Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus

In the beginning was the word …

by Andrei Roman

The Bible has always fascinated me. Not like any book, placed on a forgotten shelf of a library, but as a word, a message, an invitation to life and for life: my life and others’. A book whose text constantly challenges me. The Bible is a book that tells human images and symbols, but also historical facts about how God revealed himself from the beginning.

While our Brothers of the first year left the novitiate for the “Long Retreat”, we – who stayed at home – had the opportunity to follow different courses. Among these was the introductory course to Sacred Scripture, proposed by Fr. Giancarlo Gola, a biblicist. His personalized method of teaching invited us not only to deepen different theological issues, but also to ask questions about the proposed material.

For me the course was first and foremost a time to “dust off” the knowledge acquired during the years at the Seminar, to make them clearer, with a new, not necessarily intellectual, but above all Jesuit flavor, in the context of scientific work and theological reflections of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini and Fr Silvano Fausti, to whom the professor has often referred.

During the course, Fr Gola stressed several times the fact that “the Gospel is not a biography of Jesus”: words that are not easy to accept at first sight! However, the image of the mosaic could help us to understand how the stories – although always referring to the figure of historical Jesus – have highlighted one aspect or another of his personality and his public life. For example: the evangelist Matthew depicts a Jesus of great discourses or Luke a merciful Jesus etc.

The image of the mosaic struck me a lot, because it is not only a work of art, but also an inspired and creative work with different pieces of different colors and sizes, which together form the whole image of the mystery celebrated: Jesus Christ.


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