Dei Verbum 21

Now the council bishops turn to a final chapter, “Sacred Scripture In The Life Of The Church.” Let’s read it:

The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God’s word and of Christ’s body. She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles. Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture. For in the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her (children), the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life. Consequently these words are perfectly applicable to Sacred Scripture: “For the word of God is living and active” (Heb. 4:12) and “it has power to build you up and give you your heritage among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32; see 1 Thess. 2:13).

Some things of note:

  • The Scriptures are referred to as the “bread of life,” in direct association with a reference to the Eucharist
  • The Scriptures communicate and facilitate the grace of the Holy Spirit. In other words, they are a “s”acrament.
  • A reinforcement of this sacramentality is given, especially that the preaching ministry of the Church is to arise from the Word of God.

This underscores the value of Scripture in liturgy, and is undoubtedly the basis for the primacy of post-conciliar Bible preaching at Mass and at other liturgical celebrations.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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