by Msgr. Steven Ferrari
A faux leather-bound Bible lay on the sidewalk as the crowds walked on by. It was a recent mid-August Sunday afternoon in Union Square near 15th Street. A few feet in front of the Bible stood a young 20-something man texting on his iPhone.
Noticing him there, I questioned him, “Did you drop your Bible?” as I pointed to it.
Looking down, he responded, “No, why would I need a Bible?” He picked it up anyway. “Perhaps there’s a name in there,” suggested my friend, Father Bob.
The young man unzipped the cover. Written on a torn piece of paper in the front cover was a phone number. But then the pages automatically flipped open to something else within the well-worn pages – a hypodermic needle!
“Whoa!,” he exclaimed, “maybe we’d better just leave it here.” He zipped up the cover and placed it down again. Then we continued walking our separate ways.
I couldn’t help but think of the paradox of drugs and God’s Word. Many of us turn to the Sacred Scriptures for truth and hope and consolation.
Some, though, turn to the artificiality and false hopes of drugs – and in addiction, they seek redemption. Yet only Jesus saves, not this world’s empty promises. With so much talk today about the so-called opioid crisis and legalization of marijuana, perhaps it would behoove us to pick up the old family Bible.
Whatever your fears, trials or tribulations; whether you’re lonely, confused or in danger; in times of joy or in grief, you can turn to the Lord in prayerful meditation of the Scriptures. There you will find true redemption, genuine salvation and authentic hope. For the Truth will set you free!
Msgr. Ferrari is the pastor of St. Teresa’s parish in Woodside.