Pope's General Intention for September

General Intention: Word of God be better known. That the Word of God may be better known, accepted and lived as the one true source of freedom and joy.

There are some Christians who know the Bible backwards and yet are unhappy. They can give you chapter and verse and quote long passages by heart and yet their hearts are heavy. Why would such people who know, accept and try to live the Word of God, appear not to find it a 'true source of freedom and joy'? I suspect it is because they have become so fundamentalistically fixated on the printed text that they have forgotten that for the Christian, revelation came ultimatly not through paper and ink but through flesh and blood.

The book of the Bible is merely meant to give us access to that person who is the incarnate Word of God. It is Jesus Christ the living Word who offers 'freedom and joy', if we will but get to know him as opposed to just knowing about him. Reading the Bible is an important part of the process, but without welcoming him into our hearts and our lives through prayer, sacrament and others, it will remain just reading. The text is all well and fine but if we cannot recognize Jesus in his many guises, perhaps especially in the faces of the poor, then the text will remain an academic exercise.

However moving from the written to the living word can be daunting. Despite their undeniable influence on us, books are easier to control than a living person, especially if that living person happens to be the Son of God. We all know that once we let a person into our lives we have set off a chain of events that we can neither predict nor control. If we pray this intention seriously our lives could be in for some serious change!

This article appeared originally in The Southern Cross of South Africa.

Chris Chatteris, S.J.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Chilean clerical sex abuse survivors Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo in Rome, May 2. The three met Pope Francis individually at the Vatican April 27-29. The Vatican announced on May 22 that a second group of abuse victims will visit the pope in June (CNS photo/Paul Haring).
The encounters will take place from June 1-3 at Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where Francis lives.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as they arrive for a meeting in the synod hall at the Vatican in this Feb. 13, 2015, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 
Righteous call-outs should be patterned after Cardinal O’Malley’s rebuke of Pope Francis on sex abuse.
Simcha FisherMay 22, 2018
In May, my cousin Christina and her husband Tyler were murdered in their home.
John J. ConleyMay 22, 2018
Follow Father Arturo Sosa's first visit to the Jesuits in Canada!
America StaffMay 22, 2018