A few days later he sent me a text to remind me about it and said that he would pick me up in an hour. In a panic I searched franticly for the verses and page numbers and thought how am I going to read all of the assignment before he came to get me. So I pulled open my bible, flipped to the verse and started reading. Minutes later I had finished the entire piece that we were going to be going through. The first thing that crossed my mind was, “Wow was that it?” I double-checked the sheet and I had read it correctly. Then a sudden sinking feeling struck me as I wondered how we were going to talk about this short, 10 verse reading for a whole hour. These thoughts were still running through my head as my friend came and picked me up. When we left bible study an hour later I was amazed not only that we had gone an hour, but also that so much could be packed into such a small reading.
That was the key. I think the reason that I was so daunted by the task of reading the bible was because I was making it too broad. Reading scripture is best when you make it simple. As Matthew Kelly said, start with the gospels. Don’t try and read one all in one sitting, but give yourself a month or two to just read one Gospel. Make it part of your morning routine. I hold a weekly morning bible study for my teens here in Missoula and find that starting with the Word helps to have it permeate in all the rest of my activities for the day. Remember that God’s Word in scripture is living. More often than not the verse I read in the morning will come up again in a conversation with a friend who needed exactly what the Lord had said to me. I know you are skeptical, but try it and I promise you will see the fruits.
Lastly I just want stress on the fact that when you read the scriptures the Catholic Church’s teachings become clearer. Everything the church teaches comes directly from scripture. If you are wondering why the church is pro-life, or asks people to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or even the teaching of the Eucharist all you have to do is look at scripture. Everything is there. We as Catholics need to become better scholars of the Word and live our lives centered around it. My challenge this Lent is for you to choose just one book of the Bible and read it, just 10 verses a night. If you finish read it again. Let the Spirit speak to you. Meditate on it and not just what it was saying back then, but what it is saying to you, now, here in this moment. I promise you that you will grow closer to God and have a better understanding of him and yourself.
Christ the King Missoula