Sunday readings and Bible study

Elisha (right) Refusing Gifts from Naaman

Image via Wikipedia

Have you noticed how much more engaging are the Sunday readings at Mass since we began Bible study?

The first readings, from the Old Testament, come to life when you recognize the people speaking and understand the context. It’s as if they are cherished stories of friends and acquaintances, even members of the family. Good example: Last week’s passage from Second Kings, Chapter 5, about Elisha curing Naaman the leper, commander of the Syrian army. I could even recall how the chapter ended, with Gehazi, Elisha’s assistant, trying to claim the gift Elisha had refused, then being turned into a leper himself—“a leper as white as snow.”

The second reading this coming Sunday reminds us why we study the Bible at all—not only for wisdom and guidance, but to equip ourselves to better serve God and all his creatures. Here is Paul speaking to his beloved disciple Timothy: “Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known (the) sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Oh, how much we adult Catholics have missed by not being better students of the Scriptures!

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