Pope Francis, from today’s General Audience:
Through prayer a new incarnation of the Word takes place. And we are the “tabernacles” where the words of God want to be welcomed and preserved, so that they may visit the world. This is why we must approach the Bible without ulterior motives, without exploiting it. The believer does not turn to the Holy Scriptures to support his or her own philosophical and moral view, but because he or she hopes for an encounter; the believer knows that those words were written in the Holy Spirit, and that therefore in that same Spirit they must be welcomed and understood, so that the encounter can occur.
It irritates me a little when I hear Christians who recite verses from the Bible like parrots. “Oh, yes… Oh, the Lord says… He wants this…”. But did you encounter the Lord, with that verse? It is not a question only of memory: it is a question of the memory of the heart, that which opens you to the encounter with the Lord. And that word, that verse, leads you to the encounter with the Lord.
Therefore, we read the Scriptures because they “read us”. And it is a grace to be able to recognize oneself in this passage or that character, in this or that situation. The Bible was not written for a generic humanity, but for us, for me, for you, for men and women in flesh and blood, men and women who have a name and a surname, like me, like you. And the Word of God, infused with the Holy Spirit, when it is received with an open heart, does not leave things as they were before: never. Something changes. And this is the grace and the strength of the Word of God.