Lately, the daily Gospel readings have been from the Gospel of John and have talked about the Eucharist and believing in Jesus. But what IS believing? What exactly does that mean? I recently discovered this excellent explanation from the Introduction to John’s Gospel from the Navarre Bible Commentary
“Believing means knowing revealed truth or, better, recognizing the authority of God revealing truth in fact, in this Gospel we often find the verbs “to believe” and “to know” side-by-side in the one phrase; sometimes they seem to be interchangeable. The verb “to know” has the meaning not just of knowing intellectually, of grasping the truth; it takes on an Old Testament meaning, indicating unreserved adhesion to the truth that is Jesus Christ. Therefore, faith includes the act of trusting commitment as well as the act of knowing. Recognizing supernatural truth through the testimony given us, we adhere to the truth and, by accepting it with our whole heart we obtain deep knowledge of God’s truth.”
Some other helpful quotes in this section:
“Growth in faith goes hand in hand with growth in knowledge of Jesus Christ.”
“Faith is at one and the same time a free gift of God and a free action on man’s part: man reaches genuine freedom to believe when God gives him the grace which enables him to adhere to revealed truths.”
“No one can believe in him unless it is granted him by the father.”
Painting: “Maria, sister of Lazarus, meets Jesus who is going to their house” – Nikolai Ge, 1864. Courtesy: WikiArt
Do you ever get a thrill when you discover a really cool new thing? What does it for you? New car? An iPod? For me it’s books or a website with stuff I have not seen before. Yeah, I know it’s pretty pathetic, but I’m a bookworm by heart and always have been. Yep, I was the teenager that hung out at the library. I was the one who checked out dozens of
romance novels paperbacks at a time, and returned in two weeks for more.
At one point, I decided that I would read 1000 books in ten years. I did it in three. I kept a log with the book’s name, author, and a rating from one to four stars. It was handy since I would forget if I read a book and would have to go back and look in my records before I checked it out. See, I told you I was pathetic.
I’m at the point in my life that I have to be a little choosy because I don’t have a lot of time. I rarely read fiction. I really have not read much fiction for years. I just don’t like it anymore. I want to learn things, and truth is much stranger than fiction anyway. Last week, I finally got a hold of the latest Malcolm Gladwell book, What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures. It is always a thrill to read the latest Malcolm Gladwell book and I might just go back and read them again. A few days ago I finished Beating Back the Devilabout the disease detectives at the CDC.
Today’s thrill was brought on by a post at Patrick Madrid’s site: Some Advice for Catholics Who Want to Study Scripture More Deeply. Mr. Madrid posted an audio clip from his radio show and gave the caller some great advice for resources he could use to learn more about scripture. Most of these resources I have known about but the last one… yay, something new! It is the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series. And I’m looking forward to seeing it. I immediately ordered one of the volumes from interlibrary loan and I will let you know what I find. In the meantime it looks great, here is a sample page for your viewing pleasure.