Jesus, our Guide to the Scriptures

Some say that every word in the Bible is to be taken literally and needs no interpretation. Unfortunately there is little agreement over what it literally means.

Some people see it as a secret code, which, if deciphered properly can reveal the future, show us how to get rich or be successful in other human endeavors.

The Bible is not just a collection of writings about God. It is not just a history book. It is not a poetry collection or a treasury of wise sayings. It is all these things, but it is more still. It is a way to hear God speaking to us in our own time, in our own lives.

The key to this is Jesus. Not an ancient historical figure, prophet or wise teacher from the past. But the living word of God made flesh–living still, and sending us His Holy Spirit.

Jesus established His Church on the rock of Peter promising to be with her to the end of time. He sent His Holy Spirit to guide her in all things, including the writing and compiling of the Bible. And to this day He sends his Spirit to guide His faithful as they seek Him in scripture.

If you would like to develop a dialogue with God through the scriptures, I would suggest the following:

Be sure you are in a state of grace, repenting of and confessing any sin you may have committed. Place al your faith in the saving sacrifice of Jesus on cross. Recommit your life to Him. Tell Him your concerns, needs, hopes, sorrows… let it all out. Then, confident that He has heard you, take time to listen. Sit in silence for awhile, then open your Bible.

A good idea is to read one of the readings the Church has prescribed for the day. Probably not all the readings, or even a whole reading. Maybe just a small section. As you read it through the first time, listen for a word or phrase that stands out, speaks to you personally. It may be a word of comfort, or of challenge. In any case, trust in God’s infinite love and mercy, that anything He has to say to you is good. Read it again, spending a few minutes reflecting on it. Remember, you’re not necessarily looking for a specific answer to your questions or desires, but listening to what God wants to say to you. Respond to what you hear God saying to you in words, spoken or written, gestures or even tears. Read it a third time, thanking God for speaking to you, and listening ever more intently. Finally, read it one more time and just silently rest for a few minutes (or ten or twenty) in the presence of God, not saying anything, just being, with God.

In all things, trust in Jesus, the image of the invisible God, who was sent by the Father, not to settle arcane metaphysical debates about spirit and matter, not to offer wise sayings as one of many “great teachers” but to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness and sin, and through suffering and dying for our sins and rising to new life, bring us into the light and life of His eternal Kingdom.

 

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