As Catholics we believe that what we learn in preparation for First Holy Communion and for Confirmation is sufficient for us to live a Christian life. But the truth is that it is not. What we learn corresponds to a specific age and time in our lives; as we grow in different aspects of our lives, we also need to grow in the knowledge of our beliefs, including knowledge of the Bible.

We have the Bible at hand, yet we do not read it often. Why? I think it is because we may believe that reading the Bible is difficult, or perhaps we believe that we already know all of the stories in the Bible. And you may be correct, but what kind of people will we be if we stop when something is difficult? And those stories, the ones that we know from our youth, may have a different meaning for us today. They can still bear fruit for us today. We know that each day and all the days of our lives start with sunrise and end at sunset, but that does not mean that every day is the same.

The second reading today instructs us why we should read the Bible, because “All scripture is inspired by God and can profitably be used for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be holy.”

The Bible is the way that God speaks to us, and even though the words are the same, because they never change, the meaning for us is different, depending on the different situations of our lives.  The second letter to Timothy is telling us that “it is for teaching, for guidance” not only for us but for the ones we know and love. Once the word of God is alive in us, it should be transmitted from us to others, so that they may profit from it as well.

Knowing that  “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” (St. Jerome), I urge you to read Sacred Scripture every day; if (when) you find some part that you do not understand, call your priest, call me and I will explain it to you. But never stop reading, never stop meditating on Scripture, and most importantly, never stop answering with your lives to what God is asking to you in the Bible, because it is in reading God’s Word that we learn how to be holy.

I assume that every one of you has a Bible at home, or an application in your phone or tablet. If not, you can go online (http://usccb.org/bible/index.cfm) and read the whole Bible. But please read the Bible as the words of your Father to you.

 

Fr. Sergio