By Cindy Wooden
Final Synod message says Catholics should own – and use – a Bible.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Devotion to the word of God must lead Catholics to prayer, concrete acts of charity, unity with other Christians and dialogue with all people of good will, said the world Synod of Bishops.
In their final message to the world’s Catholics, the 253 members of the synod said each Catholic should have a copy of the Bible, read it and pray with it regularly.
“Every home should have its own Bible and safeguard it in a visible and dignified way, to read it and to pray with it,” said the synod’s message, released on October 24.
And, like Jesus who came to proclaim hope and salvation, “the Christian has the mission to announce this divine word of hope by sharing with the poor and the suffering, through the witness of faith in the kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, and love and peace,” the synod said.
“Authentic hearing is obeying and acting. It means making justice and love blossom in life,” the message said.
It is not enough to explain the word of God to others, the bishops said, but people must let others see and experience the goodness of God through the good that they do.
Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and principal drafter of the message, told reporters that “if the word of God is love, then one who has read and prayed over the word must incarnate love. It must lead to communion, solidarity and dialogue.”
Nearing the end of a synod that featured for the first time a major address by the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the bishops also insisted that “veneration and love for the word of God” is “the principle and source of a first and real unity” that Catholics share with other Christians.