Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Please, Let’s Not be Ignorant of the Bible
Jesus speaks to us always. He invites us, “come after me” like he did Simon, Andrew, James, and John in the Gospel (Mk 1:15). Like we heard last week from John’s Gospel to spend time with Jesus and be taught by him, that call to know and encounter Jesus and proclaim him to others is reinforced today, Sunday of the Word of God. Jesus is known and believed in his Sacred Words, the inspired words contained in the Bible. As St Jerome famously states, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Prologue: PL 24,17B).
We can no longer afford to be ignorant of Jesus because we now have a vast array of resources to aid our study and meditation on the Bible. There are many Catholic study bibles available for purchase. There are also opportunities for bible study in our parish. At the moment, there are many Catholic-based complete bible reading in 365 days. One among many that I recommend is “The Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz podcast (It is already day 24 this Sunday). Fr. Mike Schmitz and others are following in the footsteps of bible scholars like St. Jerome and saints whose memorials we celebrate this week: the conversion of St. Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, Saints Timothy and Titus and St. Thomas Aquinas, and Blessed Virgin Mary in whose womb and heart the Word took flesh and grew.
Like these saints, let us open our hearts and mind to the Word of God and act on it like the people of Nineveh did when Prophet Jonah announced “the word of the Lord” to them to turn away from their evil way (Jonah 3:1). Jesus teaches us his ways, his truth (Ps. 254-5) as he proclaims the Gospel of God to us to repent and believe the Gospel” (Mk. 1:15).
I invite you to practice Lectio Divina: read, pray, meditate, contemplate and act on the Word of God daily; this daily devotion prepares us to follow Jesus indeed and make Him known to others. Pope Francis reminds us in Aperuit illis: “Christ Jesus is knocking at our door in the words of sacred Scripture. If we hear his voice and open the doors of our minds and hearts, then he will enter our lives and remain ever with us” (AI, 8). Let’s not be ignorant of the Scriptures.
In Christ, the Word of God,
Fr. Bernard, OP