Now let us turn our attention more particularly to the word of God. The Sacred Text specifically is not meant to simply be read on a surface level, but rather it transcends our mind and heart to the reality of God himself. It is meant to draw us into an authentic communion with God. Therefore the words are like a sacrament which have the effect of a salvific encounter. They bring us in a sense face to face with God. The words read in the Spirit of faith transcend the letter guiding us into the life of the Trinity. “There is an inner drama in this process, since the passage that takes place in the power of the Spirit inevitably engages each person’s freedom” (1). In listening to God through the Scriptures we enter upon salvation history taking place here and now. There are people who will listen and be converted. Also those who hear the Word proclaimed, but deny Him essential. Through it all, to grasp the reality at hand, the person led by the Spirit is drawn to transcend the historical text to encounter the living presence of the God of history. For the Sacred Text is God condescending to the level of man. In this process, God enters into a saving dialogue in which the creature may receive the Word who saves. Just as human words convey the interior invisible reality of the human person, the Sacred Scriptures reveal the interior life of God. From the letter the person transcends toward the reality. In the words of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, “No sooner do I glance at the Gospel, but immediately I breathe in the fragrance of the life of Jesus.”(2)
In understanding the transcendence of the word of God we must grasp that the Church received it first. For Sacred Scripture was developed in the Church through eye witnesses who walked and talked with God as it was in the Garden of Eden. The Sacred Scriptures point to and draw us into a real relationship with the triune God. This is why Sacred Scripture is “living and active” (3). The words do not draw there source from simply a human creature, but rather the Author of life itself. It is the words of the living God who through a particular act of love condescended in such a way to speak as “a man to men” (4) in Christ. In this way when the Church listens and receives the word of God in reverence and honor she receives the living God into her bosom. This allows the Church to follow Christ authentically and bring forth the message of salvation to the world in the unique dimension of the New Eternal Covenant. For the Church proclaims the truth about God by first receiving His word, and recognizing the voice of her Creator and Savior. For “God, who spoke of old, uninterruptedly converses with the bride of His beloved Son” (5). In the liturgy of the Church, Christ’s presence becomes recognized through the devout listening of His words and becomes ever clearer through His sacramental presence.
1. Pope Benedict XVI 2010. Post-synodal apostolic exhortation ‘Verbum Domini’ to the bishops, clergy, consecrated persons and the lay faithful on the word of God in the life and mission of the church. Vatican City: Sec. 38
2. Pope Benedict XVI 2010. Post-synodal apostolic exhortation ‘Verbum Domini’ to the bishops, clergy, consecrated persons and the lay faithful on the word of God in the life and mission of the church. Vatican City: Sec. 48
3. Hebrews 4:12
4. Pope Paul VI 1965. Dei Verbum: “On Divine Revelation”: the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of Vatican Council, Vatican City: Sec. 4
5. Pope Benedict XVI 2010. Post-synodal apostolic exhortation ‘Verbum Domini’ to the bishops, clergy, consecrated persons and the lay faithful on the word of God in the life and mission of the church. Vatican City: Sec. 8