never silent of the reality of God’s presence and necessity of being filled with the Holy Spirit (for example, the Gospel Reading of today).
Hence, let us introspect to see how much glory we do gain in being a messenger of God. Even if there were to be a small amount, then, I think, we are not as God wants us to be. Let our entire life be spent for the Lord by echoing the words of the psalmist: “Not to us, O Lord, but to Your name give the glory” (Ps 115).