When I was growing up, my parents had one of those big, beautiful Bibles that seemed like they belonged on the church altar instead of in our home.
However, our Bible was in Spanish and, as an eight year old, I wasn’t as literate in Spanish as I am now. I didn’t have access to a physical Bible that I could read and understand during the formative years of my faith and I knew something was missing; I just didn’t know what it was.
I remember asking my mom once, “Why don’t we open the Bible and get to know the words that filled it?” Her response was that a nun in her catechism class told her you could run the risk of misinterpreting the Bible, so it didn’t leave her with much of a desire to open it.
My mom’s answer was enough for me to not open the Bible on my own until I was a young adult.
When I became a catechist, it pushed me into a whole new world of our Catholic faith. I remember the first time I sat down to prepare my agenda for my fifth-grade class. I didn’t want to hide behind the podium, aimlessly flipping through Scripture passages like a magazine where you only stop when something strikes you visually.
I remember asking our Director of Religious Education to borrow a Bible because I didn’t own one.
As embarrassing as that was for me to admit, I knew I didn’t have the exposure to Scripture that I hungered for and aspired to pass onto my students. My time in the classroom gave me the realization that, although the soil of my faith was rich, my confidence in Scripture wasn’t.
What used to be a fear of misinterpreting the Bible and worrying about not really grasping the words became "living water" for me. Today’s Gospel (Luke 11:28) reminds us that our upbringing in the faith doesn’t have to dictate what our journey with Christ looks like today. The truth is that when we read Scripture open to the movements of the Holy Spirit and guided by the precepts of our Catholic faith, we will understand it more deeply.
Do not be afraid to follow the tugs in your heart that are leading you to discover new ways to grow in your personal relationship with Jesus.