The Bishops of England and Wales, together with the Bishops of Scotland, have recently issued a teaching document The Gift of Scripture. The document is to help people ‘hear, understand and live God’s word’.
The Gift of Scripture explains the teaching of Dei Verbum as well as that of subsequent documents on the Bible issued in recent years by the Pontifical Biblical Commission under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. There are quotations too from the teaching of Pope John Paul II.
In its section ‘Living the Word of God’ The Gift of Scripture underlines the way in which from the earliest days the proclamation of the Scriptures have been an integral part of the liturgy.
The Liturgy Office of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has produced a number of resources to assist parishes, deaneries and others with their reading of The Gift of Scripture and reflection on the ministering of God’s word in the Liturgy.
Bishop Daniel Mullins, who guided the production of the document, and Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow invited the four hundred delegates gathered from across the world to use the document in their own work of biblical formation.
The Gift of Scripture provides an explanation of Catholic teaching on the Bible. The 60-page booklet explains the basic principles and gives guidance on some difficult questions which arise. The bishops encourage a deeper appreciation of Scripture through catechesis, liturgy and prayer. They warmly acknowledge the contribution of Jewish and other Christian scholars to the work of biblical understanding.
The document is divided into five sections: Reflections on Preaching the Word; Celebrating the Word; Preparing a liturgy of the word; Praying the Word; Sharing and Proclaiming the Word, which are guidelines for Ministering the Word at Sunday Mass.