‘This’, says the Responsory from the Second Reading in the Office of Readings this morning, S. Jerome’s Day, ‘is how the man who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any god work’.
S. Jerome was very clear : ‘ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ’ . . . and yet so many of us are still willing not to read the Scriptures, except what is put before us in the lessons at Mass : and even if we insist on reading them from our Missals, rather than listening to the Lector, we probably do not get a great deal from them simply because we move through them steadily, and on to the Psalm, or the Alleluia, or the Homily, or whatever, without having much time to ponder them.
At least those of us who say the Office of Readings not only read them, but also get a little time to consider them . . . and even if it is only one short passage each day, at least in the course of a year we get quite a lot of bits of Scripture which do not appear in the Mass.
Is this enough, though ? Well, probably not; but at least if we try to follow and understand the lessons at Mass, by reading them at home (or before or after Mass in Church), and also give some real time to the First Reading (the Scriptural one) from the Office of Readings, we can be sure that we are getting at least a reasonable minimum.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not all that good at this . . . what I’m really doing, I suppose, is identifying to myself the need to spend more time reading and contemplating the Scriptures . . . because, as S. Jerome says, ‘ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ’ . . . and that is clearly not something we want to be.