Thursday, March 04, 2021

Read the Bible with Me!

Welcome to the Pauline Family's "Year of the Bible"! I'm reading the Bible clear through this year, and I invite you to read along with me. But first, let us pray: 

My God, I adore and thank your loving and wise Providence, manifested on every page of Sacred Scripture. You have always been close to sinful and erring humanity, and have indicated the way and given hope. Amid the shadows of error and corruption, you kindled the light of your truth; amid universal corruption, you are the Just One; amid so much idolatry, humanity in every corner of the earth has cultivated a sincere worship of you.
Let my reading today increase my trust in your goodness, your mercy, and your unfailing faithfulness.

Today's chapters are 2 Samuel 19-21 and (for Lent) Psalm 42.

One remarkable thing about David the King: He accepts being taken to task by his subordinates, whether his court prophets (like Nathan, who boldly revealed his sin), the wise woman of Tekoa, or his commander, Joab. 

Psalm 42 is the beginning of "book two" of the Psalter. It has a rich history in the liturgy and particularly in spirituality. The image of the "deer longing for streams of water" seemed a perfect image of the soul's desire for the presence of God, drinking streams of grace that flow from the Cross of Christ, the new Tree of Life. That is what is depicted (detail here) in the apse mosaic of the great Basilica of Saint Clement in Rome

Start reading 2 Samuel here and Psalm 42 here.

If you are looking for a solid but approachable companion to the Bible, I can wholeheartedly recommend A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: The Old Testament by John Bergsma and Brant Pitre. Although the authors are top-level Scripture scholars, they write for "real" readers. Notes include recent findings from archaeology and ancient manuscripts, and how each book of the Bible has been understood by the Church Fathers and used in Liturgy.

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