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Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ: 1st Sunday of Lent (Year C)

Salt and Light Media

March 9, 2019

by Deacon Robin Cheung

One day a couple with a strong biblical background were chatting about who should brew the coffee in the morning.
The wife said, "You should do it because you get up first."
The husband said, "You're always the one in charge of the kitchen. You should do it!"
The wife replied, "No, you should do it. Besides, it's in the Bible."
The husband scratched his head and said , "I never knew that. Please show me."
So she fetched the Bible, opened to end of the New Testament, and showed him.
At the top of several pages, it indeed said, "HEBREWS".
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ!” insisted St. Jerome - a strong exhortation from a Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church to Christians urging them to pay attention to serious Scripture study. This is a must, not a luxury option.

How often do we study the Bible?

Do we use the teachings of the Bible in our daily life?

The Scriptures are really “alive and powerful”, according to the author of The Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 4:12).
A recent study has shown that “those who have a habit of reading through the Bible a little each day say they have experienced this helpful, life-changing quality in their lives.” And this has been echoed by many theologians!
As we celebrate the first Sunday of Lent, let us give thanks and praise him for giving us his holy Word!
Let us offer our fasting, prayer, and almsgiving as sacrifices to Him and prepare our hearts to receive Him in his glorious Resurrection!
During the distribution of the holy ashes last Wednesday, I was touched by the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return!” (Gen 3:19).

Upon deeper reflection, I realized that even though we are as worthless as dust, God really loves us.

He even sent His only Son to save us.

By believing and following His Word, we will have eternal life and will continue to be God’s beloved children!
We pray for those who are not ready to accept Jesus as their saviour. We should continue to demonstrate God’s love to them by our good example.
We also pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who have no time to reflect on the Bible. May God change their hearts so that they may devote their lives to following the teachings of the Scriptures!

In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us to use the Scriptures to defend ourselves against devil’s temptations.

Unfortunately, according to the recent survey report by LifeWay Research, although Americans are fond of the Bible (nearly ninety percent of households have one), they don’t actually read it. “They know the Bible is important and helpful, a little bit like exercise, but they don’t do it,” says the executive director of LifeWay Research.

St. Augustine once said, “O Lord, our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

My dear friends in Christ, the Word is God, and therefore we should put our hearts into His holy Word everyday!

If we establish the habit of meditating on the Scriptures, we will see our bad dispositions gradually transformed and our relationships with others improved. And the peace and joy of Christ will follow.
Therefore, let us study the Word from our heart to repent, to love, and to forgive!
Let us continue to walk on the path of holiness.
Without a doubt, I believe, with blessings from God, we will have the strength to answer the devil: "We will not live by bread alone and we will not put the Lord our God to the test" (Luke 4:4, 12).

In conclusion, let us "worship the Lord our God, and serve only Him" (Luke 4:8).

Mother of the Holy Word! Pray for us!

Deacon Robin Cheung is a permanent deacon serving in the Archdiocese of Montreal. Previously, he served at Montreal Chinese Catholic Mission. Currently, he is at St. John Brébeuf Parish in LaSalle.
Contact him by email at robin.cheung@johnbrebeuf.ca.

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