God’s Story is OUR Story; And It’s A Love Story

By Christina Semmens

One of the speakers for the upcoming Diocese of Birmingham Eucharistic Congress that will occur at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center on June 28-29, 2019 is someone who many in the diocese may already be familiar—Dr. Scott Hahn.

Dr. Hahn’s work in the field of Scripture study, particularly in compiling and sharing what is now commonly known as “Covenant Theology,” has brought thousands to a greater understanding of Salvation History. The story of God’s relationship with His people. His most recent work, Genesis to Jesus, the latest addition to the Journey Through Scripture video Bible Study series from the St Paul Center for Biblical Theology, succinctly and beautifully presents the essence of his foundational work that he first presented in his book, “A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture.”

In the Genesis to Jesus study, the ever-important questions of “What is the Bible, where does it come from, and what is its purpose? And how are Catholics supposed to read the Bible and what story does it tell?” are all answered as well as teaching the basic Catholic principles for reading Scripture and giving an overview of the books of the Bible and their place in the story of salvation.

Dr. Hahn recently shared this message on his website:
“My work is about reading the Bible — reading it with you, and reading it “from the heart of the Church. My studies have led me to realize that we are privileged to read the sacred page within an unfathomable community: the communion of saints, the voices of Catholic Tradition, the great cloud of witnesses from all of history. Our guide is the Holy Spirit, working through the Church’s Magisterium. We are called to be trusting children of God and of the Church, our mother.”

Dr Hahn founded the St Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a non-profit apostolate and research and educational institute, to focus specifically upon promoting life-transforming Scripture study in the Catholic tradition. The Journey through Scripture video studies are the St. Paul Center’s flagship Bible study program designed to help ordinary Catholics grow in their knowledge of the Scriptures while deepening their understanding of the riches of our faith. The series takes a holistic approach, looking at the entire Bible and how all its parts work together.

Dr. Hahn also shared:
“Most importantly, we have the great gift to read the Bible in its natural and supernatural habitat: the liturgy. The Bible and the liturgy were made for one another. In the Old Testament and the New, the Scriptures presume, prescribe, and describe the ritual life of God’s people…of us…for us! The Bible gives us both the content and context of the liturgy — even as the liturgy provides our context for understanding the Scriptures. If we read the Bible as it was written, we’ll read it from the heart of the Church. It is the heart of Jesus. All we have to do is open the Word and be open to learning about it, about Him. My work has been focused on helping you to that end.”

I personally can attest to the life-transforming impact that my own coming to more deeply know and understand Salvation History has had upon my own personal faith journey. For once I was able to finally see God’s love for His people throughout history, this knowledge then gave me the fortitude to fully accept God’s great love for me personally. But even more so, to embrace the reality that even if I had been the only person ever created on earth, my Lord would gladly give His life for me on the cross because He loves me with a limitless, deep and abiding love.

From this knowledge of His profound, deep and abiding love for me, came the resolve to embrace the reality that I, too, have a part to play in this story of salvation. That God formed me from the moment of conception in my mother’s womb, and continues to mold me into becoming the person He created me to be, so that I may accept His invitation to walk and work alongside Him in His vineyard here in the world, being His instrument of grace in order to help bring about the redemption of those whom He entrusts to my care, or has cross my path, in the midst of my daily life. This is the essence of what it is to be a missionary disciple. To embrace the call to take our place as a part of God’s story, and by so doing, it become our story, too.

But that’s not where God’s story and our story end. No, because this is a love story.

In fact, it THE greatest love story ever, because our Beloved has never abandoned us for a single moment. He is with us–always. How? Through His most precious gift of the Most Holy Eucharist.

The Most Holy Eucharist which is the “source and summit” of our faith. The Most Holy Eucharist that is the actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Most Holy Eucharist that, upon receiving Him, we become united with our Lord and Savior, and with the entire Body of Christ. The Most Holy Eucharist through which we can actually become like our Beloved as He transforms us ever more fully into His own image. An image of love and mercy for a world that desperately needs to see His presence because it is only through Him, with Him, and in Him that the world can experience any semblance of abiding peace, enduring hope, profound joy and eternal love.

This is the story of salvation. It is God’s story and our story. And it is a love story for unto all eternity.

Speaker Bio for Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn is the bestselling author of more than 40 titles, including “The Lamb’s Supper” and “Reasons to Believe.” His most recent titles include, “The First Society, The Fourth Cup, Romans: A Catholic Commentary,” “The Creed: Professing the Faith Through the Ages,” and “A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture.” Dr. Hahn holds the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990.

He is the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and the editor-in-chief of Emmaus Road Publishing. Dr. Hahn and his wife, Kimberly, have six children and fifteen grandchildren. The couple live in Steubenville, Ohio.

For more resources like these to help prepare you, or for more information about how to support the upcoming Diocese of Birmingham Eucharistic Congress by volunteering or through sponsorship, check out www.bhmcatholic.com.

Originally published in the One Voice, May 3, 2019

Posted in Blog, Eucharistic Congress.

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