“Verbum domini manet in aeternum” (1 Pet 1: 25)

The Almighty has deigned to reveal Himself to humanity in various and manifold ways throughout history. The marvels of nature unceasingly declare His glory and proclaim His handiwork. The Sacred Scripture contains the recorded self-revelation of the author of life, written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For the composition of the Sacred books, God chose and made use of the hagiographers who even while employing their faculties and abilities, wrote all and only those things which God wanted to be written. The word of God could be compared to a hymn with many voices proclaimed in a variety of ways and forms due to the plurality it exhibits with regard to authorship, themes, date and context of composition etc. Through this written  revelation, the invisible God out of the abundance of His love speaks to the humankind as friends and lives among them, so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself. Dei Verbum 21 says, “ In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the Word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life.”

‘Verbum caro factum est’, the word became flesh to reveal through words and deeds, the mystery of God to humanity. Jesus is the personification of the eternal Logos, the Word of God incarnate. For this reason, the Church has always venerated the written Word of God as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body. According to CCC 112, “The phrase ‘heart of Christ’ can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known His heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.” There is intrinsic, inseparable unity between the Old and the New Testaments. Hence the interpretation of the Old Testament is to be always done in the light of Christ crucified and risen, whereas the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old.

Without the efficacious working of the ‘Spirit of Truth’ (John 14:16), the Word of God cannot be fully understood. Human intellect may be able to grasp the raw concepts and logical content set down in the Holy bible, but a real appreciation of the spiritual implications of the biblical truth is impossible without the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Hence St. Jerome was firmly convinced that, “We cannot come to an understanding of Scripture without the assistance of the Holy Spirit who inspired it.” The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Holy Spirit. First and foremost of all cautious attention is to be paid to the content and unity of the whole Scripture. Secondly the Scripture should be read within the living tradition of the whole Church and finally reasonable consideration should be paid to the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation. “ Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it”. (Luke 11:28) What does it mean to be blessed? The Greek word for blessed used here is ‘makarioi’. In ancient Greek times, this word referred to the gods. Later it was used to refer to the elite, the upper crust of society. In the Septuagint, it denoted the results of right living or righteousness. In all these meanings, the blessed ones are placed in a higher plane than the rest. Hearing and obeying the Word of God raises one to the status of a ‘makarios’. Let us not shy away from relishing the divine Word regularly. Everyday, no matter how busy we are let us set apart a few minutes to read the Holy Bible and to listen to the Lord consoling, instructing, admonishing, and loving us through His dynamic and ever living Word.

Hidden within the pages of the Holy Bible is the wellspring of divine life, which has the power to transfigure the face of the earth and to renew all things. The parable of the sower in Mtt 13: 1- 9, the ‘mother of all other parables’ highlights the fact that the efficacy of the Word of God depends on the type of soil in which it is sown rather than the generously distributed Word itself. In the epistle to the Hebrews we read about the power of the Scripture, “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12). God’s living Word with its power to transform has the capacity to penetrate to the depth of our being. It is a Living Word, a word vibrant with life, a word that carries the power of life, and the power of transformation, a persistent word : a word that is active in us until our very spirit and soul, joints and marrow are divided or parted i.e., until death. But this Word can become fruitful only if the thoughts and intentions of the recipient is aligned with God’s desires and when one’s actions express that alignment. May the Divine Sower transform our lives into the ‘good soil’ in which he plants the word, so that it may bear within us the fruits of holiness, “thirtyfold, sixtyfold, a hundredfold” (Mk 4:20). May the light of the Sacred Scripture illuminate and purify our intellect, will and memory, renovating our inner selves into His likeness. O’ Lord grant us the grace to never lose sight of the ‘heart of Christ’ because “ The unfolding of  your words give light; it gives understanding to the simple” ( Ps. 119: 130).