With the school year in full swing and Catechetical Sunday behind us, Catholic children are immersed in the new year of religious education, both in Catholic schools and in parish catechetical programs. We all agree that these classes are formative in the faith of young Catholics, and we wouldn’t want our children to miss out on these opportunities. But how many of us take our own religious formation as seriously?
Parishes today often offer many opportunities for growth in understanding the Faith. These are much more than just social programs or chances to learn, in the academic sense. Even if our religious education during our school years was very strong, we all have something to gain from once again approaching our faith from the perspective of students. Don’t believe it? Take a look at the Mass readings, year after year.
Every three years, Sunday and Holy Day Mass readings repeat. The recurrence is even more frequent for weekday Masses. This repetition in the First Reading, Second Reading (when applicable), and Gospel is not because God has nothing new to tell us. Quite the contrary! God ALWAYS has something new to tell us. His Word is always fresh. While the eternal truth of the Bible remains the same, our lives are always changing, so we can always understand and appreciate the Scripture in new ways. The repetition in the Mass Readings cycle allows us—individually and collectively—to receive God’s Word as fresh and new in every season of life.
The multivalence of Scripture —its carrying of meaning on multiple levels, ever deeper and deeper as we approach it again and again—is another reason that we should take advantage of every opportunity to study the great gift that God has given us in the Holy Spirit’s inspiration of the Bible. While we understand a favorite Bible passage a certain way when we are children, we appreciate it differently as adults—and we have the capacity to cherish it more deeply year after year!
So, when you see the announcement in your parish bulletin about Bible Study opportunities, don’t write it off as just another thing to add to your already busy schedule; take advantage of it! And, while you’re at it, pencil it in on your calendar for next year, too!
Whether you’re involved in Bible Study in your parish, or with your family at home, our impressive lineup of Bible Study Resources can enrich your journey through Scripture! We invite you to take a few moments to browse our offerings and see how they can help to enrich your faith.
This Study Edition of the New Testament of the complete St. Joseph New Catholic Bible (NCB) is a worthy introduction to this fresh, faithful, and reader-friendly translation. Rich (...)
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A volume in the St. Joseph Bible Resources series from Catholic Book Publishing, Old Testament Introduction provides, in a concise and accessible format, an entry-level contemporar (...)
A volume in the St. Joseph Bible Resources series from Catholic Book Publishing, New Testament Introduction provides an entry-level contemporary study of the New Testament in a con (...)
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