.- The Word of God is not the "word of the past," but continues to address the circumstances of modern man, taught the Holy Father on Wednesday. The contents of the Bible, he said, are the "stimulus and source of Christian life for all situations and every person."
The Holy Father's words came during another farewell audience at Castel Gandolfo before his departure tomorrow.
Thanking each member of the pontifical villa staff, especially their director Dr. Saverio Petrillo, for their work, he expressed his appreciation for their "competence and precision." Expressing his gratitude also for their prayers, he told them to continue to "offer daily witness to (their) faith" especially by listening to the Word of God.
Noting Wednesday's feast of the archangels, he noted that each has been "sent by God, with specific missions in particular moments in the history of salvation." He added that "(e)very Christian is called to accept and live every day, simply and joyfully, the Word of truth that the Lord communicated to us."
Turning to a figure in the history of the Church that "nourished himself" in Scripture, the Holy Father pointed to one of the Fathers of the Church, St. Jerome, whose feast is celebrated on Thursday. In translating the Bible to Latin and basing other works on the Word, this saint kept scripture at the center of his life, recalled the Pope. He quoted the saint's words to this effect, who said "to ignore Scripture is to ignore Christ.
"Therefore," taught the Holy Father, "it is fundamental for every Christian to live in contact and in personal dialogue with the Word of God, given to us in Sacred Scripture, reading it not as a word of the past, but as the living Word, which is addressed to us today and involves us."
In his final farewell, he assured them of his prayers that each person might "know and assimilate ever more profoundly the Word of God, stimulus and source of Christian life for all situations and every person."