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Proposition 3 - Analogy "Verbi Dei"

The expression Word of God is analogical. It refers first of all to the Word of God in Person who is the Only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages, Word of God made flesh (cf. John 18) is the unique and definitive Word entrusted to humanity. To receive the Revelation, man must open his mind and heart to the action of the Holy Spirit that makes him understand the Word of God present in the sacred Scriptures. Man responds to God in full liberty with the obedience of the faith (cf. Romans 1:5; 2 Corinthians 10:5-6; "Dei Verbum," 5).

Mary, Mother of Jesus, personifies this obedience of the faith in an exemplary manner, she is also the archetype of the faith of the Church that hears and receives the Word of God.

Proposition 4 - Dialogical Dimension of Revelation

When dialogue refers to Revelation it implies the primacy of the Word of God addressed to man. In his great love, in fact, God willed to encounter humanity and took the initiative to speak to men calling them to share in his very life. The specificity of Christianity is manifested in the event of Jesus Christ, summit of Revelation, fulfillment of the promises of God and mediator of the encounter between man and God. He, "that has revealed God to us" (cf. John 1:18), is the unique and definitive Word entrusted to mankind. To receive the Revelation, man must open his mind and heart to the action of the Holy Spirit who makes him understand the Word of God present in the sacred Scriptures. Man responds to God in full liberty with the obedience of the faith (cf. Romans 1:5; 2 Corinthians 10:5-6; "Dei Verbum," 5).

Mary, Mother of Jesus, personifies this obedience of the faith in an exemplary way; she is also archetype of the faith of the Church that listens to and receives the Word of God.

Proposition 5 - Holy Spirit and Word of God

The sacred Scriptures, being a gift entrusted by the Holy Spirit to the Church Bride of Christ, have in the Church their own hermeneutical place.

The Spirit himself, who is Author of the sacred Scriptures, is also guide of their correct interpretation in the formation of the "fides Ecclesiae" through time.

The Synod recommended to pastors to remind all those baptized of the role of the Holy Spirit in inspiration (cf. "Dei Verbum," 11), in the interpretation and understanding of the sacred Scriptures (cf. "Dei Verbum," 12).

Consequently, all of us disciples are invited to invoke the Holy Spirit frequently, so that he will lead us to ever more profound knowledge of the Word of God and to the testimony of our faith (cf. John 15:26-27). They remind the faithful that the sacred Scriptures close evoking the common cry of the Spirit and the Bride: "Come Lord Jesus" (cf. Revelation 22:17-20).
Proposition 6 - Patristic reading of Scripture
Not to be neglected for the interpretation of the biblical text, is the Patristic reading of Scripture, which distinguishes two senses: literal and spiritual. The literal sense is that signified by the words of Scripture and found among the scientific instruments of critical exegesis. The spiritual sense concerns also the reality of the events of which Scripture speaks, taking into account the living Tradition of the whole Church and of the analogy of the faith, which implies the intrinsic connection of the truths of the faith among them and in the totality of the design of divine Revelation.
Proposition 7 - Unity between Word of God and Eucharist

It is important to consider the profound unity between the Word of God and the Eucharist (cf. "Dei Verbum," 21), as expressed by some particular texts, such as John 6:35-58; Luke 24:13-35, in such a way as to overcome the dichotomy between the two realities, which is often present in theological and pastoral reflection. In this way the connection with the preceding Synod on the Eucharist will become more evident.

The Word of God is made sacramental flesh in the Eucharistic event and leads Sacred Scripture to its fulfillment. The Eucharist is a hermeneutic principle of Sacred Scripture, as Sacred Scripture illumines and explains the Eucharistic mystery. In this sense the Synodal Fathers hope that a theological reflection on the sacramentality of the Word of God might be promoted. Without the recognition of the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, the intelligence of Sacred Scripture remains unfulfilled.

Proposition 8 - Word of reconciliation and conversion

The Word of God is word of reconciliation because in it God reconciles all things to himself (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Ephesians 1:10). God's merciful forgiveness, incarnated in Jesus, raises the sinner.

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 healing force of the Word of God is a living call to a constant personal conversion in the listener himself and an incentive to a courageous proclamation of reconciliation offered by the Father in Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

In these days of conflicts of all kinds and of inter-religious tensions, in fidelity to the work of reconciliation fulfilled by God in Jesus, Catholics are committed to give example of reconciliation, seeking to share the same human, ethical and religious values in their relationship with God and with others. Thus they seek to construct a just and peaceful society.
Proposition 9 - Encounter with the Word in reading sacred Scripture

This Synod re-proposes forcefully to all the faithful the encounter with Jesus, Word of God made flesh, as event of grace that reoccurs in the reading and hearing of the Sacred Scriptures. Taking up a thought shared by the Fathers, Saint Cyprian reminds: "Attend assiduously to prayer and to "lectio divina." When you pray you speak with God, when you read it is God who speaks with you" ("Ad Donatum," 15).

Hence, we sincerely hope that from this assembly a new season will spring of great love for sacred Scripture on the part of all the members of the People of God, so that from their prayerful and faithful reading in time the relationship with the very person of Jesus will be deepened. In this prospective, it is hoped -- in so far as possible -- that each of the faithful will personally possess the Bible (cf. Deuteronomy 17:18-20) and enjoy the benefits of the special indulgence connected with the reading of Scripture (cf. "Indulgentiarum Doctrina," 30).

Proposition 10 - The Old Testament in the Christian Bible

Jesus prayed the psalms and read the laws and the prophets, quoting them in his preaching and presenting himself as the fulfillment of Scripture (cf. Matthew 5:17; Luke 4:21; 24:27; John 5:46). The New Testament has drawn constantly from the Old Testament the words and expressions that allow it to recount and explain the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (cf. Matthew 1-2 and "Es passim"; Mark 6:3; Luke 24:25-31). At the same time, of the rest, his death and resurrection "gave these same texts a fullness of meaning that at first was inconceivable" (Pontifical Biblical Commission, "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church," III A 2).

Consequently, apostolic faith in Jesus is proclaimed "according to the Scriptures" (cf. 1 Corinthians 15) and presents Jesus Christ as the "yes" of God to all the promises (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:20).

For these reasons, knowledge of the Old Testament is indispensable for those who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because -- according to the word of St. Augustine -- the New Testament is concealed in the Old and the Old is revealed in the New (cf. "Quaestiones in Heptateucum," 2, 73).

Hence, we hope that in the preaching and in catechesis due account will be taken of the pages of the Old Testament, explaining it appropriately in the context of the history of salvation and help the People of God to appreciate it in the light of faith in Jesus Lord.

Proposition 11 - Word of God and charity toward the poor
One of the characteristic features of sacred Scripture is the revelation of God's predilection for the poor (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus of Nazareth, Word of God incarnate, went through this world doing good (cf. Acts 10:35). The Word of God, willingly received, generates abundantly in the Church charity and justice towards all, above all towards the poor.

As the encyclical "Deus Caritas Est" teaches, the first to have the right to the proclamation of the Gospel are in fact the poor, in need not only of bread but also of words of life. However, the poor are only the recipients of charity, but also agents of evangelization, in as much as they are open to God and generous in sharing with others. Pastors are called to listen to them, to learn from them, to guide them in their faith and to motivate them to be architects of their own history. Deacons in charge of the service of charity have a particular responsibility in this ambit. The Synod encourages them in their ministry.
Proposition 12 - Inspiration and truth of the Bible
The Synod proposes that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarify the concepts of inspiration and truth of the Bible, as well as their reciprocal relationship, in order to understand better the teaching of "Dei Verbum" 11. In particular, it is necessary to highlight the originality of the Catholic biblical hermeneutics in this field.
Proposition 13 - Word of God and natural law

The synodal fathers are well aware of the great challenges present in the current historical moment. One of these touches the enormous development that science has realized in regard to knowledge of nature.

Paradoxically, the more this knowledge increases the less one sees the ethical message that stems from the same. In the history of thought, ancient philosophers already used to call this principle "lex naturalis" or natural moral law. As Pope Benedict XVI has recalled, this expression seems to have been made incomprehensible today "because of a concept of nature that is no longer metaphysical, but only empirical. The fact that nature, being itself is no longer permeable to a moral message, creates a sense of disorientation that makes decisions of daily life precarious and uncertain" (Feb. 12, 2007).

In the light of the teaching of sacred Scripture, as recalled above all by the Apostle Paul in the Letter to the Romans (cf. Romans 2:14-15), it is good to underline that this law is written in the depth of the heart of each person and each one can access it. Its basic principle is that one must "do good and avoid evil"; a truth that is evidently imposed on all and from which other principles stem that regulate ethical judgment on the rights and duties of each one. It is good to recall that to be nourished by the Word of God also increases knowledge of the natural law and allows for progress of the moral conscience. Hence, the synod recommends to all pastors that they have special solicitude in which the ministers of the Word are sensitive to the rediscovery of the natural law and its function in the formation of consciences.


Van de 12e Gewone Bisschoppensynode over het Woord van God in het leven en de zending van de Kerk (Engelstalige versie)
Soort: Bisschoppensynodes
Auteur: Synodevaders
Datum: 25 oktober 2008
Copyrights: © 2008, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Bron: Zenit.org (vertaling vanuit de onofficiƫle Italiaanse versie)
Bewerkt: 7 november 2019


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