Friday, June 08, 2012

Surprised by Scripture

You would think that after 35+  years of daily Mass, I would stop being surprised by the unexpected connections between the Mass readings. Another one came popping out at me today.

In the first reading, Paul (in prison) is exhorting Timothy to stick to his guns, and above all to remember the Scriptural message he had imbibed from childhood, because "all Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, refutation, correction and training in righteousness." 

In the Gospel, Jesus gives a demonstration of just what Paul meant. He raises an innocent question: "Why do the scribes claim that the Messiah is the son of David?" Then he "refutes" the most obvious interpretation of that belief by bringing in the Scriptures: "David himself calls the Messiah 'Lord' when--inspired by the Holy Spirit-- he writes [in the Psalm], 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand".' "  Using the Scriptures (and highlighting their inspired character), Jesus reveals that there is much more going on in the Messianic prophecies than anyone could have suspected.

That must have been an ongoing experience in the early Church: going back to the old, old writings in the Law, Prophets and Psalms and, with a start, recognizing that in a mysterious way, Jesus had been there all along. By reading the Scriptures of Israel, the first generation of Christians came to know Jesus even better. And of course, so can we.


Daria Sockey said...

Wasn't it Augustine who said that Christ is concealed in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New?

Carlos said...

Sister, I'm often surprised as well, though I don't come close to your years of experience with it. I'm currently following a plan for reading the Bible and the Catechism in a year and as I read scripture, particularly the Old Testament, I'm often both surprised and impressed at those passages that tie directly to things in the New Testament. It highlights the fact that we say "He is great" for a reason! :)

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

Daria, you are right; here it is in the Catechism: (about 2/3 down)

Imagine the prayer of the early Church as they made that discovery (starting from the road to Emmaus!)!

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

Here's a little something our Founder said in 1952 (and that I "happened" upon during my spiritual reading last night):
"When we read the Bible, let us not do so with the mindset of a critic, but with simplicity. As a child reads a letter from his father, without making a grammatical analysis of it; the way you eat home-baked bread without making a chemical analysis of it the way you would in a laboratory.
"Other books form a sort of halo around the Bible, which enlightens every other branch of knowledge, even those that would seem the most distant."