We had a special service last night, because we celebrated our chapel's patronal feast in honor of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Along with her husband, St. Joachim, we remember them because of their faithfulness and the love and confidence in God the Father witnessed in their daughter. Mary's response to the Archangel Gabriel was one rooted in her close, personal relationship with God, and tradition suggests that Joachim and Anne were key in Mary's knowledge and love of God.
We are also approaching a milestone in our Wednesday Night Class. Next week, August 4th will be our final foray into Celtic Spirituality. I think our study of the Early Christian church in Hibernia and Britannia have been interesting and hopefully enlightening for our own spiritual lives and practices, but it is now time for something new.
"But, Father," cries out Dear Reader, "whatever shall we study now?"
Fear not, Dear Reader, for the answer is at hand. I have been praying about what direction our Wednesday Night Book Study should go for several weeks, and I have come to the inescapable conclusion that we should return to that which is the foundation of all that we believe and practice: Holy Scripture.
Beginning August 11, Wednesday Night Bible Study will commence with a study of the Book of Judges. Judges is the seventh book of the Old Testament and contains the account of God's Chosen People from the death of Joshua to the calling of Samuel and his subsequent annointing of Saul to be the first king of Israel. In this book are contained the lives of Gideon, Deborah, Sampson and many others who were raised up by God to defend His people in times of great peril. It also gives us a clear witness of the infinite faithfulness of God and the seemingly limitless unfaithfulness of His people.
We will begin with chapter 1, verse 1 of Judges and move through the book taking as much time as need to read, ponder and inwardly digest this inspired word of God. All you need to do is bring a Bible and an appetite because we will still be having a wonderful potluck meal right after Mass. I will be using the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, but I think it is great if we have multiple translations at our fingertips during the class. My experience with this type of study has been that a lecture format works best because of the amount of material that we have to cover. Therefore, I will teach using handouts and sometimes maps or presentations, but I will give plenty of time for questions and discussion at appropriate times.
I love teaching and learning the Bible, and I hope that everyone in the parish will make the effort to come and check out Wednesday Night Bible Study. Remember, it begins with choir practice at 5 PM, Mass at 6 PM with dinner following, and then Bible Study at 7:15 PM. Y'all come, now!