Pope Benedict has issued the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini [The Word of the Lord], the most important Church document devoted to Sacred Scripture since the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), which was promulgated in 1965.
Full text is over 200 pages. The ending is included here on AirMaria since it relates to Mary, Mother of God and so Mother of Joy:
“ Mater Verbi et Mater laetitiae ”
124. This close relationship between God’s
word and joy is evident in the Mother of God.
Let us recall the words of Saint Elizabeth: “ Blessed
is she who believed that there would be a fulfi
lment of what was spoken to her by the Lord ”
(Lk 1:45). Mary is blessed because she has faith,
because she believed, and in this faith she received
the Word of God into her womb in order
to give him to the world. The joy born of the
Word can now expand to all those who, by faith,
let themselves be changed by God’s word. The
Gospel of Luke presents this mystery of hearing
and joy in two texts. Jesus says: “ My mother and
my brothers are those who hear the word of God
and do it ” (8:21). And in reply to a woman from
the crowd who blesses the womb that bore him
and the breasts that nursed him, Jesus reveals the
secret of true joy: “ Blessed rather are those who
hear the word of God and obey it! ” (11:28). Jesus
points out Mary’s true grandeur, making it possible
for each of us to attain that blessedness which
is born of the word received and put into practice.
I remind all Christians that our personal and
communal relationship with God depends on our
growing familiarity with the word of God. Finally,
I turn to every man and woman, including those
who have fallen away from the Church, who have
left the faith or who have never heard the proclamation
of salvation. To everyone the Lord says:
“ Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone
hears my voice and opens the door, I will
come in to him and eat with him, and he with me ”
May every day of our lives thus be shaped
by a renewed encounter with Christ, the Word
of the Father made fl esh: he stands at the beginning
and the end, and “ in him all things hold
together ” (Col 1:17). Let us be silent in order to
hear the Lord’s word and to meditate upon it, so
that by the working of the Holy Spirit it may remain
in our hearts and speak to us all the days of
our lives. In this way the Church will always be
renewed and rejuvenated, thanks to the word of
the Lord which remains for ever (cf. 1 Pet 1:25;
Is 40:8). Thus we too will enter into the great
nuptial dialogue which concludes sacred Scripture:
“ The Spirit and the bride say: ‘Come’.
And let everyone who hears say: ‘Come!’ ” The
one who testifi es to these things, says: ‘Surely I
am coming soon!’. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! ”.
(Rev 22:17, 20).
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 30 September,
the Memorial of Saint Jerome, in the year
2010, the sixth of my Pontificate.