Stewardship of God’s Word: Reading the Bible

February is a transitional month, especially in 2020 with its 26th day as Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Many of us also begin to hope that spring will be around the next corner. The first seed catalog we find in the mail reminds us this must be true, yet we know it’s not time to turn the soil. We wait in the quiet of late winter.

What better time than February, before Lent and the advent of spring, to settle in for some reading and praying with sacred scripture? February can be a quiet time of patient reflection for the Christian steward. The psalms, like so many biblical passages, remind us of the benefits of reading God’s word: “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps 119:105).

Our liturgical year offers us a wonderful pathway to the Bible by providing Lectionary readings for each day. Our Sunday Gospel readings this year come to us mainly from Saint Matthew. In the month of February we have an opportunity to reflect on Christ’s teachings in his Sermon on the Mount with its hope-filled Beatitudes. This Gospel is ideal for spending time with the Lord in quiet meditation. In the Gospel of Saint Matthew Jesus gives us a guide to Christian living. If you choose to read this great book of the Bible, consider just one episode in the Gospel each time you read it. Put yourself into the scene. See what words strike a chord in you. Ask the Lord to help you know him through the Gospel reading.

One of the hallmarks of Saint Matthew’s Gospel is his emphasis on discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus. Christian stewards look to this Gospel to gain new insights into their journey of faith; and much like the desires of gardeners, long for the seeds of the Gospel, especially the Beatitudes, to be planted in their own hearts. Find some quiet time. Pick up your Bible. And use God’s gift of these quiet February days to deepen your knowledge of Christ through sacred scripture.