The 12th world synod of Bishops is being convoked by his holiness pope Benedict XVI, to be held on 5-26 of Oct.2008. Pope Benedict XVI decided to dedicate this synod to reflect the mystery of the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church. This theme has been considered a priority by the universal Church. In Europe and Asian countries, the preparations for the World synod of Bishops in various levels of the Church are found underway. National, Regional and in the Local levels of the Church and in the various forums, an organized preparation is called for and carried out, in order to make the world synod of Bishop on Bible a grant success. I don’t find so for any organized way of preparation is done any of the parishes in the diocese of Los Angeles or in any dioceses in USA as it was done for year of the Eucharist, in 2005. “I have no idea about it,” said, a parishioner in Corpus Christi Parish at Pacific Palisades, in L.A.

People today display a great need to listen to God and speak with him. At present, Christians are eagerly seeking the Word of God as the source of life and as a means of encountering the Lord in a personal manner. As we read in Dei Verbum-2, the unseen God interacts in this personal encounter, “out of the abundance of his love; [he] speaks to humankind as friends and lives among them, so that he may invite and take them into fellowship with himself.”

In the continuing process of God’s breathing forth his Word, this 12th synod Assembly is being convoked by the Catholic Church in connection with preceding synods of Bishops [1965-2006]. The upcoming synod of Bishops on Scripture is going to reflect on the need to inculcate in the minds of the Catholic faithful to live and breathe the richness of the Bible. The main theme of the synod would be “The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church.” The synod wishes to reverently contemplate this mystery of the Word, God’s greatest gift, to render thanks for it, to meditate upon it and to proclaim it to all members of the Church and all people of good will.

2. More specifically, this synod wishes to set forth the intrinsic connection between the Eucharist and the Word of God and to insist the need that the Church must receive its nourishment from the one “bread of life from the table of both God’s Word and Christ’s body. This is the synod’s underlining purpose and primary goal, namely, to fully encounter the Word of God in Jesus the Lord, present in the Sacred Scripture and in the Eucharist. St. Jerome states that the Lord’s flesh is real food and his blood is real drink. To nourish ourselves with his flesh and drink with his blood means both the Eucharist and the reading of Sacred Scripture. In fact, the Word of God, drawn from the knowledge of the Scriptures is the real food and real drink. Do you believe it?

Forty years after the historical Vatican council, questions arise as to what are the fruits of the conciliar document, ‘DEI VERBUM’, in our Catholic communities and whether this Dogmatic constitution has really been taken to heart. With regard to Word of God, many positive things have clearly taken place in the lives of the people of God; for example, Biblical renewal in the liturgy, theology and catechesis, the distribution and practice of the Bible by the biblical apostolate and efforts of communities and ecclesial movements and the increased use of the instruments of today’s communication media.

However, something still poses problems or still remains an open question. The lack of knowledge and uncertainty regarding the teachings of the Revelation are deep concern. Many Catholics still remain without any contact with Bible. Without the truth of God’s Word, relativism becomes alluring in people’s lives and thinking. This situation in the Catholic Church urgently warrants a total and complete knowledge of the Church’s teaching concerning the Word of God. It also requires employing suitable methods in providing all Christians with opportunities to encounter Sacred Scripture. Today, the Church must take up the new ways suggested by the Spirit through this world synod of Bishops in order to become the Word of truth and Love for all people.

We have all sorts of books with us and we don’t hesitate to buy them however they are costly if they are interesting and informative. But it is a great shock to know that some of the Catholic families don’t have

Bible with them. Why don’t the Catholics have not realized that the proper approach to the Word of God develop a dynamic knowledge of belonging to

the Church, the body of Christ and prompt a genuine participation in the

mission of the Church? Do we insist that our Sunday catechesis and school catechism should be based on the Word of God? Do American Catholics like

Biblical sermons and bible based liturgical programs? What does the Church do for the ongoing formation of the laity to make them to realize that the Word of God is the source of life?

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him.” [col3; 16-17].

The primary purpose of this upcoming synod is pastoral, namely, spreading and strengthening the encounters with Word of God; Leading to experience the Word of God as source of life in everyday circumstances and devising true and available ways in which Christians and people of good will can listen to God and speak with him. The synod desires to give the Word of God as food to the people of God. And it aims to foster a proper approach to Biblical hermeneutics. It also intends and desires to encourage ecumenical dialogue, which is closely linked to listening to the Word of God and to promote an encounter and dialogue, not only with Christians and Jews but also those engaged in inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue.

The secretary-general of the synod of Bishops, Archbishop Eterovic suggested that theme of Scripture needs deepening 40 years after the Vatican Council dogmatic constitution “Dei Verbum.”

“The synod’s date is a happy coincidence with Benedict’s call for a year of St. Paul. And with St. Paul, also we are invited to rediscover and proclaim the Word of God.” said Eterovic.

As Catholics are concerned, the only point of contact with Sacred Scripture is in the Sunday liturgy. This is positive but a lot more is needed in order to drive the people of God to breathe the richness of Scripture. The faithful have to be guided and taught to know how to translate the biblical implications into their personal, family and social life. Thus the Word of God will have a more evident impact.

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