EG 174-175: Centered on the Word of God

Vasnetsov_Maria_MagdaleneLet’s get “Centered on the word of God.”

174. Not only the homily has to be nourished by the word of God. All evangelization is based on that word, listened to, meditated upon, lived, celebrated and witnessed to. The sacred Scriptures are the very source of evangelization. Consequently, we need to be constantly trained in hearing the word.

This is more about hearing the words of the Scriptures, but about hearing the Word in its many life contexts.

The Church does not evangelize unless she constantly lets herself be evangelized. It is indispensable that the word of God “be ever more fully at the heart of every ecclesial activity”.[Verbum Domini 1]

Liturgy is the first place many of us consider for the proclamation of the Word. But is it with us in our prayer lives, coupled with a devotional fervor many of us bring to other practices?

God’s word, listened to and celebrated, above all in the Eucharist, nourishes and inwardly strengthens Christians, enabling them to offer an authentic witness to the Gospel in daily life. We have long since moved beyond that old contraposition between word and sacrament. The preaching of the word, living and effective, prepares for the reception of the sacrament, and in the sacrament that word attains its maximum efficacy.

Everybody studies:

175. The study of the sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer.[Cf. Propositio 11] It is essential that the revealed word radically enrich our catechesis and all our efforts to pass on the faith.[Cf. Dei Verbum 21-22] Evangelization demands familiarity with God’s word, which calls for dioceses, parishes and Catholic associations to provide for a serious, ongoing study of the Bible, while encouraging its prayerful individual and communal reading.[Verbum Domini 86-87] We do not blindly seek God, or wait for him to speak to us first, for “God has already spoken, and there is nothing further that we need to know, which has not been revealed to us”.[BENEDICT XVI, Address during the First General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops (8 October 2012): AAS 104 (2012), 896] Let us receive the sublime treasure of the revealed word.

Did I write “studies”? There’s that. We do live in some kind of an age of reason. Bringing the Bible to one’s prayer life is also vital. And let’s not forget that the encounter with the Word is not just a liturgical or spiritual exercise for individuals and groups. We are also urged to make the connection between the Word we encounter with faith and love and the Word we bring to seekers and non-believers. Hopefully this evolves into more than a rationalistic Christianity of competent knowledge. There is the relationship with the person Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium is totally accessible online.

About catholicsensibility

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