This issue didn’t get as much notice as it deserved. One paragraph in the proposition, two sentences:
The importance of the Word of God in the sacraments of healing (Penance and Anointing) must be underlined. The Church must be the community that, reconciled by that Word that is Jesus Christ (cf. Ephesians 2:14-18; Colossians 1:22), offers all a space of reconciliation, of mercy and of forgiveness.
The link between the Eucharist and the Word got a lot of attention by the bishops–and deservedly so. In the preliminary synod documents, the role of the Word in the other sacraments was going to get some talk time. This point has already been covered on this blog in our examination of the sacraments of penance and anointing.
It has been stated elsewhere that if we were to look for imperfections in the content and implementation of Vatican II, rather than cast an eye on the trampled sensibilities of traditionalists, we could look where the pre-conciliar mindset hasn’t budged much. Proclamation of the Word at the celebration of penance is seen as optional, and the rite backs this up in form I.
Liturgically, the Word should get more attention for penance, especially, and anointing. Spiritually, a great opportunity is missed when penitents and sick believers are not more deeply connected with the Word of God, something they can draw on most easily in the times of preparation, during the torments of doubt, and in the experience of the healing process. For a minister to neglect Scripture is to call into question his or her ability to detach from a leader-centered service and entrust and enable the faithful to access the grace of Christ through ready means when they need it.