CHAPTER VIII The Word of God and the grace of communion
a. Because Scripture is intimately bound to the Church, the Christian community exercises an essential role in approaching the Word of God and gives the Word its authentic character. The Church becomes the criterion for the proper understanding of Tradition, since both the liturgy and catechesis draw their nourishment from the Bible. As previously mentioned, the have a direct, concrete power of appeal not possessed by other Church texts.
In the Heart of the Word of God, the Mystery of the Church
The formation of the faithful in receiving and communicating the Word of God is a particularly important pastoral commitment. refers to this duty by recalling the multi-faceted value of the Word of God and by clearly indicating the tasks, responsibilities and formation programme.
f. But the Word of God is not locked away in writing. Even though Revelation ended with the death of the last apostle(cf. 4), the Word-Revealed continues to be proclaimed and heeded throughout Church history. The Church has the responsibility to proclaim the Word to the whole world as a response to its need of salvation. In this way, the Word continues its course and its many forms of evangelization, where hold a high place. Preaching, in this sense, under the power of the Holy Spirit, is the Word of the living God communicated to living persons.
The Believer: One Who Hears the Word of God in Faith
To achieve this, appropriate support must be given to spreading Bible practice, in establishing Bible movements among the laity, providing for the formation of leaders of Bible groups, especially among the young (94), and teaching the faith through the Word of God, even to immigrants and those who are searching for meaning in life.
– the Church is born from the Word of God and lives by it;
53. The Church maintains that "easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful" ( 22) (92), because "every person has a right to the truth" (93). This is a prerequisite for mission today. Oftentimes, however, a true encounter with Scripture in the Church risks being lost because it is subjective and arbitrary. Consequently, pastoral activity must forcefully and credibly foster Sacred Scripture by proclaiming, celebrating and living the Word in the Christian community, engaging in dialogue with the cultures of our time, putting the Word at the service of truth and not current ideologies and promoting the dialogue which God desires to have with each person (cf. 21).
– the Word of God sustains the Church throughout her history;
Pope John Paul II stated: "The Word of God is the first source of all Christian spirituality. It gives rise to a personal relationship with the living God and with his saving and sanctifying will. It is for this reason that from the very beginning of Institutes of Consecrated Life, and in a special way in monasticism, what is called has been held in the highest regard. By its means the Word of God is brought to bear on life, on which it projects the light of that wisdom which is a gift of the Spirit " (91).
The Church is born and lives by the Word of God
Consecrated persons should make the biblical text the object of a daily and reference-point in personal and communal discernment in view of their work of evangelization. When a person begins to read Sacred Scripture–insists St. Ambrose–God comes to walk with him in the earthly paradise (88). The prayerful reading of the Word, done with the young, is the way leading to a renewed increase in vocations and a fruitful adherence to the Gospels and to the spirit of their founders, so much desired by the Second Vatican Council and recently proposed to persons in the consecrated life by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI (89). In particular, consecrated persons are to value their contact with the Word of God in the community, which will lead to fraternal communion and a joyous sharing of their experiences with God in their lives and will assist their growth in the spiritual life (90).
The Word of God Sustains the Church throughout History
52.have a special role in this programme of the Word of God in the life of the Christian people. The Second Vatican Council emphasizes that they, "in the first place, should have recourse daily to the Holy Scriptures in order that, by reading and meditating on Holy Writ, they may learn ‘the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ’ ( 3:8)" ( 6) and find renewed energy in their work of instruction and evangelization, especially among the poor, the lowly and the least, through the writings of the New Testament, "especially the Gospels, which are ‘the heart of all the Scriptures’...This will lead, in ways proper to each person's particular gifts, to setting up schools of prayer, spirituality and the prayerful reading of the Scriptures" (87).