Reading the scriptures daily and on Sundays in the lectionary and the Liturgy of the Hours is one of the great reforms begun by the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. It’s part of an effort to seek renewal through the Word of God. Yet, after 60 or so years, we’re still getting used to it.
For one thing, reflection on the scripture readings is a new way to reflect on our faith. The scriptures are old and we live in a new world. As we search for “the face of God” in scripture we have to “trust” we will find it there.
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”The daily scriptures are daily bread, but they may not be easy to digest. We go from Matthew, preoccupied with the tensions of his church with Pharisaic Judaism, to Luke preoccupied with an outreach to the gentiles, to the other New Testament writings, each with its own purpose.
Then there are the various readings of the Old Testament. They can be hard to understand, but the church wisely keeps them side by side with the New Testament. They hold a treasure all their own. We need to understand them better.
We need help to appreciate this daily bread, this varied diet served up. We need people like those hostssss on the cooking shows on television who not only tell you what to eat but make those strange dishes appetizing and appealing. We need good homilists and good catechists.
We need a “lamp, shining in a dark place.” So we ask: Come, Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your light.”