Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Reading the Bible

The Church’s approach to peace and justice is rooted in Scripture. Many Catholics, however, are not regular readers of the Bible. Now, a staff member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offers ten points for fruitful Scripture reading, available here.

A news release from the USCCB notes:
Reading the Bible should begin with a prayer to open our hearts and minds to the Word of God and end with “a prayer that this Word will bear fruit in our lives, helping us to become holier and more faithful people.” The notion of prayer being the beginning and end of reading the Bible is one of 10 points for fruitful Scripture reading for Catholics offered by Mary Elizabeth Sperry, Associate Director for Utilization of the New American Bible at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Among Sperry’s ten points:
Know what the Bible is – and what it isn’t. The Bible is the story of God’s relationship with the people he has called to himself. It is not intended to be read as history text, a science book, or a political manifesto. In the Bible, God teaches us the truths that we need for the sake of our salvation.

You do not read alone. By reading and reflecting on Sacred Scripture, Catholics join those faithful men and women who have taken God’s Word to heart and put it into practice in their lives. We read the Bible within the tradition of the Church to benefit from the holiness and wisdom of all the faithful.

Reading isn’t enough. If Scripture remains just words on a page, our work is not done. We need to meditate on the message and put it into action in our lives. Only then can the word be “living and effective.”(Hebrews 4:12).