I met Marie on a train. I had some documents about spirituality on the table that she glanced at as she sat down. They obviously intrigued her because she kept glancing at them and then smiling at me. Eventually she asked me what they were about and we got talking, or rather she did the talking and I listened.
She told me that she was a lapsed Catholic chiefly, she said, because she'd decided a long time ago that a lot of the stories in the Bible couldn't possibly be true. She said that her parents who were obviously very committed Catholics hadn't been able to answer her questions when she was searching so she had rejected out of hand anything to do with faith.
I began to talk to her about the Scriptures and how they were put together. We talked of the Gospels not as biographies of Jesus but as invitations to enter into the mystery that is God made flesh. We spoke a bit about truth in the Bible and how it had a little to do with historical fact but more to do with meaning. We discussed the recurring themes and the dangers of fundamentalism.
We spent a lot of time talking about the invitation that the Scriptures give us to fall in love with a God who can only love us – and to trust that God who is with us every step of our journey through life – and of how they can bring you life deep within as they challenge you to change and call you to deep conversion and commitment. I have no idea what other people on the train thought of our conversation but Marie left the train saying that she wanted to read the Bible again.
I wonder how many of us are thirsty for the Word of God. I wonder how many of us encounter God in the word that we hear. I wonder sometimes how many of us are really aware of the profound gift the Scriptures are. They are the presence of Christ and as you read them, you are drawn more deeply into Him and become more aware of His presence in you. So hunger for the Word of God and know that in the Scriptures you will find life.