Scripture Through the Eyes (and heart) of Christ
“Thou art the Father’s knowledge true,
His word through whom all things we see
In wondrous order shining forth;
They draw our hearts and minds to Thee”
--Hymn for Lauds, Tuesdays 1 & 3. from Hymnal for the Hours by Fr. Samuel Weber, O.S.B. ©2014 Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN 47577-1010, U.S.A.
There seem to be as many interpretations of scripture as there are interpreters! That’s not always a bad thing, though. It is certainly true that we must defer to the magisterium or teaching authority of the Church on all questions of doctrine or dogma, lest we be influenced by the values of our particular culture or fall into the trap of using the Word of God to validate our own selfish desires. But within that “safe zone” God speaks to us, as individuals, to our own situations. Even the same scripture may reveal a different message to the same person at different times.
The key to this living relationship with God through scripture is the Holy Spirit. We know that through baptism and confirmation we receive the very same Spirit that Jesus Himself has! But we must daily, hourly, yes even moment by moment, choose to serve Him as our Lord rather than ourselves. As St. John says “No one who remains in him sins; no one who sins has seen him or known him.” (1John 3:6) But if our hearts are humble and docile the Holy Spirit will dwell in us and will speak to us through His word.
Jesus, our Lord and King is the very word of the Father. Every word of the Holy Bible was spoken through Him. It may have been written down by many individuals in different times and cultures, but none of it is to be ignored, or even denied as merely cultural, self-serving, or legalistic.
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, can speak to us through even the most obscure passage of scripture. St. Neilos the Ascetic read Judges 7:13 wherein an Israelite dreams of the tent of the Midianite being knocked down by a cake of barley bread. Through this he was reminded of the importance of fasting and a frugal diet! This was certainly not the only meaning of text nor its original intent. But Jesus, though His indwelling Holy Spirit spoke to St. Neilos who shared that insight as an encouragement to all of us.
Sometimes we can feel that we’re speaking to God, but that He is silent. But if we silence ourselves and our own desires, Jesus, the living word, who was with God, who was God from the beginning speaks to us through the holy scriptures. And as we carry that word through our daily activities, relationships, joys and trials, what once seemed like silence can become a constant ongoing conversation.