Saturday, October 16, 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 Luke 5-7.

Early on in Luke's Gospel, we see Simeon's prediction that Jesus would be a "sign of contradiction" realized. Not only at Nazareth, but repeatedly in his public ministry, Jesus' words and wonders created consternation, even among those who should have been the most receptive to him. Jesus' remark about the flavor of aged wine hints at part of the problem: judging things by our taste, and not by the truth.

The "Barque of Peter"
in the famous dream
of St John Bosco.
A little detail in the beginning of our reading today: Jesus is teaching the crowd from Simon's boat. This is the origin of the expression "the barque of Peter" as an image of the Church, led by the successor of Simon Peter, the Pope. St John Bosco's famous "dream" of a ship safely captained by the Pope over perilous seas is as clear a picture of this "barque" as you'll find anywhere. (The original painting is in the great Basilica of Our Lady, Help of Christians in Turin, Italy.)

In Chapter 6 we have not a Sermon on the Mount, but a Sermon on the Plain. Luke's Gospel has been called the Gospel of the poor. His version of the Beatitudes clearly speaks to the disenfranchised: the poor, hungry, weeping, hated, denounced. These, Jesus says, are blessed now. Unlike Matthew's Beatitudes, Luke's shorter set is matched with a set of woes: for the rich, powerful, and comfortable. (Yikes!)

Luke's Gospel has been called the Gospel of women. Notice how in Chapter 7, he alternates stories involving men and stories where strong women interact with Jesus. We will also see how many women are named and have "speaking parts" in this Gospel, and how often the parables of Jesus come in matched sets: a parable with a male protagonist or in a "man's world," and then one with a predominantly feminine setting. 

Start reading here.

For additional background

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: