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Father Muench Says...

Spend time with Sacred Scriptures

Oct. 5, 2022

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I would like to take some time with you to consider the importance of the Sacred Scriptures for us, Catholics. There was a time when we, Catholics, were criticized as not giving enough attention to the importance of the Sacred Scriptures.

For us, Catholics, the Second Vatican Council made a serious effort to encourage us to give more attention to the Sacred Scriptures. In the Constitution on Divine Revelation, the Council Fathers wrote, “Since, therefore, all that the inspired authors, or sacred writers, should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture, firmly, faithfully and without error, teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”

The Sacred Scriptures are always an important part of every Mass that is celebrated. We believe that Jesus comes to us at every Mass through the Blessed Eucharist, the bread of life, and through the Sacred Scriptures, the Word of God. We, Christians, must make the reading of Sacred Scriptures an important part of our prayer life. We read the Bible not just to learn something about Jesus, his activities and teachings, but the Scriptures also give us an unique opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Lord in prayer.

So let us talk a little about the Bible. As you remember, the Bible has two sections, the Old Testament – that is the Hebrew Torah, some Hebrew history, the Wisdom Books, that are several books by the prophets of old – and the New Testament – the Gospels, Jesus’ life, teachings, his Passion, crucifixion and Resurrection.

Many have asked me if we, Catholics, should bother with reading the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. In the Old Testament, we discover the deep spirituality of the Hebrew people, who lived before Jesus and who lead us to Jesus. Personally, I would suggest and encourage you to read in the Old Testament, especially books like Genesis, the very beginning of the Bible, the Wisdom books, and the Book of Ruth, a short but most meaningful book.

The New Testament keeps us in touch with Jesus. There are the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, that tell us much of the Lord’s activities and teachings. In each of these four Gospels, we read descriptions of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. These Gospels lead us into a time of prayer. Truly we walk side by side with Our Lord and Savior in our life journey.

In the Gospels, we also discover the parables of Jesus. As you know, these parables are clever stories crafted by the Lord. Jesus used the parables as a teaching method. These parables are truly great lessons and also truly great literature. For most of us, these are our favorite Scriptures – the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Lost Sheep and the Rich Man and Lazarus. All of Jesus’ Parables lead us into a time of prayer, a time of being with Jesus.

The New Testament helps us, Catholics, to understand the beginnings and foundations of our Church, especially in the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St. Paul and the letters of many of the other Apostles. We learn about who we are as a Catholic and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Again, these readings are times of prayer.

So, we, Catholics, must believe in the importance of the Sacred Scriptures. They are an important part of our Christian Spirituality. They lead us to our worldly goal of holiness with the Lord, making our life a true journey toward sainthood. Do not neglect the Sacred Scriptures. Read your Bible every day.

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