The Great Adventure: Spend 5 with Jesus: January 5, 2022
The Great Adventure
You may remember that last year I plugged a podcast that at that time was the top-rated podcast on iTunes. Well, I think because of its success it is back this year for another run. It is the Bible in a Year Podcast. And while I have not yet finished the entire podcast for last year (I am somewhere around day 320), I continue to find great riches in listening to the bible being read aloud and the commentary that follows from Fr. Mike Schmitz.
If you are not really familiar with the bible, this podcast is a great way to start. Over the course of a year (or longer) you can hear the Word of God. There are easy explanations of the various styles of writing found in the bible. There is an easy way to trace the story of salvation history in historical and thematic ways.
I like many things about it. There is such a grace to listen to the Word of God. Because it is done as a podcast, I can listen when I am driving or exercising. Most Catholics do not have the experience of listening to the entire bible over the course of a year. While I have not always been able to listen to the podcast each day, it does not matter. I can listen as I am able.
I very much appreciate having a guide to see where we are going, and to look back at where we have been. If you are new to Sacred Scripture, the Great Adventure Bible timeline is helpful. Developed by Jeff Cavins, the timeline helps to make clear that the bible is not one book, it is many books.
Why does it matter if we read the bible? It matters because for Catholics the bible is the book. The Sacred Scripture is important because it is the story of our salvation. We are better able to see how it is that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies of Sacred Scripture. By becoming more familiar with Scripture, we can see, as Saint Augustine put it, “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.”
In other words, by becoming familiar with the Scriptures, we can see how the promise of God is continuous throughout the long history covered over the course of the New and Old Testament. By listening to the Scriptures in a systematic way, we can see that while there may be many books in the bible, the books have a real connection to each other.
And the more familiar we become with the Word of God, the greater the connections we will see to the sacramental life of the Church. We hear the Word of God at Mass. As we look at the way in which the Church celebrates the sacraments, we can see what biblical foundations exist in the ways in which these sacraments reveal the fullness of Jesus Christ.
And when we can see the purpose of what is written and told in the biblical literature, we can see that things are not always as they may first appear. We can see that while we may not condone the violence that appears in biblical literature, there is also the reality that this violence can be set into a context that helps us better to see how it reveals the brokenness of sin in the world.
Speaking of sin, both in the Old and New Testament we can see the deep and powerful mercy of God. Despite the sin and brokenness in the stories and history we read, we understand that the power of God’s mercy outshines everything.
So as you seek begin the trek to success, know that the Bible in a Year podcast is a great place to start. You can listen to it wherever you listen to podcasts. And, do not forget you can listen to the homilies and commentaries here on this website. There are many ways to become familiar with the Word of God, and there is no better time to begin than now.
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