Tuesday, September 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 Zechariah 14 and Malachi 1-2. 

Zechariah closes with a few last thunderbolts and, finally, a vision of peace.

Malachi dates after Haggai and Zechariah, but before Nehemiah came to Jerusalem. We are still in the fairly immediate post-exilic period. The book opens with a series of courtroom-style arguments (less forensic than we saw with Micah!). Through the prophet, God cross-examines his people.

There is an immensely important prophecy right in Chapter 1:11 where God, rebuking his people for half-hearted religiosity, tells them that in the future, true sacrifice will be offered at every hour of the day everywhere on earth (not only the Jerusalem Temple) and by the Gentiles! This is a prophecy of the worship in the Messianic Era: the Sacrifice of the Mass:

From the rising of the sun to its setting,

my name is great among the nations;

Incense offerings are made to my name everywhere,

and a pure offering;

For my name is great among the nations,

says the LORD of hosts.

Start reading Zechariah here and Malachi 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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