Wednesday, July 28, 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: 

Everlasting Father,

All time belongs to you, and all the ages. In signs, in songs, in words of promise, you reassured your chosen ones, “I am with you; fear not.” You taught them through the prophets to trust that your saving deeds were not limited to the past.

When Jesus came, he fulfilled “all that was written in the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms.”

The Church has found him everywhere in these same holy books.

Help me to find Jesus in my reading today, to listen to him, and to follow him with all my heart.


Today's chapters are Jeremiah 2-4. 

Jeremiah's opening message relies on the marriage imagery we found a few days ago in Isaiah. God speaks as a betrayed husband would, yet still calls out to his people, "Return to me!" This "return" takes the form of interior repentance not ritual behaviors. Jeremiah uses the graphic language of circumcision; Paul will cite this and develop it with his customary panache (see Romans 2: 25-29, especially verse 29; Galatians 5:6, 11-12 [!!!!] and 6:15).

Once the people will acknowledge their many sins of apostasy, God will restore them to their land, and draw the Gentiles, too, to Jerusalem. It is another picture of the "New Jerusalem"!

Start reading 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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