by Father Mark Goldasich
Gee, it’s been so hectic these last few days that I’m barely getting this column in on time. Like me, I’m sure that you and your parish have been busily celebrating National Bible Week, held this year from Nov. 13-19.
OK, did you even know that it was Bible Week? Though an official “week” on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ calendar, it doesn’t seem to get nearly the attention of other “sponsored weeks.” In fact, I totally forgot to tell my parish about it.
Sadly, when it comes to the Bible, I fear that a good number of Catholics might summarize that bestseller similar to this child:
In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness and some gas. The Bible says, “The Lord thy God is one,” but I think he must be a lot older than that.
Then God made the world. He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in, though, because they didn’t have cars.
Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.
One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they’d have to take a rain check.
After Noah came Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph, who wore a very loud sport coat.
Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels and no cable.
God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them his Top Ten Commandments. These include: Don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance or covet your neighbor’s stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.
One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who fought the Battle of Geritol, and the fence fell over on the town.
After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.
After Solomon, there were a bunch of major league prophets. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them.
After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of the New. Jesus had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil, they named a terrible vegetable after him.
Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount.
Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to heaven, but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the Book of Revolution. (Found unattributed on a number of sites on the internet.)
I’m reasonably certain no child wrote the above, but it does make a point. If most of that summary looked OK to you, get thee to a Bible class! Seriously, I’d like to suggest that we designate the new church year, which starts on Nov. 27, as National Bible Year.
While it’s getting better, most Catholics still don’t know the Bible or use it as a prayer source. If your parish has a Bible study group, get involved with it. Or consider buying a beginner’s book on the Bible, such as “Introduction to the Bible: A Catholic Guide to Studying Scripture,” by Steven Binz, or “The Catholic Bible Study Handbook: A Popular Introduction to Studying Scripture,” by Jerome Kodell, OSB.
For those already familiar with biblical basics, focus on the Gospel of Matthew this liturgical year, since that’s where most of our Gospels will come from.
Why get familiar with the Bible? Because it gets you ready for heaven. After all, that’s what its name implies: Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth.