I love the letters of St. Paul to the people of the towns he had visited. Many of his letters were written while he was imprisoned, for he never, until his death, stopped preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. If you have never taken time to open the Bible and choose one of the letters of St. Paul, to the Romans, or Corinthians, or the Ephesians, or Galatians, I encourage you to do so. Find a time to sit alone in quiet, open Sacred Scripture and as you read, imagine St. Paul writing his letter directly to you. This exercise can profoundly impact how we receive this Word of God.
Remember, the letters of St. Paul along with all books of the Bible were inspired by God to be the Living Word. There were many other writings of the time, by many who were also preaching the Good News of Jesus, that are not included in Sacred Scripture. As members of the Body of Christ considered the writings and discerned their inclusion, we as Catholics believe, it was through the Holy Spirit guiding the Church that the seventy-three books were crafted and became the Bible we know and read today.
How could something written so long ago still be relevant today? How is it that when we read Sacred Scripture it touches our lives, challenges us to be a better person, points out our weaknesses and yet within we find the greatest of gifts; love, peace, mercy, hope and forgiveness? The only answer that makes any sense is that this could only happen by God’s design. We are blessed as we engage in
Scripture. We are drawn closer to God who never ceases to draw us to himself. To be united with God is to receive grace; God’s presence and life with us in the Holy Spirit.
So many people share with me that they don’t feel qualified to read and interpret the Bible. You do not have to be a scholar or have a theological degree to read and make meaning of
Sacred Scripture. You need only open your heart and your mind to the Word and trust that God is there with you. You will come to know what God desires you to know; most importantly his undeniable and unconditional love. It is a gift. Take time to unwrap it and enjoy it fully.
With joy in the Word,
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC