“Willing to ‘taste and see’ the HOLY BIBLE in order to recognise the Power and Goodness of the Holy Word of God!”
(Based on Tob 11:5-15 and Mk 12:35-37 – Friday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time)
“You tell me that your Book is the Word of God, but can you prove it so?” challenged an owner of an orchard (= enclosed land with fruit trees)…
… to a Christian who was quite enthusiastic about his faith.
The owner of the orchard had very little regard and hardly cared for things of the Divine.
Faced with that question of the faith, the Christian, admiring the fruit trees in the orchard…
… went closer to an apple tree – full of luscious and juicy red ones – gently held one of the apples and said: “What fine looking apples!”
And then, changing the subject said, “But what a pity! They are of such poor quality when it comes to eating them!”
“What!” exclaimed the shocked orchard owner, “Of poor quality? How can you make such a blunt and baseless statement without even having tasted one of them!
Pick one or two and try them…!”
The Christian obliged.
As he began to eat an apple, smacking his lips he said, “Yes, you are right! The apples are excellent!”
But he went on to say, “Now Sir… you must deal with the BOOK, in the same way I dealt with your fruit!
Taste and see… the goodness contained in the Word of God!”
Yes, its only when we are willing to “taste and see” that we recognise the Power and Goodness of the Bible – the Holy Word of God!
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” are the famous words of exhortation of St Jerome, the doctor of the Church.
The Scriptures talk to us of God and of His love and providence
The Scriptures tell of us people who experienced God’s mercy and lived in His presence
The Scriptures help us to experience His care… to grow in His love.
Are we genuinely making efforts to grow in knowing and understanding the Scriptures so that we can know and understand and love our God, more deeply?
The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus exhorting the people to have a closer look into the Scriptures and thereby, discovering Him in a deeper manner!
Over the last few days, we have seen Jesus facing various sorts of groups and quizzed over different aspects…
- The Chief priests, Scribes and elders questioned Jesus on His authority
- The Pharisees and Herodians interrogated Jesus on the subject of paying taxes to Caesar
- The Sadducees confronted Jesus on the topic of the Resurrection
- Another scribe enquired Jesus on the first of all the commandments
After this long round of being questioned, Jesus now puts a question to His listeners, “How do the Scribes claim that the Messiah is the Son of David? David calls Him ‘Lord’; so how is He his Son?” (Mk 12: 35,37)
The nation of Israel had King David as her greatest King.
And it was through the line of David, that the Jews knew the future Messiah would be coming.
They eagerly awaited this ‘Son of David’.
Thus was written in the Scriptures.
Thus was taught from the Scriptures.
And Jesus was aware of this aspect.
However, the Lord invites and challenges His listeners to look at Scripture in a deeper manner and to understand its greater implications.
Therefore, Jesus quotes King David from Psalm 102 which presents David calling the Messiah as the Lord.
And then He puts forward this very simple query… “How can the Son of David also be Lord of David”?
Implied in this question was the powerful claim by Jesus, that…
… He Himself was the Messiah – the Son of David and the Lord of David
Implied in this question was also the powerful answer to the previous questions that were put forward to Him by the various groups:
- To the query on the greatest commandment…
… Jesus declares that He is the Lord, who is to be loved with one’s whole heart, and one’s whole soul and with one’s whole mind and with one’s whole strength
- To the confrontation on the topic of Resurrection…
… Jesus declares that He is the Lord of the Resurrection and the One Who grants eternal life
- To the interrogation on the subject of paying taxes to Caesar
… Jesus declares that He is the Lord who is above all earthly kingdoms and to whom absolute allegiance is to be rendered
- To the questioning on His authority
… Jesus declares that He is the Lord who is the source of all authority and requires no one’s permission or authorization!
The Jews were familiar with the Scriptures…
They were familiar with the Psalms particularly…
They were familiar notable with the passages especially concerning David and the Messiah..
Yet, they had seldom considered Scriptures in the way that Jesus was presenting to them!
Jesus had cast new light on the reading of the Scriptures!
Jesus had opened a new way of looking at the Scriptures!
Our own lives can parallel the lives of these Jews, with respect to the Scriptures.
How eager and zealous are we regarding the Word of God?
How faithful and committed are we…
… to reading the Scriptures daily?
… to spend some time regularly in studying the Bible?
… to understand the person of Jesus and grow in Him through His Word?
… to inculcate the light of His Wisdom and to practice it in our daily activities and life?
Let us seek the grace of the Holy Spirit to grow in our understanding and love of the Lord and to live a life in Him!
On this First Friday of the Month of June, as we seek to renew our commitment and love to the Sacred Heart of our Blessed Lord…
… we are invited to take the resolution of spending at least a few minutes, daily – without fail – in reading the Holy Bible.
We need to read His Word
We need to learn His Word
We need to practise His Word
Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ!
Let us grow in our passion for His Holy Word and be committed to His Kingdom, so that our lives may mightily proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!”
Let us joyfully and with docility be willing to “taste and see” the HOLY BIBLE…
… in order to recognise the Power and Goodness of the Holy Word of God!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
Taking up St. John’s expression, “The Word became flesh”, the Church calls “Incarnation” the fact that the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it.
Belief in the true Incarnation of the Son of God is the distinctive sign of Christian faith: “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.”
Such is the joyous conviction of the Church from her beginning whenever she sings “the mystery of our religion.” He was manifested in the flesh! (Cf. CCC # 461-463)