OF THE HOLY FATHER
TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY,
CONSECRATED PERSONS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON THE WORD OF GOD
IN THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH
“THE WORD OF THE LORD abides for ever. This word is the Gospel which was preached to you” (1 Pet 1:25; cf. Is 40:8). With this assertion from the First Letter of Saint Peter, which takes up the words of the Prophet Isaiah, we find ourselves before the mystery of God, who has made himself known through the gift of his word. This word, which abides for ever, entered into time. God spoke his eternal Word humanly; his Word “became flesh” (Jn 1:14). This is the good news. This is the proclamation which has come down the centuries to us today. The Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, meeting in the Vatican from 5-26 October 2008, had as its theme: The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. It was a profound experience of encounter with Christ, the Word of the Father, who is present where two or three are gathered in his name (cf. Mt 18:20). With this Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation I readily respond to the request of the Synod Fathers to make known to the whole People of God the rich fruits which emerged from the synodal sessions and the recommendations which resulted from our common endeavour. Consequently, I intend to revisit the work of the Synod in the light of its documents: the Lineamenta, the Instrumentum Laboris, the Relationes ante and post disceptationem, the texts of the interventions, both those delivered on the Synod floor and those presented in written form, the reports of the smaller discussion groups, the Final Message to the People of God and, above all, a number of specific proposals (Propositiones) which the Fathers considered especially significant. In this way I wish to point out certain fundamental approaches to a rediscovery of God’s word in the life of the Church as a wellspring of constant renewal. At the same time I express my hope that the word will be ever more fully at the heart of every ecclesial activity.....