Bishop Jenky opens 2014 with a call to read, savor the Bible

Photo Caption: Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, reads the Bible in his office at the Spalding Pastoral Center. “The Holy Bible” is the theme of his 2014 Festival Letter to the Diocese of Peoria.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has strongly urged Catholics to both own and read the Bible, saying believers need the Word of God “to guide their lives, encourage their service, and inspire their prayer.”

“So for the sake of your family, your parish, your community, your Church, and yourself, I hope you will read the Bible and then not be afraid,” the bishop writes near the conclusion of his 2014 Festival Letter, “The Holy Bible.”

It is Bishop Jenky’s 12th annual Festival Letter to the Diocese of Peoria. He uses the annual letters, always dated on the Feast of the Epiphany, to instruct the faithful in depth on a specific topic.

The full text of the bishop’s teaching is printed in the Jan. 5 issue of The Catholic Post and has been posted online at the Diocese of Peoria’s website.

“I hope that my short reflection may be helpful to renew a love of Sacred Scripture in each of your lives and in our Local Church,” the bishop writes in an introduction to his letter. “Pastors may find this letter helpful in encouraging parish Bible studies and as a means to introduce the Bible to RCIA, youth groups and adult education programs,” he suggests.

The Festival Letter begins with the bishop’s traditional summary of the fasts and feasts of the liturgical year. He encourages a return to the practice of “Rogation Days” to mark the change of seasons, recommending special observances on Jan. 22, March 24, June 23, Sept. 13, and Dec. 7. An explanation of Rogation Days and suggestions for parish and individual observances is found here.

Bishop Jenky’s focus on the Bible is broken into several sections, including Inspiration, Interpretation, The Historical Jesus and the Historical Bible, Knowing the Real Jesus by Reading the Real Bible, and How the Bible Should be Loved and Believed.

Bishop Jenky offers practical suggestions for those just beginning to study the Bible, including setting aside a quiet moment every day to read just a paragraph or a few sentences. “I would start by a reflective reading of one of the Gospels or one of the Epistles,” he writes.

The bishop also reiterates a teaching of the Second Vatican Council that “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

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