For some reason, when I started Middle School I decided to try out for the basketball team. I was horrible at basketball. I tried out in 7th and 8th grade with no success.
As a Freshman in High School, I continued my pursuit of a basketball career. Finally, I made the team, but it wasn’t because of my skill, it was because I worked the hardest in conditioning and wanted to be on the team more than anybody. The coach saw something special in me and gave me the last spot on the team.
How Does this Relate to Reading Scripture?
As Catholics, we are sometimes criticized for our lack in scriptural knowledge. We are known for not knowing God’s message to us through the Holy Bible. But why is this? Every Sunday we hear the word preached to us, we have the opportunity to attend daily Mass and hear scripture every day and we have great Saints who have gone before us and given us tools to read and understand scripture, not to mention a universal Church full of priests and deacons trained to help us interpret scripture.
We have no excuse. It’s a personal decision. And whether praying through scripture comes naturally to us or takes more hard work and some extra coaching, God will speak to us through His holy word.
God Speaks to Us Personally Through Sacred Scripture
A couple of weeks ago I made a commitment to read scripture every day. During my holy hour as a Life Teen Missionary, I sit down with my Bible and my journal and I pray through the daily readings using Lectio Divina.
A week ago, I felt the Lord placing the word “receive” on my heart. As I sat and thought about what He meant by this, I could hear a small whisper saying that I don’t have to do anything to receive His love and His will for my life. It was almost as if He was saying, “Stop trying to earn my love. Just receive it.”
A day later, God spoke to me of His will. The following readings stood out to me:
“Behold, I come to do your will.” Hebrews 10:7
“I delight to do your will, my God; your law is in my inner being.” Psalm 40:9
A couple days later, the Lord called me to trust in His promises:
“Let us hold unwaveringly to our confessions that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy.” Hebrews 10:23
A day or two later, God continued to amaze me. He continued to journey with me through His word:
“You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what He has promised.” Hebrews 10:36
This verse includes “receive,” “promise,” and “the will of God,” all in one verse! God was calling me to endure for the sake of His will and to receive His promises. Not to mention, the priest’s homily this day was focused on perseverance in doing the will of the Lord.
Reading Scripture Takes Discipline But it Pays Off
In High School, I committed to work hard and become a better basketball player despite lack of natural ability. I wanted to play basketball and I worked hard to make that happen. By the end of my Freshman year I received “Most Improved Player,” and by the end of my Sophomore year I was a starter for the JV team. I made Varsity my Junior year.
Likewise, I made a commitment to read the daily readings each day and spend an hour letting God speak to me through His word. Because of my endurance in this practice, God spoke to me clearly day after day and He continues to amaze me with direction for my life through His word.
I invite you to pray through scripture every day. Keep in mind, you may need to find someone with more experience to help you in this journey. If you are committed to this, God will speak to you through His holy word. Trust Him and commit.