Pope: the Word of God is alive and gives life and calls us go beyond ourselves
Receiving the participants at the International Congress organized by the Catholic Biblical Foundation, Francis underlined that "in the Church the Word is an irreplaceable injection of life. For this reason homilies are fundamental ", which are not an exercise in rhetoric, but" sharing of the Spirit ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Word of God "is alive and gives life", "remains young before all that passes", "brings the breath of God into the world", "preserves us from self-sufficiency and triumphalism , it continually calls us to come out of ourselves ".
Today's audience with participants in the International Congress organized by the Catholic Biblical Foundation (CBF) on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation, gave Pope Francis an opportunity to reflect on the theme of the Bible and life.
Taking inspiration from the theme of the Congress "The Bible and life: the biblical inspiration of pastoral life and the mission of the Church - Experiences and challenges", Francis in fact underlined the inseparability of the Bible and life binomial.
The Word of God, he said, "is alive and gives life. It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit, the Life-Giver, loves to work through Scripture. The Word brings the breath of God into the world, infuses the warmth of the Lord in the heart ".
And, he continued, "the Bible is not a beautiful collection of sacred books to study, it is the Word of life to sow, a gift which the Risen One asks us to receive and to share so that there may be life in His name (see Jn 20:31)" .
"In the Church the Word is an irreplaceable injection of life. This is why homilies are fundamental. Preaching is not an exercise in rhetoric and not even a set of wise human notions," …" it is instead sharing of the Spirit (see 1 Cor 2: 4), of the divine Word that touched the heart of the preacher, who communicates that warmth, that anointing. So many words flow daily to our ears, transmitting information and giving multiple inputs; many, perhaps too many, to the point of often overcoming our capacity to welcome them. But we cannot renounce the Word of Jesus, the one Word of eternal life (see Jn 6:68), which we need every day ".
"It is the desire of the Spirit to shape us as a Church" formed-Word ": a Church that does not speak for itself or for itself, but that has the Lord in its heart and on its lips, that daily draws from His Word. Instead, the temptation is always to announce ourselves and to talk about our dynamics, but this way life is not transmitted to the world ”.
"The Word gives life to each believer by teaching them to renounce themselves in order to announce Him. In this sense, he acts like a sharp sword that, entering in depth, discerns thoughts and feelings, brings to light the truth, hurts to heal (see Heb. 4 , 12; Job 5.18) that vivifies. A Church that questions, that does not let lie. A Church that lives in listening to the Word never relies on its certainties. It is docile to the unpredictable novelty of the Spirit. It never tires of announcing, it does not give in to disappointment, it does not give up in promoting communion at every level, because the Word calls to unity and invites each one to listen to the other, overcoming our particularisms ".
"The Church that feeds on the Word, therefore, lives to proclaim the Word. We do not talk about ourselves, but we descend into the streets of the world: not because they like them or are easy, but because they are the places of proclamation ". "The divine Word, which comes from the Father and flows into the world, pushes it to the ends of the earth. The Bible is its best vaccine against closure and self-preservation. It is the Word of God, not ours, and it removes us from being at the center, preserving us from self-sufficiency and triumphalism, constantly calling us to come out of ourselves. The Word of God possesses a centrifugal force, not a centripetal one: it does not cause us to fall back, but pushes us outside, towards those who have not yet been reached. It does not ensure warm comforts, because it is fire and wind: it is Spirit that ignites the heart and shifts horizons, dilating them with its creativity "