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Have You Read From the Bible Lately?

As we find ourselves in isolation from the Coronavirus, how are you doing with your faith? Are you struggling? That’s understandable since we can’t gather together for the Eucharist.

Some are finding their faith stronger (see article – “Polls Show Faith is Getting Americans Through the Coronavirus”).

As we look for ways to strengthen our faith, my topic today is reading the Bible. Are you reading it? It’s an important book. The letters “bible” can be an acronym for “basic information before leaving Earth.” By “basic”, we mean information that we need to have if we wish to enter into eternal life.

In this blog article (and likely others to follow), I am not going to offer a “course” on the Bible. If you want that, you can watch my presentation, Navigating the Bible, that I did three years ago (run time 1 hour 22 minutes). You can also read my article “The Bible”.

Today I want to focus on why we should read the Bible. I already said it is an important book. It has information like the Commandments that we need to know.

It also tells us about many people. It tells the stories of their lives but it is not just their story. It also tells us about God. It is not just God’s story. While it tells stories of various historical stories, it is not written to be a history book.

What is the Bible then? Together all the parts of the Bible tell us the story of Salvation History.

As salvation history, it tells the story of God’s relationship with his people. In the stories of creation in the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis, there are two stories of creation. They are not written to provide a scientific explanation of creation. These stories are written by human authors inspired by God to provide meaning for us.

The story of the Exodus tells not just how the Israelites were set from slavery in Egypt but to speak of how God hears his people’s cry. The laments of the people in the desert for food and water remind us how we don’t always trust in God in the way we should.

This brings us to a very important point. The stories of the Bible include stories about many different people. However, it is not just their story. It is our story.

We are all children of God. The Bible tells how God has cared for his people throughout the ages. God did not create and walk away. Even when the people sinned, God was always with them, with us. When things became difficult, often because of their sins or lack of trust in God, God was there but He didn’t always rescue them immediately. He allowed them to suffer so that they might learn from it.

It is the same with us. God is always with us. He knows our struggles. God uses our struggles to make us better disciples. This is the story of Salvation History.

I expect to write more on the Bible in coming days (let me know what questions you might have). For now, I simply encourage you to read the Bible. If you are not sure where to start, I suggest spending a few minutes each day with the daily readings for Mass. They can be found online at http://www.usccb.org/bible/index.cfm.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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