by the Faithful Disciple
GROW AS A DISCIPLE
I know a few people whose method of book buying is to read the last few pages of a book first. They want to know if buying, or reading, the book is going to be worth it. As an avid bibliophile I find this to be something I could never do, but I understand their impulse. After all, it makes sense to want to have some kind of assurance that the journey one is taking – whether physical, spiritual or literary – has a decent “payoff”, as it were. In today’s Gospel, Jesus promises his disciples that when he leaves, he will provide “another Advocate” for them. We see this truth in action in the first reading, as with the laying on of hands by the apostles, those who had been baptized in Jesus’ name “received the Holy Spirit.” Christ’s life, death and resurrection not only conquered death and brought us new life – it made way for the Holy Spirit who has come to dwell among and within us. The Lord has not left us alone. So while we may have a sense of what the sequel to our journey is, we trust the author of our story to help us write the ending of this one.
The love of God and the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit brought the earliest disciples, and us, to the journey – to our own story of a life of discipleship. And while the Bible is indeed “a book”, it is also a compilation of books, letters, and events, and more, that give words to a living history of salvation that began before time and is outside of time and eternal. The Good News cannot be contained in pages – it must be lived, shared, and loved. And yes, it is good to know how it ends, but even that pales in relation to the joy and worthiness of the reading and living of the Word. That is for us to experience, and to share! As much gratification as there is in sharing our favorite new bestseller, we need to double and revamp our efforts when it comes to the Gospel. Give it away freely, to everyone, and shout out the ending. Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! And the Holy Spirit sets us free to love him and one another.
In order to truly live the Word and spread it to others as Jesus commanded, we must be familiar with the Scriptures. The Word on Fire Bible, featuring the Gospels only, is well-designed and includes commentary from Bishop Robert Barron as well as Church Fathers and recent saints and Catholic authors.