A helpful hint when reading the Bible

The Homilist spoke about the workers in the vineyard this past Sunday. He said that every time he reads that parable it produces a bit of angst in him. He said that he has learned to dwell more on Gospel readings that produce sparks in him. Usually, uncomfortable feelings are good indication that God wants to speak.

I think another good indicator that a Gospel passage should be reread is if it looks too usual or flat and I feel that I want to push it away for another time.

I strongly agree, the passage that requires more time, more reading, more prayer is the one that causes a knee jerk emotional (negative) reaction, such as Paul talking about relationship between husbands and wives. the passage that seems to have no resonance is also one that deserves more time and reflection. The fact that a passage has no effect at first reading may also be a sign that I have fallen into the habit of giving myself the message, rather than allowing God to speak.

[quote=puzzleannie]I strongly agree, the passage that requires more time, more reading, more prayer is the one that causes a knee jerk emotional (negative) reaction, such as Paul talking about relationship between husbands and wives. the passage that seems to have no resonance is also one that deserves more time and reflection. The fact that a passage has no effect at first reading may also be a sign that I have fallen into the habit of giving myself the message, rather than allowing God to speak.
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I happen to love this passage as it speaks to God’s infinite generosity. And it so paralels his promise that the person who lives a good holy life will get to heaven (get what he was promised by God at his Baptism) and the person who repents on his death bed will also get to Heaven. I take great comfort that God makes all the rules.

I was just reading Weight of Glory by CS Lewis, and he talked about this, too. He said, "If our religion is something objective, then we must never avert our eyes from those elements in it which seem puzzling or repellent; for it will be precisely the puzzling or the repellent which conceals what we do not yet know and need to know.

I’m trying to take comfort in this, because I recently applied to be on the team for a retreat at my church. I felt led to apply for the one talk that I feel least able to understand. That’s also the talk I was chosen to give, so it looks like I’ll be doing a lot of examining a topic that puzzles me in the near future.

I agree

[size=3]To often we will look at a passage and say to ourselves, “I know this story its old hat” and just move on when in reality there is something there that God wants us to know, aside from the fact that now a days we don’t tend to spend a lot of time or interest on anything that isn’t funny, new, weird, or sexy.

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In his encyclical about the inspiration of Scripture (Spiritus Paraclitus,), Pope Benedict XV acknowledges: “[St.] Jerome was compelled, when he discovered apparent discrepancies in the sacred books, to use every endeavor to unravel the difficulty. If he felt that he had not satisfactorily settled the problem, he would return to it again and again, not always, indeed, with the happiest results” (ibid., no. 15).

St. Augustine also held that if there were some difficulty in Scripture, he would take the position that, since God’s Word is perfect, the problem must either be with the translation, or from his own dullness of mind.

Praise God I came to work in the vineyard of the Lord nearly 3 decades ago.

Fortunately for me He has not taken me to my ‘Reward’ because I am still working out my salvation in ‘fear and in trembling.’

I have children (young adults now) who have not yet fronted up to ask the Master of ther Vineyard for work.

Trust me. . . when these kids cme to Salvation I won’t be sayinf “It’s not fair!”

[quote=Fidelis]In his encyclical about the inspiration of Scripture (Spiritus Paraclitus,), Pope Benedict XV acknowledges: “[St.] Jerome was compelled, when he discovered apparent discrepancies in the sacred books, to use every endeavor to unravel the difficulty. If he felt that he had not satisfactorily settled the problem, he would return to it again and again, not always, indeed, with the happiest results” (ibid., no. 15).

St. Augustine also held that if there were some difficulty in Scripture, he would take the position that, since God’s Word is perfect, the problem must either be with the translation, or from his own dullness of mind.
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I prefer St. Aug’s position and I am glad when someone reminds me of that sentiment.

Do we too often devour scripture much as we do our favorite pizza? Taking each bite as if we new exactly what to expect and being indignant if there is something we did not expect. Would we not be dissatisfied if scripture did not so frequently draw us into it, as it does?

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