Have you begun to know the Scriptures? We Catholics have a reputation for not knowing the Bible. Often, former members who choose to leave us and to attend other churches tell us that they did not learn anything about the Bible in the Catholic Church. This is an indictment against us that we have to take seriously. As an institution, we have to do a better job of communicating the Scriptures to our people. As individuals and families, we need to take responsibility for our own education and study the Scriptures personally.
Here are some simple facts about the Bible from the Catholic point of view:
- The Church herself wrote the Bible through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and established the canon of the Bible (that is, the list of Books included in the Bible). God is the Author of the Bible and He used human beings with all their gifts and talents to accomplish His purpose; the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Bible guided the Church to identify those texts that are in the Bible.
- The text of Scripture was preserved by the work of scribes and monks in Judaism and in Christianity who devoted themselves to making these sacred writings available across the generations.
- Through the centuries, the living teaching authority of the Church (Pope and Bishops) have assisted the members of the Church to interpret the Scriptures and to understand their meaning in regard to the salvation God gives us through Christ.
- The whole life of the Church today is marked by the Scriptures:
Daily prayer (the Liturgy of the Hours), the Sacraments, and every
At St. Timothy Church, Bibles are available in every pew. We have a weekly Bible Study on Tuesday mornings. Many opportunities for learning Scripture are available.
My reason for offering this reminder about the centrality of Scripture this weekend is that the first reading from the Sunday Mass has been a significant guide for my life. While I was in the Seminary, I was seeking a way to describe how God is at work in my spirit, how I am to respond to the All-Loving Provider and Listener I know God to be. The prayer of Solomon for Wisdom was expressed as a request for a “lev shome‛a,” “a listening heart.” At a certain Mass when that was proclaimed and the homilist spoke about it, I felt a kind of integration of my heart, an answer to may quest for my own “name” in God.
So, I share with you one of my Scriptures, the heart of my prayer: “Give your servant, therefore, a listening heart . . . .” (I Kings 3:9) Have you found your Scriptures?