Saturday, September 25, 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 Zechariah 5-7. 

This is a continuation of Zechariah's symbolic description of God's work of purifying and restoring Jerusalem. For example, he is casting out Wickedness (personified and sent over to "Shinar," that is, Babylonia). Notice the provision of a crown(!) for a future "Branch," a word we have heard before in Messianic contexts. This is not the only Messianic prophecy in Zechariah.

Chapter 7 breaks the momentum with a message from a group of returnees: Given that they were back home and the Temple was being rebuilt, should they be observing a day of fasting and mourning over the destruction of the Temple? Pay attention to the answer God gives through the prophet: It is entirely consistent with the messages we have been reading in book after book!

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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