August 9th

Often, in the cycle of readings that we have in our Lectionary, we get to hear a particular passage of Scripture over the course of a few weeks.  This week’s Gospel Reading, for example, picks up where the previous two week’s left off.

Two weeks ago, we heard about the multiplication of the loaves and fish; last week we heard the beginning of the “Bread of Life” discourse.  This discourse of Our Lord is continued in this week’s as well as in next week’s Gospel.  Then we will hear the conclusion of it in two weeks.  Over the course of five weeks we will have heard the entire sixth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel.

One of the charges that Protestants often level against Catholics is that we don’t read the Bible.  Not only do we read the Bible, we tend to use more Scripture in our Liturgy than most Protestants do in their services.

Our Lectionary has a very wide selection of Sacred Scripture.  With the three-year cycle of Sunday readings, by attending Mass every Sunday for three years you will have heard almost all of the New Testament as well as many of the significant parts of the Old Testament (not to mention a lot of readings from the many Epistles of the New Testament).

Besides the Readings from Sacred Scripture, many of the prayers of the Mass are Scriptural themselves.  The Words of Consecration are the words that Jesus said over the bread and the wine at the Last Supper.  The Our Father is the prayer that Our Lord taught His disciples to pray.  The prayer that the priest prays before Communion time, as he holds up the Host (“This is the Lamb of God”) should call to our minds Saint John the Baptist as he pointed to Jesus on the bank of the Jordan and proclaimed that Jesus is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world.

The idea that Catholics don’t use Scripture is a false notion that many Protestants have.  It is important that we Catholics know Scripture so that we can engage Protestants in intelligent dialogue.  If they quote Scripture and Catholics just shrug with a glazed-over look in their eyes, they will think that they are correct in their assumptions.  Catholics are exposed to the Scripture at every Mass, but we have to make the effort to better understand and appreciate it.  There are many opportunities here at OLGC to study the Bible.  If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact me.

God bless,

Father White

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