XII Ordinary General Assembly Of The Synod Of Bishops, 5-26 October 2008 - Kidane YEBIO, Bishop of Keren (ERITREA)

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YEBIO, Kidane

Città del Vaticano       11/10/2008

As it is known that, the Church form the very beginning considers the OT as part and parcel of the one Christian Bible and an integral part of Revelation. And hence, the Bible is singularly united to the Word of God. The Bible itself attests to the intentional identification of the Word of God with Scripture. The Word of God as it is illustrated in the letter to Hebrews 4:12-13; is a living, effective reality, it is eternal (Is 40:8). All powerful (Wis 18:15) a creative force (cfr. Gen 1:3ff) and originator of History. This Word is, the Word of God who is Jesus Christ, God and Man. The Son is the Eternal Word, ever present in God, because He himself is God (cfr. Jh I:1).
Knowledge of the OT as the Word of God, seem to be the real challenge of our times, in terms of its relationship to the mystery of Christ and the Church. Despite the many Bible translations in different languages, the free or charged distribution of Bibles, still the OT is the least read part of the Bible and the least understood in our Catholic world. The reading milieu is different in different circumstances:
- At individual level: many are reluctant to take up passages from the OT which appear incomprehensible, leading to their being arbitrarily selected or never read at all
- At Community or Parish level: In some Churches, in the liturgical practices, there is no provision for OT readings, and hence, there is no chance to hear of this Part of Word of God even in homilies.
Therefore, such a situation, urgently requires the following:
- Prepare the clergy, the religious and the Catechists, to know better the Bible in its totality.
- Translate the Bible into local languages, and encourage the faithful to read the Bible individually, in family and in a community
- Develop a formation centered on a reading of the OT with Christ in mind, which acknowledges the bond between the two testaments and the permanent value of the OT (DV nn.15-16).

- Introduce OT readings in the liturgical practices, and the homilies should include OT references in the light of the NT, which always proclaims the Sacred Text of the OT as essential for understanding the NT, as witnessed by Jesus himself in the episode of Emmaus, in which the Master "beginning with Moses and all the Scriptures the things concerning himself' Lk 24:27.

[00169-02.02] [IN145] [Original text: English]

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