Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
2 Timothy 3: 16-17
Click on the Bible to find today's scripture passage or find it in your own bible at home.
This scripture passage is full of ways the Word of God can help us. How many ways can you find?
We believe the Bible is the Word of God - the words literally spoken by God and those inspired by the Holy Spirit and written down to be pondered and remembered. The Word of God has great power!
Think about times in the Bible when God (God the Father or Jesus) spoke. What happened? What can God's Word do?
create the heavens and the Earth
make miracles happen (multiplication of the loaves & fishes for example)
heal people (physically and spiritually)
control nature (such as the calming of the sea)
change hearts and lives
tells us who God is and what is important to him
The Word of God has the power to transform your heart and mind too. So what do we need to do to allow this transformation to take place? Jesus taught us, in the Gospels what kind of heart the Word of God can grow in.
Jesus taught using parables but often did not explain the meaning behind these stories. This parable about the Word of God, however, he did explain:
The Parable of the Sower
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” ...
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23
Introduction to the Bible
One of the ways God loves us is by revealing himself to us - showing us who he is, what he thinks and what he is like. He does not remain a distant, anonymous God; he allows us to know him. Not only does God reveal himself to us but he also reveals his loving plans. We call this Divine Revelation.
God reveals himself to us in two ways, through Sacred Scripture and through Sacred Tradition. Sacred Scripture is the Bible. Sacred Tradition is the teachings that have been handed down from the apostles to their successors through preaching, example, and life of worship, even before the New Testament was written.
Books of the Catholic Bible
Books of the Catholic Bible
Holiness Focus ...
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek, and has been translated into more languages than any other book. It was written by hundreds of different authors between approximately 1500 BC and 100 AD.
Do you know who translated the first Bible the common person could understand? St. Jerome. St. Jerome was a Latin priest, confessor, theologian, and historian who lived from c. 342-347 – 30 September 420.
He is most famous for translating the Bible into Latin. It took him 23 years to complete the translation. He was reluctant to do it but the final product ended up as the standard version for more than 1,000 years. See if you can find how many languages he had to know to make this translation.
Jerome was Pope Damasus’ secretary. The pope decided it was time to prepare a proper Bible with all the books, and like anyone in his position would do, he turned the job over to his secretary.
At first, Jerome was reluctant. He knew how much work would be involved, and he knew anyone who dared to rewrite the word of God would be thoroughly scrutinized and criticized from many quarters. But he accepted the responsibility, and since he was a scholar he did it thoroughly.
He consulted existing Latin copies to help him find the best wording for his version of the New Testament, but he didn’t stop there.
To get the most accurate text, he also examined the original Greek manuscripts, which varied slightly from one to another. And for the Old Testament he went back to the original Hebrew and Aramaic.
Since he wasn’t a Hebrew scholar, Jerome actually moved to Bethlehem and spent the rest of his life there. He learned as much about the language and culture of the patriarchs as he could, and, after working on his project for 20 years, he finally finished it in the fifth year of the fifth century, a date that became a landmark in Church history.
The result of his labors was a Bible that was accurate, easy to read and designed for the people. The merits of his work were so obvious that it was the standard version of the Bible for more than 1,000 years. Although it isn’t as widely used today, for centuries it was the version of the Bible that brought God’s word to the world.
He is often pictured beside a lion because of a certain legend. One day, a lion entered the monastery where Jerome was living, causing his fellow monks to flee. Jerome recognized that the beast was injured and he cured it by removing a thorn from its paw. The lion then became Jerome's tame pet and lived with him in the monastery.
Saint Jerome wrote a lot of other texts for the Church as well which is why he is considered a Doctor of the Church. One of the most famous quotes Saint Jerome wrote is:
"Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ."
He is the patron saint of librarians and his feast day is September 30.
St. Jerome, pray for us to better understand the Word of God.
Discussion / Reflection
What is your favourite Bible story?
After reading the Parable of the Sower, what do you think the soil of your heart is like?
How do you think your life would change if you read the Bible for a few minutes each day?
Discuss these questions with your parents or sponsor OR write your thoughts in a Confirmation journal.
How to Read the Bible
There are many ways to read the Bible. Here is a simple way to start. Don't get discouraged. Just start reading scripture every day - one verse at a time, one chapter at a time, one book at a time.
The Decision Point process:
Begin with a short prayer asking God to help you to listen to what he is trying to say to you.
Read a chapter of the Bible (or a part of a chapter).
Pick out a word, phrase, or idea that jumps out at you.
Talk to God about it.
Where to start?
The Gospels - books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
Book of Genesis
Book of Psalms
You can also look Bible passages up by theme if you're going through something and would like to know what God has to say about the situation.
Click on this image to download the PDF.
You can also read the Mass readings every day (or just the Gospel of the day). Often, readings at Mass follow themes that are somewhat easier to detect and you will have the advantage of staying more closely connected to the Church. Get the Living With Christ or Laudate App free to see the readings every day.
God, Our Father, thank you for loving us and calling us to a deeper relationship with you. Thank you for giving us your Word so that we might know and love you more. Lord Jesus, the Word of God personified, thank you for teaching us and giving us examples of how to live the scriptures in every day life.
Holy Spirit, help me to understand and remember the Word of God. Amen.
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Share in the Forum
We have created a discussion forum for the Parish of St. Timothy Confirmation Group. Every week there will be a new topic of discussion related to that week's lesson. The forum is open only to those participating in the 2020 / 2021 Confirmation preparation program.
Here's where I'll be verifying your participation.
This forum is a place for serious, courteous discussion about spiritual-related topics. I don't want to see rude or unnecessarily silly comments or questions. Any unacceptable posts will be deleted, the student will lose access to the forum and we will communicate with your parents.
This week in the forum ... answer the question: What new thing did you learn about the Bible? What do you think will be the biggest challenge for you to read the Bible every day?
You can send me a message below if you prefer not to use the forum.