|Written by Michael Fones|
|Monday, 06 October 2008 18:22|
The other day I expressed a hope that the synod in Rome on the Scriptures would "focus on calling Catholics to discipleship and the intentional following of Jesus." It appears that the relator, or moderator of the synod is calling for just that - and more. Here's a quote from John Allen's coverage of the synod.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec City, the relator of the synod, issued a strong call for what he called “spiritual exegesis” of the Bible, premised not just on cognitive understanding but, above all, on personal faith and commitment (emphasis mine).I am pleased by both the emphasis on reading scripture as an expression of our relationship with Christ - as well as a means to deepen it - and by the contextualization of it within the Eucharist. As the sacramental re-presentation of the Last Supper and Jesus' atoning death on the cross, it only makes sense that we listen to him speak to us today, in our context, just as he spoke to his disciples in theirs. He then feeds us, like them, with his body and blood.
Ouellet proposed a new “Marian paradigm” for Scripture study – using the Virgin Mary as a model of a response to God’s Word that, in his words, is “dynamic,” “dialogical,” and “contemplative.”
Among other things, Ouellet argued that the Bible has to be seen as part of a broader relationship with Jesus Christ, the “living Word of God,” that’s both personal and also rooted in the community of the church (again, my emphasis). "Christianity is not really a 'religion of the Book,' Ouellet said, but rather a “religion of the Word – not solely or mainly of the Word in its written form.” ... Ouellet placed great stress on reading the Bible within the context of the liturgy, especially the Eucharist, as well as the fathers of the church and the great saints. He called the liturgy the “crib” of God’s word, its “Sitz im Leben” – a technical term from Bible studies that means its social context.
That "speaking to our hearts" in the context of the liturgy must continue throughout the week as we sit and contemplate his word to us in both the Old and New Testaments.