Due to the inexhaustible human capacity to come with excuses, I would like to begin this article by saying that there is no better time to start reading scriptures than right now. The scriptures, however intimidating they may seem, can provide for us deeper insight into the human experience and our relationship with our creator. The Holy Bible contains the story of our salvation and narratives that help us understand who God is, who we are, and the relationship between us. The parables that Jesus told to his contemporaries are just as relevant to the lives of twenty-first century Americans as they were for first century Israelites. The Bible can speak to our hearts and help us through the many experiences that life brings our way from the greatest of joys to the deepest of sorrows. For many, the question of where to begin might raise an issue when deciding to dive into the scriptures. The short answer is, anywhere, but it certainly helps if we have some more direction than that. Many people find it fruitful to begin with the Book of Genesis, or the Psalms, or the Gospels. No Matter where we begin, finding a good Catholic Study Bible can absolutely help us when we first approach scriptures. Knowing the context that each book was written, who it was written to and why it was originally written give us important details that can help us understand what the book is attempting to convey and what that means in our own lives. We must never forget however, that the scriptures don’t only let us know things about God but can truly allow us to know God. Our study of scripture should never be divorced from praying with the scriptures because prayer is the means by which we come to know our God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Asking the Lord in prayer to guide our reading of the Bible and bring us closer to him through it can absolutely enhance our experience of spending time with the scripture. This can certainly make our journey through the bible a much slower experience but that it not necessarily a bad thing. We must have patience with ourselves and understand that reading the bible is less about finishing the book and more about coming to know the story of our salvation and truly growing in our relationship with the Lord.
Father Wayne Stock at Parochial Vicar at Cathedral. Ordained earlier this year, this is his first assignment. Aside from his duties at Cathedral, he is also the chaplain at Sacred Heart Griffin High School.