Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI's Verbum Domini summary continued Part One Verbum Dei

The document has three parts, and part one is titled Verbum Dei, the Word of God.

It has three main sections:

The God Who Speaks

Our Response to the God Who Speaks

The Interpretation of Sacred Scripture in the Church

Section one The God Who Speaks

Here Pope Benedict summarizes Catholic teaching about divine revelation. God reveals himself in many ways, and revelation comes to a high point in Christ. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, this revelation comes to us through the Church. The proper relationship of Scripture and Tradition is a key element. Here are the various parts under this first section. This will be a brief summary. I hope later to expand on some of these very beautiful points.

God in dialogue

God wants to speak to us. This dialogue comes to a high point in the Incarnation, when the Word became flesh. The Prologue of St. John's Gospel presents us with this beautiful gift of God's love.

The analogy of the word of God

The expression "word of God" has different meanings, since God reveals himself in different ways. Its high point refers to Jesus himself, the Word made flesh.
God also reveals himself through creation, the book of nature.
The history of salvation details the many ways God has spoken to us.
The preaching of the apostles and of the Church through the centuries is another facet.
Benedict makes the important point that "the Christian faith is not a 'religion of the book,'" as is sometimes said. Instead, "Christianity is the 'religion of the word of God,' not of 'a written and mute word, but of the incarnate and living Word.'" That is why receiving the Word within Tradition is so important. It comes to life especially when we hear it within the Church, in the liturgy in particular.

As an aside, sometimes it has happened to me that hearing a familiar Scripture text, one that I know very well, read in the liturgy puts it in a completely different light. Sometimes it's almost been as if I was hearing it for the first time. Those can be powerful moments when God calls us to a closer following of the Lord. Has that happened to you too?

I will add to this post later as there are more points to cover.


Ruth Ann said...

Yes, the experience you described about hearing a familiar Scripture passage read aloud at Mass or other liturgical event has happened to me often, and sometimes so profoundly it's life-changing.

Mawkhar Youths said...

What does it meant when the Holy father Said that we must read and Inter prate the Scriptures together with the church? would someone kindly shed light upon this?

Anonymous said...

There is a danger that people misunderstand the Bible! For example, a very zealous person may read Mt 18,8 and 9 and mutilate oneself with the good intention of not sinning at all or causing others to sin. Such an action is definitely wrong. But who will tell him/her that? That is why we need to learn to read the Bible and interpret it with the church and look to her for guidance. God bless you.