This coming week is the Memorial of St. Jerome, priest and Doctor of the Church. We can thank St. Jerome for his humble acceptance of the task to translate the Scriptures into a single work in Latin. Latin, being the official language of the Roman Catholic Church and still very much in use today, allowed for a great step to be taken in terms of having an official text of the Holy Scriptures. When Jerome got the request, he went to Bethlehem and felt that in order to faithfully transmit the truth of the words of Scripture, he should be as close as possible to the place where Truth incarnate lived. So, he took up residence near the Grotto of the Nativity. It’s currently underneath the great Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. That current church, built by the Emperor Justinian, is the oldest church in the Holy Land. I’ve been there, and I’ve been privileged to offer Mass in the cave of St. Jerome for the pilgrims who traveled with me in February. You can go there too if you go on pilgrimage with Fr. Scott this coming year!
St. Jerome spent his days translating and studying, writing letters, and surely pondering in silence the land and places he visited. Although he died in Bethlehem, being originally buried there, Holy Mother Church moved his remains to Rome. He was edgy, cranky by some accounts, but he was very pointed; and that is what is my point in this piece. Two quotes I give you: “Begin now to be what you will be hereafter,” and “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” Take his advice. Begin to be holy today, striving to become united with Christ and full of divine grace, for that is what you are called to, a divinization of the person as we become more like Christ. Don’t wait, for today is the day we are to begin this calling. And, don’t be ignorant. We have to dive in, wade about in the rich waters of Scripture. How are we to live, how are we to suffer, what should I do to find joy in this world? How are we to know unless the living Word of God informs our days and our actions. Resources abound in this parish for continuing education and personal enrichment. Today is the day you begin; today is the day.
Fr. Scott and Fr. Mark plan to trade months in offering a weekly reflection or catechesis in our future bulletins. Be sure to check out what they have to share!