In the Liturgy of the Word this week we are invited to reflect on how important it is to pray with the Word of God. The fruit is not only growing wisdom and knowledge as the Word probes the very heart and soul of our lives but praying with the Word of God is a fundamental way in which we encounter Jesus. From the earliest days of the church Christians have known this, and it is reflected in the words of St Jerome, a Doctor of the Catholic Church who lived in the 5th Century. He insisted that “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”. Pope Benedict XVI stated, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.
This personal encounter is the key event in the life of every disciple that changes the direction of life, as we see happen so often in the lives of the disciples recounted in the Scriptures. This personal encounter can come in any way that the Holy Spirit leads, and the Church provides many ways to experience Jesus intimately such as through prayer, the sacraments, Scripture, adoration and works of mercy.
Pope St John Paul II and Pope Francis have both urged all Christians to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus.
May God bless you all, Fr Denis