Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF

The twelve apostles have a clear perspective on their mission: “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God to serve at tables.”

Preaching the word of God and serving at table are both important and equally necessary, but one should not forget the sequence: service proceeds from the word of God. It is not rare to find well-meaning Christians immersed in works of charity with no much time left for prayer and meditation on the word of God. They often find consolation in the saying, “work is worship.” Of course, work is worship; but when one’s work displaces the Word and takes center-stage, one must wonder if the former loses its soul and becomes less an act of worship and more an act of social service. All the working (rowing, as suggested by the gospel of the day) becomes hazardous and futile, until Christ is welcomed into the boat and is allowed to take the center-stage.  We find this in some religious orders these days – some of them are so engrossed in social work, walking outside themselves, that they have lost all connection with their own interior spaces. Prayer and the word of God must become the anchor for all service. Today is an opportune time to reflect on how well the word of God and works of charity are synchronized in our lives. 

 (Note: This reflection is a revised and updated version of the author’s own reflection for the same readings in the Bible Diary 2013 [Claretian Publications]. All rights reserved. He may be contacted at:


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