Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
For many believers The Bible is another object in our bookshelf above TV.
For some others who dare to read it, feel horrified because they see the violence in the Old Testament. They then, stop reading it and forget about it.
On the other hand, a third category of people, thousands of Christians, read the Gospel of the day proposed by Church without having had anyone who had taught them to meditate or to follow a spiritual itinerary.
For those who follow a spiritual itinerary and start to read it, they may not find it easy at the beginning to bind together the words of Jesus in the Gospel with their daily life.
● With a Little bit of patience the “servants of God” may have gradually got used to the Gospel stories and the Word of God starts to be familiar to them. The Holy Spirit acts.
● It won´t be too long, almost imperceptibly, if we persevere, everything will start talking to us, not only the Gospel but also the New Testament and later the Old Testament. The Bible will become the book of our life, a guide where we can find the Word of God and understand many of the realities in our life, of the Church and of the world.
● According to Teresa of Jesus those who on a regular basis live the prayer of recollection start to distinguish the Persons of the Trinity, to address to either one or another, to show their preferences…That is, to find their personal way.
● They won´t either have any difficulty to go down deep inside, to the “centre”, and she will enjoy her qualities and beauty without feeling superior to anyone, knowing that everything has been given.
● Those people will make their mind up again and again to follow Jesus Christ and look like Him with all their limitations, knowing that the Lord has embraced their miseries at the foot of the Cross. They are learning to live in a different way.
● They practise the sacraments regularly, they live the Eucharist in community, help as much as they can to make a better world with their jobs and maybe as volunteer jobs. It´s a slow but sure path.
● They have looked for and may have probably found the possibility of sharing with others in a group of Christians what they have learnt. At no point will they neglect the growth of virtues, as they know that without transformation of the heart according to Jesus´ image, there is no improvement.
● The Word of God in this favourable situation has a high priority in our life. I now want to refer to it by following the indications of The Catholic Church.
Pope Francis on the 30th of September 2019 signed a short Apostolic Letter entitled “Aperuit Illis. He opened their minds”
Its reading can help us understand better the importance that from now on The Word of God will have in us. He institutes a Sunday devoted to the Word of God and quotes sentences from the Bible and from the Fathers of the Church which can be useful for us. He also refers to two more documents of crucial importance. I copy some of the more significant paragraphs, and the email address of the other two documents:
● “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Lk 24:45). This was one of the final acts of the risen Lord before his Ascension (…) The relationship between the Risen Lord, the community of believers and sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians. Without the Lord who opens our minds to them, it is impossible to understand the Scriptures in depth. Yet the contrary is equally true: without the Scriptures, the events of the mission of Jesus and of his Church in this world would remain incomprehensible. Hence, Saint Jerome could rightly claim: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Prologue: PL 24,17B).
With those pages, always worth to be meditated and lived, the nature of the Holy Scriptures clearly emerge, its handing on to all generations (chap. II) , its divine inspiration (chap. III) which covers Old and New Testament (chaps. IV y V) and its importance in the life of the Church (chap. VI).
To widen this knowledge, Benedict XVI convened an Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2008 about the topic “The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church” and published as an apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini which is a vital teaching for our communities.In this Document in particular goes deeper into The Word of God´s performative character, especially when its nature specifically sacramental emerges in the liturgical action .
The Bible, thus, as Sacred Scripture, talks about Christ and announces Him as the One who has to bear sufferings to enter into glory (cf.v.26). No just one part, but the whole Scripture talks about Him. His death and resurrection are indecipherable without it. That is why one of the oldest confessions of faith highlights the fact that Christ “died for our sins according to the Scriptures; that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures; and that he appeared to Cephas” (1 Cor.15:3-5).
As the Scriptures talk about Christ, help us to believe that His death and resurrection don´t belong to mythology, but to History and are the core centre of his disciples´ faith.
There is a profound bond links sacred Scripture and the faith of believers.
“Since faith comes from hearing, and what is heard is based on the word of Christ” (cf. Rom 10:17), believers are bound to listen attentively to the word of the Lord, both in the celebration of the liturgy and in their personal prayer and reflection.”
Address of “Aperuit Illis. He opened their minds”
Address of Verbum Domini
Address of Dei Verbum