And all these things which were written so long ago were written so that we, learning perseverance and the encouragement which the scriptures give, should have hope. Now the God of perseverance and encouragement give you all the same purpose, following the example of Christ Jesus, so that you may together give glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one heart. Accept one another, then, for the sake of God’s glory, as Christ accepted you. I tell you that Christ’s work was to serve the circumcised, fulfilling the truthfulness of God by carrying out the promises made to the fathers, and his work was also for the gentiles, so that they should give glory to God for his faithful love; as scripture says: For this I shall praise you among the nations and sing praise to your name.
Daily Bible reading-also called “lectio divina”-should be a fundamental part of our spiritual life. It is gratifying to note that more and more Catholics are discovering this source of truth and life. Those who adopt this spiritual practice will notice that, with the passage of time, the soul begins to hunger for the Word of God and draws from it consolation and formation. The more deeply the Word of God penetrates us, the more it will guide and instruct us, preserving us from giving ear to false voices. Since it is the Word of God, it has the power to transform us and to become the criterion for our actions.
Regarding the Virgin Mary, the Evangelist Luke says that she kept the words of the Word of God, treasuring them in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19). This interiorization is what brings the greatest fruit. It is not only a matter of reflection with the mind, but of the Word penetrating the heart, spreading its light and thereby “enlightening” us, in every sense of the word. This way, we will also never lose hope, because no matter how difficult and desperate the situation we face may seem, there will always be a Word of the Lord that the Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance.
For example, those who suffer under the present situation of the Church must not succumb to despair; rather, they must remember that word which assures us that the gates of hell will not prevail over the Church (cf. Mt 16:18), even if the powers of darkness penetrate her.
Those who feel burdened and weary should remember the Lord’s words: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
Sacred Scripture offers us so much consolation and strengthening, together with the true instruction and wisdom it conveys to us; so that reading it should become for us daily nourishment, strengthening us in every way.
In what follows in today’s reading, the Apostle speaks of a great unity in following Christ Jesus. Here we must listen very carefully! This is not simply a unity on a general level, but is grounded in the Lord Himself. This means that the more deeply we are anchored in Christ, the easier it is for the Holy Spirit to grant this unanimity among us.
The reading reminds us once again that all are called to discover God’s great love, which He has manifested to us in His Son. He is the gateway for both Jews and Gentiles, so that the promises made to the People of the Old Covenant may be fulfilled and the Gentiles may praise God for His mercy.
This is the key to unity among us. It is grounded in God and we attain it only by walking the path that He has traced out for us in His only-begotten Son, who is the only way that leads to the Father (cf. Jn 14:6).
For this reason, we pray each day in the prayers before the Office:
“For all who seek God, that they may let themselves be found by His love” – Kyrie eleison.
“For all who call upon the Name of the Lord in truth, that they may find unity in Him” – Kyrie eleison.