In the last post, we reflected on how easy it is to skim over or not give our full attention to Scriptures that we feel are familiar or maybe even boring. But each time we do this, we give up an opportunity to encounter something “living and active” (Heb. 4:12) that can change our perspective and our relationship with God. St. Jerome, a true lover of holy writ, insightfully pointed out that while the faithful are appalled when a crumb of the Eucharistic Bread falls to the floor, we frequently let God’s Word – which is also the body and blood of Christ – fall past our ears without even noticing.
In the next several posts, I’d like to share a few ideas for bringing Scripture to life each time you read or hear it.
Tip #1: Read out loud.
When we read the Bible to ourselves, it is all too easy to skim over words, phrases, or sentences – without even realizing it. If you read out loud – slowly – you will probably notice things you never noticed before. One day when my oldest daughter was about six, she decided she wanted to help me prepare for a lecture. I was studying the symbolism of blood in the Old Testament and was about to read Exodus 24:1-8, so I asked her to read it out loud to me. You can imagine that a six-year-old would have trouble with some of the biblical vocabulary. As she read slowly, sounding out some words as best she could, I had no choice but to listen to every word and phrase in slow motion. And I couldn’t believe the amazing details in the passage (I’ll never forget the “basins” of blood!). You should check it out! Slowly!