The Word Among Us

Jan/Feb 2013 Issue

Covenant Is Key

By: Joe Difato

Covenant Is Key by Joe Difato

Forty years ago, while I was in college, I had a powerful conversion experience at a prayer meeting in my parish. In addition to everything else that happened to me that evening, I found a new love for Scripture.

Of course, I knew the “big” Bible stories from Catholic school, but the truth is, I had never looked at a Bible before!

After the prayer meeting, someone gave me a pocket New Testament to carry around. I read that little book in between classes. I also read a chapter from Scripture every day as part of my newly established prayer time. Then I would read an entire Gospel or one of Paul’s letters every night. In fact, my love for Scripture is one of the things that inspired me to start this magazine. I wanted everyone to come to know and love the word of God as I did.

A few years after my conversion, when I was working on my doctorate in theology, I was studying a book by Cardinal Yves Congar, one of the main theologians at Vatican II. Congar had said that the best way to understand Scripture is by meditating on the word of God in light of the covenant that God made with us. Congar said that the whole of Scripture is a story about our heavenly Father’s desire to reach out to us and lift us up into his presence.

This insight has changed the way I read Scripture. Now, every time I read the Bible, it points me to God’s covenant love. I see more clearly how much he wants us to receive his own life and love in our hearts (2 Peter 1:4). I understand how deeply he wants us to be united with him. I come away even more in awe of his faithfulness. And I am motivated more to uphold my part of the covenant—to try my best to trust him and follow his commands.

Live the Covenant! I dearly want to live out the covenant that God has made with us. Every day I commit my life to Jesus. Every day I ask him for the grace to help build the Church, in big ways and in small ways. Every day I try to be his light to the world.

At the same time, I know that I don’t always do what I intend to do. If left up to me, the covenant would be shattered beyond repair. But here’s the good news: Jesus will always uphold his end of the covenant. His grace never stops. His mercy never stops. Jesus never closes the door. He never leaves me.

Brothers and sisters, the covenant that God has made with us—as told through Scripture and remembered at every Mass—is the best deal we humans have ever been offered. May we allow the Scriptures to show us the everlasting covenant God has made with us. May we embrace this covenant with our whole hearts. And may our loving Father continue to bless us all with his covenant love!

Joe Difato, Publisher | Email the Publisher at [email protected]