Some years ago, Richard Wurmbrand spent fourteen years in a Communist prison. He recalls the day when a new prisoner named Avram arrived. He had been hurt, and his upper body was in a cast. When the guards left, Avram felt under his cast, pulled out a tiny book and began reading it. Soon he realized that the other prisoners were all staring at it. They hadn’t seen a book in years. It turned out to be a tiny Bible. Avram had managed to hide it under his cast at the time of his arrest. From that day on, that treasured book was in someone’s hands every moment. The prisoners learned it by heart and they discussed it together daily. God’s word became alive for them. They realized that God was present among them in his revealed word. The experience of these men should cause us to reflect on how we respond to the word of God. We hear it every week at Mass. But do we truly take it seriously? Do we understand that the Lord is addressing us, speaking to each one of us about our lives. The scriptures are not just some recollection of what happened a long time ago. They are God’s message to us today about what He wants to do for us and what He expects of us. When the word is proclaimed among us, or when we spend time reflecting on it privately, God himself is speaking to us. He is truly present with His love, His consolation, His requests, His mercy. Let us then, be more attentive to God’s word. Let us encounter the living God in it, for He is truly there.
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