Catholics are accused of being ignorant, uneducated, and even uninterested about Sacred Scripture. For many, perhaps, that is true to a degree. St. Jermone warns us “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”. The reading of Scripture has become a mundane part of Holy Mass that we often tune out. Maybe we tune out for good reason. It’s easy to get distracted by others at Mass when you cannot hear Scripture being read or you have a lot consuming your thoughts prior to entering the church. It’s easy to click the “mute” button in your brain until the priest begins delivering his homily.
The reality is the proclamation of the Word of God at Holy Mass should be a highlight of our week and not the only time we hear or read Scripture. By tossing aside the Bible during the week, we are throwing away one of the most valuable things Christ and the Church has given us. Imagine writing a love letter to your spouse while you are gone on a business trip for several weeks only to come home and see the unopened letter on the coffee table. How would you feel if your spouse said “oh sweetie, I’m so sorry I have not had a chance to open your letter. I’ve been so busy.”
There are countless reasons you should be reading Scripture daily. If you are struggling to include a Bible reading time in your daily routine, here are just a few reasons to motivate you:
1.) Be like a saint: We should all be striving to be saints. After all, if we are not desiring and trying to be saints, then what on earth are we trying to do? The saints spent countless hours reading, studying, and meditating on Sacred Scripture. St. Jerome, under the direction of Pope Damascus, translated the Sacred Scriptures into Latin for the Church. St. Jerome understood the sacredness and holiness of Scripture and took care to ensure every syllable, word, and sentence were accurate.
2.) It’s the Sacred Word of God: Remember that unopened letter on the coffee table? The Bible is basically a love letter to God’s people from God. Would you leave a love letter from God unopened on your coffee table because you got busy with “life”? Most of us would say “absolutely not”, but in reality that’s what we do when we do not read Scripture.
3.) The Holy Spirit speaks through Scripture: Have you ever felt that God does not answer your prayers, does not speak to you, or you just do not feel God present in your life? The Holy Spirit speaks to our heart in countless ways, but one of the primary ways He speaks is through Sacred Scripture. If we are not reading the Bible, then we are not listening to the voice of God.
4.) It’s a blueprint for life: I cringe when I order something from Amazon, and it comes in a box with “some assembly required” instructions in the box. If you are like me, the instructions are never really clear, but eventually I figure it out. We can stumble through life and try to find our way without reading the instructions, or we can use the instructions we are given to navigate a successful life.
5.) It improves your prayer life: Think about your relationships in life. The relationship with your spouse, children, friends, family members, and even co-workers. The more you get to know what a person is like then the more you feel led to either have more conversation with or to avoid. The same is true with a daily walk with Christ. The more we get to know Christ the more we are drawn to talk to him, trust Him, turn to Him, and desire to know more. The more we read Scripture and are drawn back into the life of Christ, meditate on those events and teachings, the deeper we can know Him. The deeper we know Him, the more we desire to spend time in prayer.
The new year is upon us and many will be making New Year’s Resolutions. We could all benefit from including more daily Bible reading in our resolutions.