A Profound Anniversary
“I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.” –Psalm 119:30
I did not think I could do it but I have. So let’s celebrate!
It’s my first anniversary – not wedding, nor birthday, not even job. It’s exactly a year since I first started to read the Bible. A copy of the NLTCE was presented to me by my close friend who is secretary to one of the CBCI Bishops. She’d got a copy for herself after the NLTCE was released in March 2016; and (alas!) she bought a copy for me too and challenged me to read it. To oblige her because she is dear to me, I took the copy, but did not really intend to do much with it.
I did not see why I should. I am a good enough Catholic. I go for daily mass, say evening prayers with the family – I figured out that was as much time as I could give to God. I did not want to weary Him down by adding Bible reading to my list of demands on His time – after all, there are so many others in the world who would be needing His time more.
I must say that actually getting down to reading the Bible changed my life in an incredible way. Before that, it is not that I was Bible-illiterate – I am an attentive Mass-attendee, so I am familiar with several passages read as Epistle, Gospel, etc during the service. But it was a little like getting picture-postcards from God, like putting a collage of snap shots on a felt board.
One understood in bits and pieces, but I found it difficult to understand how all the pieces fitted in to make a whole.
Daily Bible reading changed that. Forgive me if this sounds dramatic, as I started reading the Bible for myself, it was no longer like listening to the priest speaking over the church mic. As the Word of God jumped out of the page and into my consciousness, it was like feeling the Breath of God all over me. That is the closest I can get to describing the effect of personally reading the Bible. Whenever I read the Bible now, it is like there is only the Lord and me in the room, everything else gets tuned out. The Lord, and other characters in the Bible. I began to
- Walk with Abraham
- Weep with Simon, son of Jonah, as he backtracked
- Lean with cousin John on Jesus’ chest
- Shudder with horror as John the Baptist’s head was given to Herod’s niece
- Feel Mother Mary’s anguish as Jesus was being scourged
Believe me, I could hear the Lord call me to a life of holiness just like He called David, Jeremiah, Saul of Tarsus, and so many others.
I cannot describe it any better than this. To understand how my life has been transformed, you will simply have to get yourself a copy of the NLTCE and go through the experience I have. This is one feat wherein a second-hand testimony will bear no fruit – you need to experience it for yourself.
I realize now what an important part of my life was being neglected when I thought it was not essential to read the Bible every day. Today as significantly as I breathe, I am aware that God is in control – of my life and everything else in existence. I believe God keeps His promises, that He really loves me, and Jesus is the beginning and end of everything that makes for sense and sanity.
I desperately need what the Bible gives me each day.
Whether you realize it or not, so do you.
-Michelle Coelho, Mysore