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Monday 17 June |
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3-Point Mass prep: Scripture vs. ordinary books


Sr. Amata CSFN

Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 04/22/23

The New Testament is hidden in the Old, the Old is made clear by the New.

The Gospel for this Sunday is Luke 24:13-35

1.     Introduction

The major difference between Scripture and any other book is that Scripture was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 

“This is the Word of the Lord,” we hear at Mass after the readings from the Holy Bible. This best captures the nature of Scripture. God himself quotes the Bible, as exemplified in today’s Gospel about the disciples heading to Emmaus.

2.     Key words

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.

This phrase ingeniously captures the fact that throughout the Old Testament there are predictions about Jesus Christ. According to Jewish Tradition, the Bible is divided into three parts: the Torah, the Prophets (Nevi’im), the Writings(Ketuvim). Hence the name of the Hebrew Bible is an abbreviation of the first letters of the three parts: TaNaKh. A sentence from the Gospels reveals that the predictions in the Tanakh “referred to Him,” to Jesus Christ.

This is fittingly expressed in the definition recalled in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Novum in Vetere latet et in Novo Vetus patet” (The New Testament is hidden in the Old, the Old is made clear by the New).

Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

Emmaus is a symbol of each and every Holy Mass, which invariably consists of two parts: Listening to the Word of God and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, during which Jesus comes to us in Holy Communion. We are therefore participants in the apostles’ experience.

3.     Today

The disciples confessed: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” 

What is my heart like when I listen to the Scripture readings at Mass? After Mass, do I remember what the Gospel and the other readings and the psalm were about? How do I receive Jesus in Holy Communion?


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