Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For the past couple weeks, we’ve spent time focusing upon Sacred Scripture. I hope you’ve found it fruitful as we’re going to continue that practice this week. Why? Because Sacred Scripture is foundational to all we do as Catholics. Indeed, the twin pillars upon which our Catholic “rule of faith” is built are Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.
As the Second Vatican Council’s document on divine revelation, Dei Verbum, tells us of Tradition and Scripture: “both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end.”
Thus, to be a Catholic is to love Sacred Scripture. After all, the texts of the New Testament were written by the early Church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Later, the canon of the Bible was decided upon by the Church, also under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is a Catholic book. It is THE Catholic book. It chronicles the story of God’s love for mankind as it has unfolded across Salvation History.
Hence, my first challenge to you: Do you have your own Bible? If not, you should! To help, I’ve listed several suggestions of approved translations below. Buy one and then make it part of your daily life.
One good priest I heard of would often challenge his people with this simple rule, “No Bible no breakfast. No Bible no bed.” I like that. What if God’s Word was the first thing you read in the morning and the last thing you read before going to bed? I wonder how that might affect your day. I can only imagine good would come from it. Try putting it on the nightstand next to your bed or maybe on a coffee table. Somewhere you’ll see it often and be reminded to pick it up and read it.
If we read the pages of Sacred Scripture with a humble and open heart we will allow God to enter the brokenness of our lives and speak His life-giving word to us. If you ever find yourself having a hard time hearing Christ’s voice in your life, just open up your Bible. That’s a great place to start. As the Church Father, St. Jerome, famously said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
Here’s my challenge for this week: When we pick up our Bible, Let us read the First Epistle of Saint John. It’s short. Only five chapters. But it packs quite a punch in terms of teaching Christians how to “abide in God” underscoring, as he does, the division of light and darkness, love and hate, life and death, God and the devil, sin and righteousness.
Please know that I will be praying for you as you immerse yourself in God’s Word this week. May it fill you with His light and power. Until next week, may God bless you, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Yours in Christ,
+ Earl Boyea
Bishop of Lansing