Ever ask, “how can I get to know God?” Here are some hints. Anyone can do it; it requires very little time. You can do it every day and even several times a day. If you guessed pray, you are right. If you said to practice generosity and forgiveness, you are right. If you said to go to church and mass regularly, you would be right. While praying, practicing generosity, and attending church services are great ways to get to know God, nothing has helped me to know God as much as reading the Bible. That’s right! As a Catholic Christian, I can say that nothing has helped me know God more than reading the Bible. Why?
Saint John begins his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God’s presence, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1), and a little later, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14). What is this Word? This Word is God, Jesus Christ, revealed in the pages of the Bible. Every word in the Bible was inspired by God, and God reveals himself to us in its pages and we can find God by reading the Bible.
How important is the Bible to catholics? In our masses, services and sacraments the Bible is read and quoted. In the early part of the mass called the Liturgy of the Word, we enjoy three and sometimes four readings from the Bible. Usually, there is an Old Testament reading, a Psalm, a New Testament reading, a reading from a Gospel, and a brief reflection given by the priest. That is a lot of focus on the Bible! We are encouraged to read the Bible every day and ponder its message.
We are fed, not only by the body and blood of Jesus, but also by hearing and contemplating his Word in the Bible. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, Jesus replied, “Not on bread alone is man to live, but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) That utterance is found in the Bible.
We eat food every day to nourish our bodies. Reading and contemplating the Bible is necessary food for our spirit and soul. Obviously, reading the Bible is not the only way to nourish our spirits, but it’s a lot better than listening to the news. It is easy to do and can be done every day. Just as eating satisfies our bodily hunger, reading the Bible satisfies our hunger for God. Where to begin? A friend of mine suggested following the daily readings of your church. If that is not available, start with a gospel and then go to the letters in the New Testament. It is not so important where you begin, but that you begin and let the Bible reveal God to you; it is his Word. Perhaps, reading the Bible every day is one way you can prepare during Lent for Easter.
“May the Lord Bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”