The Living Word
This month we are going to talk a little about connecting with scripture. One of what might be called the core documents of the Second Vatican Council is the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, or Dei verbum
. As its title suggests, this document addresses the nature of divine revelation, or the way God communicates with us. It is a complex and thoughtful document, well worth a closer look if you have the time and interest. For our purposes here, the important take home is the way that Dei verbum
informs our faith life and fosters our connection to God. This document opens the scriptures to us and calls us to make the word of God a living part of our faith life. The scriptures are described as the authentic self-revelation of God, through human authors, inspired by the Spirit. Let’s unpack that a little. We believe that the scriptures are a direct connection to God but that they were also written by people (like the Apostles, prophets, and evangelists) who, while inspired by the Holy Spirit, are human authors with human lives in historical contexts. So, understanding the word of God is a process of learning and inquiry, of growing closer to God, which we do with the help of our priests and teachers. We are called to engage in this process, to take part in the revelation of the living word.
How Can You Get Started?
Read ahead and reflect: each week the readings for the next Sunday are published in the church bulletin. Take some time during the week before you come to Mass to read them and reflect on their message. You can also find a list of the weekly readings in the bulletin or link to them online for text or audio. Take a look at how the readings move through the week between Sundays.
Listen and act: sometimes we have a tendency to think of the Eucharist as the focal point of our participation in Mass. But at least half of the Mass is the Liturgy of the Word! Actively engage in listening to the readings and participating in the psalm. Think about how they are connected—or wonder about why you think they are not. Let the homily help you see new connections and inspire you to new ways to act on what you hear.
Try the Question of the Week: after Mass, take some time to review the Question of the Week in the bulletin. You will find an at a glance citation for the Sunday readings in case you need a refresher and then a set of questions for adult, youth, and child reflection. Sometimes they will reflect what you might hear in the homily; sometimes they might take a different tack. Try it out and see if they give you new perspectives.