In this year when we’re focusing so much on reading the Bible, I’ve just been made aware of something a little unexpected. I had a catechist tell me about a child in her classroom whose family reads Scripture almost daily, but the child had absolutely no idea how to find anything in the Bible. After a few questions she was able to get to the bottom of this mystery; his family always either reads the daily readings from the Magnificat or from a phone app.
I appreciate the convenience of both of those sources, but let’s also remember the value of being able to look up a verse!
Related (at least in my own experience), is that we tend to read differently from a book than from one of these other daily reading sources. I read the daily Mass readings on my iPad through the USCCB’s site. It’s easy, free, convenient, weighs less and I almost always have it with me; all very helpful things. When I read from my Bible though, I’m not limited by having only today’s verses available. I can keep reading, if I want. I can backtrack to what came just before today’s Gospel to see how it relates. I may see a verse that I underlined years ago and am brought back to the lessons of that day. I get to read verses that may not be part of the 3-year cycle at all, and best of all God may use my tendency toward distraction to turn three minutes with the daily readings into quite a bit more as I start flipping around to other pages.
Any time with Scripture in any form is good, but if you’re only focusing on today’s readings, you may want to spend a little serendipitous time seeing what the Holy Spirit has for you in some other parts of the Bible.