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With All Your Heart

About two months ago I decided I wanted to sit and read my entire Bible in one year. And while I’ve had a fairly good grasp of the New Testament up until now, especially the Gospels, the Old Testament and I have never really seen eye to eye.

It’s just so long.

Concubines?

How are you seven hundred years old?

Why can’t I pronounce any of these names?

This God does not look familiar.

Well, half-way through Genesis and after a fair bit of head-scratching, I realized something. In my limited perspective, I was trying to see the God of Noah, of Abraham, of Jacob through the eyes of my own place in time. I kept thinking, How is this the same God? He does not seem like Jesus. At all.

But here is the explanation: God is not linear. God is not confined by time. He is eternal.

“Teach me your paths, my God, guide me in your truths.” (Psalm 25:4)

The truth is, He is the same God. However, these are not the same people.

After being tested, Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37)

And it finally dawned on me.

The stories of the Old Testament are not meant to make me fixate on the details of the historical facets. These stories are meant to do one thing—to show me that faith in and love of God is the only detail that matters.

He created us to know, to love, and to serve Him. (Catechism of the Catholic Church § 1) I am now reading the Old Testament with new eyes—with open eyes.

It is the unwavering faith of these people of old that rescued them, that rewarded them, that restored them. It is as true to me now, in 2017, as it was to them in their time. They loved Him with all their hearts.

Am I willing to do the same? I sure hope so.

Have you read the Catechism or parts of it? Have you read the Bible or parts of it? Resolve to get to know our faith better and engage more with our deep texts.

Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife to Paul, mom to two little ones, and practices dentistry at a public health community center for low income families in the Bay Area, California. She (unashamedly) thinks ice cream is its own food group, loves anything Harry Potter, does not leave the house without wearing sparkly earrings, and is an enthusiastic proponent of the Oxford comma. Find out more about her here.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Jaime Smith
    August 25, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Samantha thank you! I was feeling just as you were about the Old Testament. Thank you for bringing this perspective and a bit of understanding to it!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    August 25, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Thank you so much for your view of the Old Testament. I have a son that has “issues” with the Old Testament. I am going to give your view for him to read. It is a beautiful way of understanding the Old Testament.

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