The Bible in our life PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 February 2017 13:52

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

LET’S hope that more and more people get to realize the great importance of the Bible in our life. Though written by men, it is actually an inspired book that has God as its author.

Its significance lies in the fact that it “teaches without error those truths which are necessary for our salvation.” (Compendium 18) It is where our Christian faith, together with Tradition and the Church Magisterium, is revealed and transmitted to us.

We should note, however, that Christian faith is not a “religion of the Book.” It is where we get to meet, know, love and serve Christ, the living Word of God. We should not read the Bible just to gather information and to satisfy some curiosities.

That is why the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says the following regarding how to read the Bible:

“Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit and under the guidance of the Magisterium of the Church according to three criteria: (1) it must be read with attention to the content and unity of the whole Scripture; (2) it must be read within the living Tradition of the Church; (3) it must be read with attention to the analogy of faith, that is, the inner harmony which exists among the truths of the faith themselves.” (19)

In other words, our Christian faith is not based on

Scripture alone—the so-called “sola Scriptura”—but on Scripture together with Tradition and Magisterium. And the Bible should not be read simply using one’s human powers to understand it. We should be constantly begging for the light of the Holy Spirit and deferring to the Magisterium when reading it.

There are those who read the Bible without respecting what is termed as the “analogy of faith.” They tend to isolate certain passages without relating them to the over-all meaning that the Christian faith gives them.

And thus they can highlight a particular truth, value or virtue at the expense of the other truths of faith and Christian values and virtues. Or they cannot see the development of the Old Testament to the New Testament. Sometimes they get stuck with the Old

Testament without referring to the New Testament, and vice-versa. As a result, very often they tend to contradict the two.

But the Compendium teaches that there is unity between the Old and the New Testaments. This is how it explains that unity:

“Scripture is one insofar as the Word of God is one. God’s plan of salvation is one, and the divine inspiration of both Testaments is one. The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old. The two shed light on each other.” (23)

We should develop a fondness for the bible since it is a

rich and indispensable food for the soul. Again as the Compendium puts

it, it “is the soul of theology and of pastoral preaching…it is ‘lamp

to my feet and a light to my path’ (Ps 119,105) (24)