How do I begin reading the Bible? - Desire to Pray
Many Catholics have a Bible that they received some time in their life, however, I have found that very few of us take the time to regularly read Scripture. If I’m honest, the Bible had not really been on my own radar for the majority of my life. However, the Scriptures are a privileged place to be able to encounter Jesus, through the word of God.
At some point along many Christian’s spiritual journey it is common to have the desire to read the Bible more. However I have found that it can be quite intimidating to pick up the Bible and try to begin from the first page. In fact, several chapters in, it can become quite tedious. If you ever have ,or would consider reading a significant part of the Bible, let me encourage you to begin with the Gospels. You’ll find that having gone to mass regularly, the stories of Jesus’ life are ones that you already have some familiarity with, and therefore can be even more significant as you read them at home.
The Bible is a written collection of books, but it is not meant just to be read. It is meant to be prayed with as well. Jesus desires to speak to each of us through the Sacred Scripture . The stories that you will read happened nearly 2000 years ago, however Jesus wants to be able to speak to us through our reading of them. As you read the Bible, I encourage you to ask these two questions:
What does Jesus want to say to me?
How am I called to respond?
Answering these two questions each time you read the Bible helps transform reading into a prayerful relationship with Jesus.
I encourage every family and every household in our parishes to pray together twice every day, once from your own hearts by articulating your own intentions, and once from the heart of the Church. When I say ‘from the heart of the Church’ I am referring to a variety of liturgical or devotional prayer that has been handed on to us by the Catholic Church. One of the possibilities to pray from the heart of the Church is to pray with Sacred Scripture. What would it look like for your family or home to read one chapter of the Bible out loud every day together and answer these two questions together?
-Fr. Michael Thiel