Gospel reading

At the end of the liturgical cycle, we read in the Gospel of the Mass this expression of the Lord: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away1 . These are the eternal words of Jesus, which made known to us the intimacy of the Father and the path we had to follow to reach him. They will remain because they were spoken by God to every man and woman who comes into this world. Many times and in many ways God once spoke to our fathers through the ministry of the prophets; lately, in these days, he has spoken to us through his Son. "These days" are also ours. Jesus Christ continues to speak, and his words, because they are divine, are always current.

All Scripture prior to Christ acquires its exact meaning in the light of the figure and preaching of the Lord. St. Augustine, with a vigorous expression, writes that "the Law was pregnant with Christ". And in another place the Holy Doctor affirms: "Read the prophetic books without seeing Christ in them: there is nothing more insipid, more insipid. But discover Christ in them, and what you read becomes not only tasty, but intoxicating". He is the one who discovers the profound meaning contained in the previous revelation: Then he opened their understanding so that they could understand the Scriptures5. The Jews who refused to accept the Gospel were left with a chest with a great treasure inside, but without the key to open it. Their understanding," writes St. Paul to the Christians of Corinth, "was veiled, and is veiled today by the same veil that continues to hang over the reading of the old covenant, because only in Christ does it disappear, for "the main purpose of the old economy was to prepare for the coming of Christ, the universal redeemer, and of his messianic kingdom (...). God is the author who inspires the books of both Testaments, so that the Old would conceal the New". In this sense, the dialogue between the apostle Philip and the Ethiopian, a minister of Candace, who was reading the Prophet Isaiah, is moving. Do you understand what you read," Philip asked him. How can I understand it if someone does not guide me? Then, beginning with this scripture, he announced Jesus to him8. Jesus was the key to understanding.

St. John Chrysostom comments thus on this passage from the Acts of the Apostles: "Consider what a great thing it is not to neglect the reading of Scripture even during the journey (...). Consider how great a thing it is not to neglect to read the Scriptures, even at home, and because they are with their wives, or because they are in the army, or because they are worried about their families and busy with other things, they think it is not good for them to make the effort to read the divine Scriptures (...). This Ethiopian barbarian is an example for us: for those who have a private life, for the members of the army, for the authorities and also for women - especially those who are always at home - and for those who have chosen the monastic life. Let everyone learn that no circumstance is an impediment to divine reading, which is possible not only at home but also in the square, on a journey, in the company of many or in the midst of an occupation. Let us not neglect, I beg you, the reading of the Scriptures".

The Church has always recommended its reading and meditation, especially of the New Testament, in which we always find Christ who comes to meet us. A few minutes a day help us to know Jesus better, to love him more, for we love only what we know well.

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