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SYNOD OF BISHOPS XII ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY THE WORD OF GOD IN THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH INSTRUMENTUM LABORIS VATICAN CITY 2008 PART III CHAPTER.

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Presentation on theme: "SYNOD OF BISHOPS XII ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY THE WORD OF GOD IN THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH INSTRUMENTUM LABORIS VATICAN CITY 2008 PART III CHAPTER."— Presentation transcript:

1 SYNOD OF BISHOPS XII ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY THE WORD OF GOD IN THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH INSTRUMENTUM LABORIS VATICAN CITY 2008 PART III CHAPTER VII The Word of God in serving and forming the People of God Holding Fast to Scripture (cf. DV 25) The formation of the faithful in receiving and communicating the Word of God is a particularly important pastoral commitment. Dei Verbum refers to this duty by recalling the multi-faceted value of the Word of God and by clearly indicating the tasks, responsibilities and formation program.

2 CHAPTER VII The Hunger and Thirst for the Word of God (cf. Am 8:11): Attention to the Needs of the People of God 46. Knowledge, understanding and practice of the Word are seen as needing consideration. Knowledge concerns the true nature of the Word and its means of communication, Scripture and Tradition, along with the service provided by the Magisterium.

3 CHAPTER VII The Hunger and Thirst for the Word of God (cf. Am 8:11): Attention to the Needs of the People of God 46. Though considerable work has been done since the Second Vatican Council, the need for clarity and certainty on what Revelation offers is truly great. As previously noted, the main problem in understanding is the interpretation and inculturation of the Word of God. Difficulties exist in biblical practice. Many people do not have a translation of the Bible available.

4 CHAPTER VII The Hunger and Thirst for the Word of God (cf. Am 8:11): Attention to the Needs of the People of God 46. Today, other aspects need to be borne in mind. For example, illiteracy in many parts of the world poses problems in reading. For many, learning depends primarily on seeing and hearing; as a result it is momentary and limited. In certain parts of the world the prevailing religious culture does not allow immediate access to the Bible.

5 CHAPTER VII "In Sacred Scripture, the marvelous condescension of eternal wisdom is clearly shown" (DV 13). 47. Evidence seems to show that the Spirit is recommending to the particular Churches to again read the documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially the four Constitutions, with Dei Verbum at the centre, and making them the object of catechesis for the entire People of God in such a way as to bring people to a better consciousness of them.

6 CHAPTER VII "In Sacred Scripture, the marvelous condescension of eternal wisdom is clearly shown" (DV 13). 47. The theology of revelation, the theology of Scripture, the relation of the Old to the New Testament and divine pedagogy are significant topics which can only be treated in a working program of catechesis and a structured study of the Bible.

7 CHAPTER VII "In Sacred Scripture, the marvelous condescension of eternal wisdom is clearly shown" (DV 13). 47. This requires, by necessity, a method of approach and vital supports. The Word of God can be heard in a variety of ways. The essential matter, however, is that the Word can truly touch hearts and become a living Word and not just a Word which is simply heard or known.

8 CHAPTER VII "In Sacred Scripture, the marvelous condescension of eternal wisdom is clearly shown" (DV 13). 47. Consequently, nothing can substitute for the habitual, patient dedication of a person to prayer. Simple assistance, accessible to everyone, and encouragement need to be offered. Various movements, Catholic Action among them, provide ways to apply the Word of God to everyday life.

9 CHAPTER VII "In Sacred Scripture, the marvelous condescension of eternal wisdom is clearly shown" (DV 13). 47. Today, the technology and the means which put people in contact with the Bible are many and generally well-done, including commentaries, introductory materials to the Bible, Bibles for children and young people, spiritual books and scholarly and popular magazines on the Bible, not to mention the vast field of simple and elaborate means which serve to communicate the Word of God.

10 CHAPTER VII "In Sacred Scripture, the marvelous condescension of eternal wisdom is clearly shown" (DV 13). 47. The Bread of the Word needs to be offered and made understandable to our brothers and sisters in the faith. This calls for solidarity between the particular Churches on various levels, including material support.

11 CHAPTER VII "In Sacred Scripture, the marvelous condescension of eternal wisdom is clearly shown" (DV 13). 47. All that concerns the new forms of communication requires fresh and proper thinking. Familiarity with the Sacred Scriptures is not an easy task. Like the minister of the Queen of Ethiopia, understanding the contents of a biblical text requires a pedagogy which begins in Scripture itself and leads to an understanding and acceptance of the Good News of Jesus (cf. Acts 8:26-40).

12 CHAPTER VII "In Sacred Scripture, the marvelous condescension of eternal wisdom is clearly shown" (DV 13). 47. Above all, such a program needs to follow creative and Gospel-inspired ways of putting into practice the teaching of Dei Verbum, which, in its time, provided an authentic qualitative and quantitative access to the Word of God contained in the Scriptures.

13 CHAPTER VII Bishops in the Ministry of the Word 48. The Second Vatican Council teaches that "bishops have the responsibility to give the faithful entrusted to them suitable instruction in the right use of the divine books" (DV 25). Consequently, according to the munus docendi of bishops, this task is directly related to the person of the bishop as both a hearer and servant of the Word (Cf. IOANNES PAULUS II, Adhort. Apost. Post-Syn. Pastores Gregis ( ), III: AAS 96 (2004) ).

14 CHAPTER VII Bishops in the Ministry of the Word 48. In the world of communications, the bishop ought to be a fit communicator of the wisdom contained in the Bible, not so much through his learning on the subject as his habitual contact with the sacred books, becoming thereby a guide for all those who open the Bible each day. Making the Word of God and the Sacred Scriptures the soul of his pastoral activity, the bishop is capable of bringing the faithful to encounter Christ, the Font of Life.

15 CHAPTER VII Bishops in the Ministry of the Word 48. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out the need to educate the people in reading and meditating on the Word of God as spiritual food, "so that, through their own experience, the faithful will see that the words of Jesus are spirit and life (cf. Jn 6:63)....

16 CHAPTER VII Bishops in the Ministry of the Word 48. We must build our missionary commitment and the whole of our lives on the rock of the Word of God. For this reason, I encourage the Bishops to strive to make it known " (BENEDICTUS XVI, Allocutio In Inauguratione Operum V Coetus Generalis Episcoporum Americae Latinae et Regionis Caraibicae ( ), 3; AAS 99 (2007) 450.).

17 CHAPTER VII Bishops in the Ministry of the Word 48. Therefore, the best way to foster a taste for the Sacred Scriptures is for the bishop himself to be formed by the Word of God. He has the continual possibility of helping the faithful taste Scripture. Each time he speaks to Christs faithful, especially priests, he can give some example and wisdom from Lectio Divina. If he engages in this practice regularly and presents it in a simple manner, the faithful will be led to true knowledge.

18 CHAPTER VII Bishops in the Ministry of the Word 48. Every Bible practice and every initiative to foster it surely the aim of the ministry of Pastors is to be considered the way of the Church and the basis of every devotion.

19 CHAPTER VII The Task of Priests and Deacons 49. Knowledge of and familiarity with the Word of God is also of prime importance for priests and deacons in their calling to the ministry of evangelization. The Second Vatican Council states that, by necessity, all the clergy, primarily priests and deacons, ought to have continual contact with the Scriptures, though assiduous reading and attentive study of the sacred texts, so as not to become idle preachers of the Word of God, hearing the Word only with their ears while not hearing it with their hearts (cf. DV 25; PO 4).

20 CHAPTER VII The Task of Priests and Deacons 49. In keeping with this conciliar teaching, canon law speaks of the ministry of the Word of God entrusted to priests and deacons as collaborators of the Bishop (Cf. CIC can. 757; CCEO, can. 608; 614.).

21 CHAPTER VII The Task of Priests and Deacons 49. By being in daily contact with the Word, priests and deacons draw the life necessary to resist being conformed to the mentality of the world and receive the ability wisely to discern personal matters and those of the community so that, in their apostolic activity, they can zealously guide the People of God in the ways of the Lord. Consequently, instruction and pastoral formation inspired by the Word of God are a necessity. Developments in biblical learning, various needs and the ever- changing pastoral situation demand an ongoing formation.

22 CHAPTER VII The Task of Priests and Deacons 49. The task of proclamation calls for recourse to specific initiatives, for example, a full appreciation of the Bible in all pastoral projects. In every diocese a biblical pastoral program, under the guidance of the bishop, can insert the Bible into the Churchs great initiatives in evangelization and catechesis. If this is done, the Word of God can be seen as the basis for and manifestation of communion among the clergy and laity, and, consequently, among parishes, communities of the consecrated life and ecclesial movements.

23 CHAPTER VII The Task of Priests and Deacons 49. From the vantage point of priestly service, seminary formation increasingly calls for a greater, up- to-date knowledge of exegesis and theology, a solid formation in the pastoral use of the Bible and a true and proper initiation into biblical spirituality, without neglecting an instruction in a passionate love for the Word expressed in service to the People of God. Members of the clergy, then, are asked to dedicate themselves to being students of Sacred Scripture, even through higher studies.

24 CHAPTER VII Various Ministries of the Word of God 50. Biblical and liturgical renewal requires servants of the Word of God, primarily in the liturgy and then in other forms of communicating the Bible. As for service in the liturgy, the ministry of the Word of God is realized in proclaiming the readings and, in a special way, in the homily.

25 CHAPTER VII Various Ministries of the Word of God 50. The proclamation of the Word in the liturgy is an office proper to the instituted ministry of lector. In his absence, a qualified lay man or woman can proclaim the readings. The homily is to be done only by an ordained minister (Cf. MISSALE ROMANUM, Institutio Generalis, 66, editio typica III, Typis Vaticanis 2002, p. 34.). In certain cases, canon law makes provisions for the laity to preach in a Church or oratory (Cf. CIC can. 766; CCEO, can. 614, § 3; 4.).

26 CHAPTER VII Various Ministries of the Word of God 50. Servants of the Word include catechists, the leaders of Bible groups and those who have a role in the formation of the laity in the liturgy, charitable activity and the teaching of religion in schools. The General Directory for Catechesis lists the required competencies. The matter of pastoral assistants is receiving special attention in all particular Churches, as seen in both the great hunger for Sacred Scripture and the difficulties encountered in rendering the services needed.

27 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. As members of the Church through Baptism and sharers in Christs priestly, prophetic and royal office, the lay faithful participate in the salvific mission which the Father entrusted to his Son for the salvation of all peoples (LG 34-36) (Cf. IOANNES PAULUS II, Adhot. Apost. Post-Syn. Christifideles Laici ( ), 8, 14: AAS 81 (1989) , ; CIC, can. 204; CCEO, can. 7, 1.).

28 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. Through exercising their mission, they "are made sharers in the appreciation of the Church's supernatural faith, that cannot err in matters of belief (LG 12) and sharers as well in the grace of the Word (cf. Acts 2:17-18; Rev 19:10).

29 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. They are also called to allow the newness and the power of the Gospel to shine out everyday in their family and social life (IOANNES PAULUS II, Adhot. Apost. Post-Syn. Christifideles Laici ( ), 14: AAS 81 (1989) 411.). In this way, their faithfulness to his Word contributes to building the Kingdom of God.

30 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. In exercising their mission in the world, the laity have the responsibility to proclaim the Good News to mankind in the everyday circumstances of their lives. In the prophetic style of Jesus of Nazareth, the proclamation of the Word of God "ought to appear to each person as a solution to his problems, an answer to his questioning, a widening of his values and an overall fulfillment to his aspirations" (PAULUS VI, Voti e norme per il IV Congresso Nazionale Francese dellinsegnamento religioso ( ): LOsservatore Romano ( ), p. 1.).

31 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. On their journey of encountering the Word of God, the lay faithful ought not to be passive listeners but active participants in every area touched by the Bible: in higher studies, in the service of the Word in the liturgy and catechetics and in leadership in various Bible groups.

32 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. The laitys service, however, calls for different competencies which require a specific biblical formation. The following are some special tasks: the Bible in the Christian initiation of children; the Bible in the pastoral care of youth, for example, in World Youth Days; and the Bible for the infirm, soldiers, and those in prison.

33 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. A privileged means of encounter with the God who speaks is catechesis within families which can be enhanced with the Bible passages and preparation of the readings of the Sunday liturgy. The familys task is to introduce children to Sacred Scripture through reading the great stories of the Bible, especially the life of Jesus, and through prayer inspired by the Psalms or other pertinent books.

34 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. Movements or groups, such as associations, aggregations and new communities, also deserve greater consideration. Though they be very different among themselves as to their methodology and fields of commitment, they share a common trait in rediscovering the Word of God and giving it a privileged place in their spiritual-pedagogical programs which sustain and nourish their spiritual lives.

35 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. They can provide effective formation programs which focus on a true assimilation of the Word of God. By placing great importance on the Word of God, they can teach their members how to live the privileged moment of the Churchs liturgy and engage in personal prayer. Within these groups praying the Office and Lectio Divina are also practiced as moments of spiritual nourishment.

36 CHAPTER VII The Task of the Laity 51. The task at-hand is to ensure that, in the course of this ardent encounter with the Word of God, ecclesial communion and charity are always exercised towards the faithful who do not belong to these groups

37 CHAPTER VII The Service of Consecrated Persons 52. Persons in the consecrated life have a special role in this program of the Word of God in the life of the Christian people.

38 CHAPTER VII The Service of Consecrated Persons 52. 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 (Phil 3:8)" (PC 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...

39 CHAPTER VII The Service of Consecrated Persons 52. 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" (IOANNES PAULUS II, Adhort. Apost. Post-Syn. Vita Consecrata ( ), 94: AAS 88 (1996) 469.).

40 CHAPTER VII The Service of Consecrated Persons 52. Consecrated persons should make the biblical text the object of a daily ruminatio 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 (Cf. S. AMBROSIUS, Epist. 49, 3: PL 16, 1154 B.).

41 CHAPTER VII The Service of Consecrated Persons 52. 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 (. BENEDICTUS XVI, Address for the World Day of Consecrated Life ( ): LOsservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, , pp. 2, 4.).

42 CHAPTER VII The Service of Consecrated Persons 52. 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 (Cf. IOANNES PAULUS II, Adhort. Apost. Post-Syn. Vita Consecrata ( ), 94: AAS 88 (1996) 469.).

43 CHAPTER VII The Service of Consecrated Persons 52. 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 Lectio Divina 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 " (Ibidem.).

44 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. The Church maintains that "easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful" (DV 22) (Cf. CIC, can. 825; CCEO, can. 662, § 1; 654.), because "every person has a right to the truth" (CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI, Doctrinal Notes on Some Aspects of Evangelization ( ): LOsservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, 19/ , pp ). This is a prerequisite for mission today.

45 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. 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. DV 21).

46 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. 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 (Cf. BENEDICTUS XVI, Message for the 21st World Youth Day ( ): LOsservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, ( ), p. 3.), and teaching the faith through the Word of God, even to immigrants and those who are searching for meaning in life.

47 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. Since "the first areopagus of the modern age is the world of communication, which is unifying humanity... The use of the media has become essential for evangelization and catechesis.

48 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. In fact, the Church would feel herself guilty before God if she did not take advantage of those powerful instruments... In them she finds in a new and more effective forum a platform or pulpit from which she can address the multitudes" (CONGREGATIO PRO CLERICIS, Directorium Generale pro Catechesi ( ), 160: Enchiridion Vaticanum 16, EDB, Bologna 1999, p. 844; Cf. PAULUS VI, Adhort Apost. Evangelii Nuntiandi ( ), 45: AAS 68 (1976) p. 35; IOANNES PAULUS II, Litt. Enc. Redemptoris Missio ( ), 37: AAS 83 (1991) pp ; CIC, can. 761; CCEO, can. 651 § 1.). (cf. NA 11).

49 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. Ample room is given in due proportion to new methods and forms of communication in the transmission of the Word of God, such as: radio, TV, theatre, cinema, music and songs, including the latest media, CD, DVD, Internet, etc. A good use of the media in pastoral activity requires serious, committed and trained persons.

50 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. The message must also be integrated into the "new culture" created by modern communication, with new elements, new techniques and a new psychology (CONGREGATIO PRO CLERICIS, Directorium Generale pro Catechesi ( ), 161: Enchiridion Vaticanum 16, EDB, Bologna 1999, p. 846;).

51 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. Finally, references should be made to the existence and work of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF), instituted in 1968 by Paul VI to propagate the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on the Word of God.

52 CHAPTER VII Everyone Should Have Access to the Word of God at All Times. 53. Finally, references should be made to the existence and work of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF), instituted in 1968 by Paul VI to propagate the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on the Word of God.


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