שמע ׳שראל ׳הוה אלה׳נו ׳הוה אחד
ואהבת את ׳הוה אלה׳ן בכל־לבבן בכל־נפשן ובכל־מאדן
The cryptic message above is taken from the Old Testament, in its original language, and is the heart of Israel’s faith response to all of God’s revelations. For generations, only the Israelites knew how powerful yet how loving Yahweh is. Only they enjoyed the privilege of having a relationship with Him. Only they knew what Yahweh expected from His children.
Then a group of people translated the Law, the Prophets and the Writings into the common language, Greek. As a result, people’s eyes were opened, and gentiles accepted the message and began putting into practice God’s commandments.
Years later, the Old Testament and the recently compiled New Testament (written in Greek) were translated into Latin, the universal language at that time. Again, the translation resulted in the conversion of thousands who accepted the Bible’s message.
Translating the Bible in a language people understand is indeed very effective in drawing people to God and transforming their lives.
St. Francis of Assisi had his own translation of the Bible too. So did Teresa of Avila. And St. Ignatius of Loyola. And Mother Teresa of Calcutta. And all saints canonized by the Church and those yet to be canonized.
You want to know the meaning of the cryptic message above? Just read about the lives of the people I just mentioned and you’ll understand what it means, because they gave it the best translation of all.
They translated it into action.
Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only God.
You must love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)