Memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
In the first reading proper to the feast of St. Jerome, St. Paul tells Timothy that “all Scripture is inspired of God and is useful for […] training in holiness so that the man of God may be fully competent and equipped for every kind of good work.” Jerome was a man of great learning. He had a command of Greek and Hebrew which he put to work translating the whole Bible into Latin, then the common language spoken in the Roman empire. Before his translation of the Bible, the Vulgate, translations available were not the best. But Jerome and many others knew the need, and how much people needed to know Scripture in their own language so that they could know God and carry out the good works they desired to do.
Today, Scripture is no less needed than in the time of Jerome. Like in his time, people wish to know God and wish to lead good lives, but don’t know how, or have a patchy knowledge, at best. In an age of unprecedented communications, so many people do not know God’s message to them that they are loved by God, redeemed by God, and can be readily equipped to lead good lives. As Christians, many of us have had an opportunity to consider the message of the Gospel. Through our occupations and roles in life, many of us have the chance to mingle with people who never darken the door of a church. How is it that we, like St. Jerome, can use our knowledge and position to help people know the message of Scripture, and receive the “training in holiness” which they desire?