Saturday, February 7, 2009



On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her, and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to Jesus all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this
purpose have I come.” So He went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

In a world full of suffering and illnesses, Jesus was the most powerful and welcome "Total Healer". His presence brought hope and salvation to all the afflicted even as it meant defeat for the Evil One.

This "Healing Journey" which began on the trail of the proclamation of the Gospel two thousand years ago, continues today in the whole world. Christ the compassionate Healer, continues His mission through the Church and all the people of goodwill who care for the sick and the afflicted. Whenever human beings do their best to relieve the pains of their neighbor, Christ is present and active in them as instruments of His healing love.


Just as God communicated His messages in a variety of ways, so did the prophets and other sacred authors relay the Lord’s messages in different forms. Most of the prophets communicated God’s messages by word of mouth.

Some, like Ezekiel, even acted out the message they were sent to convey. Some of the sacred authors put their prophecy or reflections in writing. In most cases, the Biblical texts that we have now are the fruit of collections and editings of previous oral traditions and written materials.

Each of these written works bears the special traits of the personality, education, and communication skills of its authors and editors. These writings were also influenced by the cultural and historical environment in which their authors/editors lived, as well as by the concrete situations in which they and/or their audiences found themselves.

This is one of the reasons why the written Word of God, or “Sacred Scripture,” includes a great variety of literary styles and genres. We have narratives, poetry, fiction, dramas, historical accounts, prophecies, etc.

This is mainly why the contents of the Sacred Scriptures are called “THE WORD OF GOD in the WORDS OF MEN.” This also explains why, in some cases, it took the believing community some time to accept certain writings as part of the body of literary production considered to have been written under God’s inspiration.


Varied, likewise, were the ways in which the recipients of the prophets’ messages reacted. Ideally, all the divine messages conveyed by the prophets and other sacred authors should have been received in a spirit of faith and acted upon promptly.

In reality, however, many times their words were ignored or considered as being simply human words with no special divine authority. In the case of the prophets, sometimes they were openly rejected and even persecuted. Some of them were even put to death. This form of rejection happened especially when the prophets
condemned abuses or exposed the unfaithfulness of individuals, or of sectors of society or of the entire people and its leaders.

At other times, instead, their calls to conversion were heeded, and the people concerned changed their behavior. Consequently, the Lord did not carry out the threatened punishment. In other cases, the messages of the prophets offered consolation in times of affliction and hope in times of persecution and oppression. That is why the people of Israel continued to look forward with undying hope to the coming of the Messiah.


In most cases, the prophetic messages, the reflection of the sages, and the poems were written down and/or edited by individuals or groups who lived after the death of the prophets/sages/poets and who wanted to preserve their teachings for the generations to come.

All this work of proclaiming God’s message by word of mouth, writing, collating, editing, and occasionally adapting it to new contexts, took place under the inspiration and guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT. With His active intervention on all those involved in every stage of this vital work, the Spirit ensured the authenticity of the messages and the preservation of the vital truths they were meant to convey.

In this way, over the centuries, a body of sacred writings or “HOLY SCRIPTURES” came into existence. These revered written documents were classified under three major categories: the LAW, the PROPHETS, and the WRITINGS. The people of Israel treasured their Scriptures immensely and handed them on from one generation to the next because they were believed to contain God’s word.

They were read in public assemblies and liturgical celebrations, and were taught to children and youths in their homes and schools.

Euchalette, 8 February 2009
MCPO BOX 1820, Makati City 1258, Philippines