The Gospel for Mass today (https://universalis.com/L/0/mass.htm) contains the following passage from John 5:
You study the scriptures,
believing that in them you have eternal life;
now these same scriptures testify to me,
and yet you refuse to come to me for life!
As for human approval, this means nothing to me.
This is a very important passage. It reminds us that there are two types of knowledge: “knowledge about” and “knowledge of”. Theology and reading of Scriptures provide us with knowledge about God, but given the natural limitations of our human language and the simple fact that Scriptures were written down by particular people, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit but also with all their personal and social conditions, our knowledge about God will always be necessarily limited. On the other hand, knowledge of God is found in our immediate experience of God and his love in our lives; this experience transcends thought and is not just an intellectual or reading exercise. Knowledge of God is the experience of His love. Likewise, in our lives, there is a contrast between knowing someone intimately, in a relationship of family, friendship or affection, and knowing about someone through media or through information in a file, without really knowing that person in personal terms. Theology and reading of Scriptures thus need to feed on prayer and on our lives. What we learn is to be transformed into practical action. What we learn and study becomes a kind of spiritual coal which, at the right moment, waits to be ignited by the flame of God’s love. And so the Gospel reminds us today that the eternal life cannot be found simply in reading the Scriptures, but in welcoming Jesus to enter our lives, by being transformed by Him and testifying to Him by how we live.
By Fr Tomas