1st Reading: Acts 8:26-40; Psalm: 66. R. v. 1; Gospel: Jn 6:44-51
UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
An Ethiopian eunuch came to Jerusalem to worship. While returning back, he pondered on the passage of the suffering servant from the prophecy of Isaiah but did not understand it. This was the content of the passage: “As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth” (Is 53:7-8). This passage of the Scriptures left him confused that an angel of the Lord had to send Philip to go and interpret it for him. While Philip interpreted this passage, the eunuch believed and was baptised because the passage became clear to him.
Have we ever read a part of the Scriptures and found it either confusing or difficult to understand? This can happen to anyone, even to those who think they are very familiar with the Holy Writ. The Scriptures is not just a compilation of stories or moral instructions; it is an inspired writing. And this is why it cannot be understood just like any ordinary writing. Also, the passages of the Scripture were written within a context. If we don’t understand this context through exegetical analysis, we would be lost just like this Ethiopian eunuch. When we study the Scriptures, we should bear this in mind.
There are many preachers today who have ended up misinterpreting and twisting some scriptural passages in a bid to pass the message they have in mind or because they do not understand it. This is an abuse of the Scripture. We need to understand the faith we preach before we can build the faith of others. Whenever we study the Scriptures, we need to do so in prayer and also understand the context in which that passage was written. This should not be overlooked. Otherwise, we may end up confused and misunderstand what we have read.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, enlighten our minds to understand your Word as we study it through prayerful reflection. Amen.