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Let the Holy Spirit interpret the Word

“You can do scripture as a subject and never encounter the Father who is in Heaven; you can do scripture as a subject and never be empowered by the Holy Spirit,” said Dr Wendy Ann Jones, Principal of the Catholic Bible Institute.

Dr Jones said scripture was inspired by God and if someone did not experience a positive impact, then something was missing. “It is missing the interpretation; it is missing meaning”.

Dr Jones presented on ‘The Holy Spirit and the Word’ John 6 on Saturday January 8, Day 2 of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal’s Caribbean Conference.

Dr Jones said scripture reveals the horror of sin; without the interpretation of the Holy Spirit, people can remain unrepentant after reading scripture. “Sin is at the foundation of death and suffering, if we know that as a fact… wouldn’t we do all in our power to submit ourselves to unction of the Holy Spirit that we can be helped to stop sinning?”

God’s plan for salvation is revealed through scripture. Dr Jones said Christianity is not a religion of the Word. “It is about Jesus Christ and if we want to experience the fullness of joy and salvation…we need to buckle in and buckle down and call on the Holy Spirit to teach us the meaning of our lives to be interpreted by the Word of God.”

Scripture reveals the revelation of the fatherhood of God. Dr Jones recalled her father “planted the seed” of reading scripture when he called her and other siblings to prayer. They had opportunities to share reflections on the readings. She became emotional during her presentation as she shared moments from her spiritual journey. She told of a prayer meeting she attended with her mother when her heart opened more to experiencing the “fatherhood of God” in a new way. It was then she met Deborah de Rosia, who prayed over her.

“The scripture that my father planted in my heart and the spirit my mother brought me to a place of appreciating what the Word of God is saying to me,” she said.

Dr Jones said the Word of God unites believers but if reading the Word led to isolating oneself, then the scripture was not being read properly. The Word should also not make persons feel ‘holier than thou’ because they had knowledge. “You will dry up,” Dr Jones said.

She referenced Pope Francis’ statements that the Word of God unites believers, and they should take every opportunity to read the Word together. Jones stated the Word of God revealed the Holy Spirit as guide, advocate, interpreter, counsellor, and pledge of salvation. She advised anyone experiencing “fuzziness” when reading scripture to call on the Holy Spirit.

Dr Jones suggested two postures when reading the Word: humility, to say ‘I don’t know’, and being prepared to be influenced by the truth of the Word.

“Those are the two postures required for the right reading, the right praying, the right reflecting on the Word of God.” —LPG