Day 27 of 40: A faith prepared comes from knowledge, study, and paying attention. I can pay attention to the gospel reading, which will prepare my faith, or I can wait for it to be over. Also, there is more to the Bible than the epistle and gospel readings.
St. John Chrysostom wrote on the problem of scripture. He stated that the lack of scriptural knowledge is the source of evil in the church. We must equip our faithful with knowledge of the scripture. One of the best ways to do this is with a Bible Study. I recommend weekly meetings during the school year, maybe in conjuction with Sunday school?
We must teach the scripture to our congregation. If we are going to teach the laity that they need to embrace the interpretation of scriptures according to the church, then we need to teach them that interpretation.
Think on this: it is rare and difficult to preach a homily on all of the scripture in the Bible, because we have a set list of readings for the gospel and epistle. Not only that, our homilies are not designed for discussion. Your introverts will learn from homilies alone, while your extroverts need to have dialogue about scripture to internalize it.
I hope you are beginning to see why we need Bible Studies and why they should be a natural part of the life of a parish. Side note: a Bible Study can also be a great way to gauge if there is interest in that area to start a mission. This is done by having home groups in different geographic areas around your church. Many of our churches are spread out. Helping laity form home groups with the purpose of a Bible Study is a healthy way to help them grow.
Remember, without scriptural knowledge we cannot have a faith prepared.