Monday, September 30, 2013

New that is actually old

If we hear something often enough, we tend to accept it as fact. Sadly, these things are simply untrue. Take for example the line:

Catholics don't know the bible

While we do not memorize chapter and verse numbers, our entire worship is replete with biblical texts, from the systematic reading of the gospels in the three year Sunday lectionary cycle, and the two year weekday cycle, to the actual words of mass,most of which are direct quotes from scripture. Every ritual in the Catholic Church is grounded in the scriptures.

Today we go back to the fourth century and celebrate the Saint who was in many ways the father of all scripture scholars, Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, known to us more commonly as St. Jerome. His tireless work became the core of the Vulgate the first attempt to, in a systematic way, put the Bible into a language that could reach the people.

While already fluent in Greek he moved to Jerusalem to immerse himself in the language and world of the Old Testament so as to improve the work of translation. Good translation is as much art as science. The work of capturing a thought, an idea, a feeling expressed in one language and finding the optimal counterpart in the other.

Every time any Christian picks up a bible, we owe a debt of gratitude to St. Jerome. Every scripture scholar of any denomination, whether they are aware of it or not, has built on the foundation laid by him.

Today let us pray that through his intercession the fire for the love of the word of God may be reignited in the heart of us all.