As so many icons of Christ demonstrate He Himself is our instructor in Biblical Wisdom. He teaches with authority, serene and steadfast, desiring to impart to his students the life giving word of God. He welcomes all to this “house of study” – Beth Midrash in Hebrew. I remember my admiration for the Hasidic Jews of Montreal whom I used to observe nightly going to meet with their Rabbi to study their holy Torah. Certainly the boy Jesus went customarily to the local synagogue to learn holy writ and sacred tradition. St. Luke records the account of his “rite of passage” from boyhood to manhood at the Temple in Jerusalem where he was found gathered with the elders who confirmed him as a ‘son of the Torah’, an apprentice now in the business of his heavenly Father – delving deep into the message within the sacred scrolls that He Himself unrolled. Do we realize the value of our spiritual heritage transmitted in the Bible? Do we take our

Sacred Scriptures for granted? I recall a report of pilots who would do aerial Bible drops to areas in war torn African nations under dictatorships and their descriptions of how the people would share pages from the Bibles. They treasured even a single leaf from the Bible which they would memorize and then trade for another page. Perhaps this hunger for spiritual truth is part of the reason why the Catholic population of Africa has exploded in the last century from 2 to 140 million.

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