Lately, I have insisted in my preaching about the importance of Sacred Scriptures to help us know more about the Lord. I am a cradle Catholic. When I was growing up, my family did not read the Bible very often. When I am teaching catechism to the teenagers who are preparing for Confirmation I use the Bible very often. I see in these kids their struggle to find a book in the Bible. I have to teach them how to use the Bible first and then help them to locate the book, the chapter and the verse. It is not a surprise for me that they do not know many things about the Bible: their main catechists, their parents are not doing their job. The fact that most of the kids do not know how to use the Bible is proof that our families are not reading the Bible. My question is how to reverse this issue when people get busier and busier and there is “no time” for learning about our faith about Sacred Scripture.
My duty as a priest is to teach with the Bible. Today (Sept 30) is the feast day of Saint Jerome, a saint from the IV century who dedicated his entire life to study Sacred Scripture. He spent 14 years translating the Bible from the Greek and the Hebrew to Latin; a version that is known as the Vulgate because this translation was meant for the common people. The Vulgate was the most common version of the Bible for about 8 centuries until Gutenberg’s printing press. We have to remember that during many years only a few people were able to read and write. Most of the people were illiterate. The Vulgate then was used by clergy, monks and the aristocracy. Bibles were very expensive and hard to find as scribes were writing and drawing those Bibles. To have a Bible then was a privilege of a few.
Saint Jerome knew of the importance of Sacred Scripture. He said that “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” How ignorant we are about the Lord? If we do not read Sacred Scripture maybe we fall into this category but the Church is offering us some tools to help us out to know more about the Lord. When we go to Mass, for how long we ponder in the readings. I try to incorporate props in my homilies to help me and the congregation to reflect on His Word. Precisely today, Pope Frances instituted the day for Sacred Scripture. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-institutes-day-to-promote-knowledge-and-love-of-scripture-69254
My reflection today about encouragement, to help you understand how important is to read and meditate in the Bible, the Word of God. Then we can pray like the psalm: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
Lámpara es tu palabra para mis pasos, luz en mi sendero
Saint Jerome, pray for us