Pick One Gospel
Friday Book Pick : The Holy Bible
You probably knew it was bound to happen eventually—a recommendation to read the Bible. It was sure to come sooner or later in a blog dedicated to helpful reading during the pandemic.
Our Scriptures, as you know, are made up of a grand total of 73 books. I am not recommending you crack the cover of your Bible and start with, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...”and plow through until you arrive finally at, “Surely, I am coming soon.”
But what about picking one of the four Gospels and using this time to dive into the Scriptures in a different way? Have you ever read a book of the Bible straight through in one sitting? I remember hearing †Father Benedict recommend this at parish missions and at other times. He would say, “Choose a Gospel and read the whole thing beginning to end. It will surprise you.” Regular Mass goers are accustomed to hearing small sections of the Gospel read aloud on Sunday. And, daily Mass goers get to hear almost the whole Bible read aloud over the course of three years, if you stick with your daily Mass routine. This could be quite a formation for one paying attention. I know that many of you reading this blog have a significant commitment to prayer and make lectio divina (praying with Scripture) a regular part of your spiritual routine. This could be likened to eating the Word of God…chewing it…savoring it—certainly a commendable practice. But still, reading a Gospel (or another book of the Bible) as a whole is a different kind of experience—more like bathing or basking. And this kind of reading will assuredly enhance the other two practices.
If you decide to take some time to do this, I recommend picking a quiet, comfortable place where you can be alone and beginning with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to reveal Jesus to you in the pages of the Gospel. Read with faith. Read with attention. Read as if you are hearing the story for the first time. Be sure you will discover something new, and if you are willing, it could change your life.
Mother Clare, CFR