By BISHOP BERNARD E. SHLESINGER III | Published September 2, 2022 | En Español
“Those who have ears, let them hear the Word of God.”
Today, many of us are being formed and educated in front of a screen rather than in a family setting of prayer with communal reflection on the Word of God. The narrative of the secular world concerning what may be morally right or wrong is rapidly taking the place of a biblical worldview. God the Father and Creator is understood as only “watching us from a distance” from a place in the bleachers of heaven and sadly not listened to above the noise of the media.
Christian parents do not receive much support from a secular worldview. A father or mother can be accused of being disrespectful to the individuality of their child if he or she should “impose” their beliefs on their children regarding issues such as gender identity, marriage and life in the womb. The public schools will ensure that God is left out of education and “impose” their own views, depriving our young people of their daily bread from God. Jesus becomes for many merely an ethical teacher rather than the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Satan strives to silence God’s voice by detaching all of us from the Word of God. His message focuses on liberty as a license to do as one wills, to becoming self-sufficient and to achieving self-realization apart from hearing the Word of God.
We need to encourage each other to hear the Word of God so that we remember that God is not distant nor silent. As the church teaches: “For in the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the sure and everlasting source of spiritual life.” (Dei Verbum 21)
Some of us are waking up and rediscovering how to make the Scriptures part of a daily diet. I have often experienced a life-changing direction through a verse of Scripture or an immediate calm when I felt anxiety in a certain situation. Such reflection may take only a few minutes a day, and one can start by reflecting on the daily Mass readings found on the USCCB website bible.usccb.org/daily-bible-reading or by following the popular “The Bible in a Year” series by Father Michael Schmitz. Such resources can aid in the development of Bible studies within families or among friends.
The role of the clergy, parents and teachers should aim at restoring a biblical worldview by preparing the soil of the soul to receive the Word of God. The Apostles set this as a priority of their ministry: “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables” (Acts 6:2). The Word of God is not meant to fall on the footpath, rocky grown or among thorns; rather “those who have ears, let them hear” again the voice of God (Mt 13:1-9).
Let the biblical worldview be once again part of our conscience, families and communities because “man does not live on bread alone, but every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Dt 8:3; Mt 4:4).