The Word of God and its fullness in Christ
"In His goodness and wisdom, God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man has access to the Father in the Holy Spirit and comes to share in the divine nature" (DV 2).
The deeds, the signs and the words, intimately connected with one another, by which God intervenes in human history, in order to invite and welcome all men to communion with Him, all together constitute Revelation. They are, in a wider sense of the term, the Word of God.
From the beginning, and with the promise of Redemption, God has never ceased to care for the human race. In particular, on different occasions and in different ways, He has spoken to His chosen people to reveal Himself as the only living and true God. He has also wanted to prepare them to wait for the promised Messiah, the path for the Gospel. The whole history of salvation, also in its preparatory phase and in the old Covenant, is revelation of the Father's love and is the basis for man's saving dialogue with Him.
But the entire truth, whether about God or about our salvation, shines forth for us in Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, who has come to dwell among us.
He is the living Word of God.
Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh, who was sent as a man to men, and who speaks to them the words of God. He fulfills in Himself all that which the Old Testament foretold about Him and he completes the Revelation by bringing it to its fullness. He Himself is this fullness: in Him, every deed and every word become a revelation of God and of His divine Plan.
All that which Christ is and has done among us is contained in Revelation and in the means of salvation which He has entrusted to the Church so that it might wake up and bring to completion the mystery of God's love towards man. All of Christ's deeds and teachings done in Him for the salvation of the human race, ought to be proclaimed and spread throughout the entire world so that they may be completely fulfilled through the ages.
The Apostles heard from the very tongue of Christ that the entire Old Testament prepared to Him and in Him it will be completed. Therefore, He commanded them to bring His Gospel to the world, already promised by the prophets and now fulfilled and promulgated by Him. While communicating diving gifts, they ought to preach it to everyone as the source of all saving truth and the only rule of life lived according to God.
The Apostles faithfully transmitted all that they had received from the Master's tongue, from living side-by-side with Him, from his deeds, and afterwards, all that they received from the Holy Spirit, who guided them to a full understanding of Christ and of His works. This transmission was completed by the Apostles through their oral preaching, their personal example, the institutions which they built up in the Church. Some of them and of their disciples also handed down the proclamation of salvation in writings which form the New Testament.
Following Christ's instructions, the Apostles confided to their successors, the Bishops, their own office as Teachers and Pastors, so that the Gospel always be handed down in an integral and living way in the Church. Thus, through the industrious working of the Holy Spirit, all receive from the Apostles the genuine word of Christ and the benefits which He destined for our salvation.
That is why, in the Church, the legitimate Pastors authentically transmit the Word of God, being helped by priests, by deacons, by all the faithful. Christ, by means of His Spirit, empowers them all to be his witnesses. In different ways and to different degrees, He provides them with the meaning of the faith and the facility to preach it.
All the faithful recognize, in the unity of the Revelation, the living witnesses which God gives of His love for all men, in Tradition, in Scripture, in the liturgy, in the life of the Church and in all created things.
Sacred Scripture is the pre-eminent document for the preaching of salvation by means of its divine inspiration. It contains the Word of God. Since it is inspired, it is truly the Word of God forever. This Word, which shows God's condescension and benevolence, in as much as it's language has been likened to human language, contains the revelation of the mystery of Christ and, therefore, the whole mystery of God.
By means of her teaching, her life and her worship, the Church is led back to Sacred Scripture. For this reason, the Sacred Scriptures always occupy the first place in various forms of the ministry of the Word, as in all pastoral activity. To ignore the Scriptures would be to ignore Christ.
Since the Scriptures really reveal the fullness of the mystery of Christ, one ought to be conscious of it's fundamental characteristics.
Those things are the very origin of Scripture itself, which express in human language the genuine Word of God: the concreteness of the biblical Revelation, in which the events and words are intimately connected and reciprocally united; the progression of God's manifestation and of His divine initiatives; the deep unity between the two Testaments; the propensity of the Old Covenant towards Jesus Christ, in whom all the hopes and promises are fulfilled; the continuous relationship between the Scriptures and the life of the Church, which it hands down faithfully in its entirety, it interprets it with authority and it fulfills it as it recognizes in it its own foundation and its rule.
The Sacred Scripture is the "Book". It is not a teaching aid, even though it is the original. In order to understand its message, one needs to know the different historic ways in which God has deigned to reveal Himself. A faithful interpretation can be made only while being conscious of the unity of all of the Scriptures and their connection to the faith and the mind of the Church, which are shown in its Tradition and in the living teaching of the Magisterium.
One should not forget that the Sacred Scriptures ought to be read and interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit, who has inspired it and vivifies the Gospel proclamation