You must keep to what you have been taught and know to be true; remember who your teachers were, and how, ever since you were a child, you have known the holy scriptures – from these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and can profitably be used for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be holy. This is how the man who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work.
Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I put this duty to you, in the name of his Appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with patience and with the intention of teaching.
2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
The second reading at Mass yesterday, the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, reminds us of the power of Scripture, sacrament of Christ’s presence.
That sacramental presence has a particular quality in the celebration of Mass where, the Church says, Christ speaks whenever the readings are proclaimed. But the presence is surely there also when we pray privately with the Bible, the written account of God’s revelation of himself, and again and again found to be a favoured instrument of his speaking to us now.
‘The word of God is alive and active’, testifies the writer of Hebrews, ‘it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can clip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts…’
Being cut by a double-edged sword does not seem an attractive proposition – and sometimes the challenge that Christ in the word presents to us is fearsome and daunting. And yet he speaks only to heal. Sometimes to condemn sin in us, but always to heal. The word calls us to life, eternal life. May we ever have ears that hear and hearts and respond…
- In prayer thank God for the saving dialogue he invites you to and enables for you…
Christ in Glory. Lichfield Cathedral. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.