Ever since I was little, there´s been something about a library table being warmed by the sun through a big window. Specifically a library. When I´m surrounded by books, the sun´s warmth is especially magical.
Today there were a couple sprinkles on the donut: a crisp, clean breeze whispering through the open window, sweeping in the chirping of a few birds…munching on my granola bar…my mind feeling the way my body does after a workout—energized. Gosh, if I have to be studying for exams, this is the way to do it.
I´ve been wanting to write another daily-life blog for a while now. I kept hitting a wall, though, because our daily life here recently has been exams, studying, and… studying for exams. Not exactly the most exciting blog topic. How about I give you the dates of the deportations of the Israelites, or the technical terms for different types of errors when copying a manuscript? Uh… never mind.
But after my Intro to Scripture exam essay was written and handed in, the clouds lifted and I suddenly realized how beautiful of a topic I had just written about. To me, the prompt sounded a little more poetic in Spanish, but it was something to the effect of: How can you adequately approach Sacred Scripture?
Along with the usual approaches to a literary work, such as knowledge of genre, historical context, authorship, audience, and message, the professor used an analogy of a love poem to explain another aspect of approaching literature. When the reader reads a literary work, the work expresses a particular human experience; for example, falling in love with someone. The reader connects that human experience with a universal human experience, such as the reality of love. The reader understands the literary work through this connection of a particular human experience with a universal experience.
The same principle can apply to the Bible, since it´s also a literary work. Since the central experience of the Bible is the disciples´ experience of Jesus, we need to connect with that experience in order to adequately approach Sacred Scripture. We are able to do this because Jesus continues living through his actions and gestures—the sacraments, the Church, the saints, people who give witness to him, apostolic succession…and Sacred Scripture. If we have a personal experience of the Risen Christ like St. Paul, then the power of the Word of God can touch and change our hearts.
After another few hours of studying, I´ve decided the sunlight on the library table isn´t the only thing to be amazed at.