Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Read the Bible with Me!

Welcome to the Pauline Family's "Year of the Bible"! We've been reading the Bible clear through this year. We've reached the New Testament, so read along with me. But first, let us pray: 


When the fullness of time had come, you sent your Word in the One who said, “Whoever sees me, sees the Father.” No revelation can surpass this, until Jesus comes again in glory. 

Open my mind today to the gift of life and truth your Word offers me through the Church. By your Holy Spirit, grant me wisdom and strength to put this Word into practice and to become, myself, a presence of Jesus for people who are looking for you.

Jesus, eternal Word and Son of the Father, live in me with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


Today's chapters are Mark 12-14.

In the first part of Mark's Gospel, it seemed that Jesus was going everywhere, healing and teaching, but Mark didn't record much of that teaching. With the Cross looming nearby, we are getting some of those priceless teachings.

Jesus teachings in answer to his disciples' question about "when all these things [the great glories of Jerusalem that they had been talking about] are to come to an end" can be really misconstrued. Jesus' words about a "desolating abomination" (a reference to the Book of Daniel) take us back to a time when a world power desecrated the Temple of Jerusalem with a pagan idol. The Roman Emperor Caligula would try the same thing, but with a statue of himself. Although Caligula did not get his way, the Romans would profane the Temple, utterly and completely, by razing it to the ground in the year 70 AD. 

Some people assume that we have in Chapter 13 a mistaken prophecy by Jesus of the end of the world. Instead, the warnings in this chapter are primarily about the Fall of Jerusalem, which was dreadful enough to serve as a sign of total, worldwide chaos. The switch to apocalyptic language in verse 24 ("the sun will be darkened..." as in Joel) can signal a shift to "end of the world" teachings, but Jesus steadfastly refused to give any solid clues as to the "day" or "hour" when he, "the Lord of the house," would return.  

Chapter 14 is utterly beautiful, even if it swings repeatedly between love and betrayal. It also contains a precious pearl, one we only find in Mark's Gospel: the sweet name "Abba" invoked by Jesus in prayer. When we see this name again, it will be in the letters of St Paul, but then it will be the Spirit of Jesus praying in us!

Start reading here.

I am happy to recommend this volume of The Four Gospels in an edition directed to young readers and their parents. The text of all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in the New Revised Standard Translation is accompanied by FAQs that a middle-school reader might ask (or, to be honest,  anybody reading the Gospels for the first time). The footnotes were prepared by a team of Scripture scholars for parents and guardians, making the book ideal for family Bible reading. 

A look inside; I translated the FAQs 
(above the eagle) and footnotes for Mt 16-28!

No comments: