I have loved scripture since Adam Halfman led a Bible Study at 7am on Tuesday mornings (I think...it’s been awhile) when I was in high school. I honestly have no idea what possessed me to come to school an hour earlier! It must have been God working, because I’ve never been that much of a morning person. In that time of reading scripture, these stories of Jesus started to become very real and personal to me. The way Jesus spoke to those that society discarded, the miracles he did, the way he loved the disciples, and how he pointed to God the Father. I started to know Jesus more, and fell more in love with Him. I was able to take that love of scripture to college and now reflecting on scripture is the cornerstone to my prayer life!
The Word of God is so important in our development as disciples of Christ. Not only does the Bible show us who God really is and how he has worked in the world, but it also transforms us every time we sit down and receive it. We see in Genesis when God is forming the world, everytime he speaks something new is created. The power of Him speaking His word is creative and transformative, which means that anytime we sit down and receive those words at mass or in personal prayer something new can be created in us! That is so exciting and it gives us more faith to confront scripture despite it being intimidating.
Especially in a year with so much uncertainty about what God is doing in us or in our world right now, leaning on God’s word is so important. In times of difficulty it can be easy to doubt God’s goodness or His promises, but when we go back to what He has already spoken to His people and how He has worked to love the world then it can root us in hope. I think that Fr. Mike Schmitz and our Bishop, in leading studies in the bible, probably see that there’s a need for people to be rooted more firmly in God’s Word this year. I felt inspired in the same way for our small groups with the high school students this year. There are so many different directions you can take small groups. Whether it's discussing personal prayer lives, catholic topics, devotionals, etc, but it felt like the Lord wanted our kids to know Him more through scripture.
In my own small group it's been so amazing to read scripture with them, and then break down some of the difficult context or symbols in order to get to God’s heart in the reading. In the last month we have gone over “The Lost Sheep and The Prodigal Son” which are two very powerful parables about God’s mercy. Parables are parts of the bible that can be really difficult to understand. They are stories that are within Jesus’ story so it can feel a little complicated, but being able to walk through those verses with them to reveal Jesus’ heart has been so powerful! To see some of them be able to relate to these old stories with the same struggles in their faith is truly inspiring and I know that the fruits of these conversations will pour into their faith lives and our parish community!
Please keep our small groups in your prayers as we go forward in this year! This is still so new and we are still transitioning into solidifying our groups. If you know a high school aged student that is interested in having more scripture in their life, or desires to have these faith conversations then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.