Celebrating Bible Sunday (July 13, 2014) The Evergreen Priceless Treasure

The Church entrusted with the Treasure The Scriptures should be read and interpreted within “the living Tradition of the whole Church” because Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records.

Jul 11, 2014

--Continued from last week

Below is the Message prepared by the Regional Biblical Commission with the theme The Evergreen Priceless Treasure.

The Church entrusted with the Treasure The Scriptures should be read and interpreted within “the living Tradition of the whole Church” because Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records. The Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (CCC 113). Therefore both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence (CCC 80-82; DV9).

“It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.” [CCC 95; DV 10 ]

The Church, founded on Peter the Rock, has been authorized by Jesus Himself, who said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go! Make disciples of all nations, baptise them and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you” (Matthew 28:19; John 20:21). Peter was given personal assurance at the Last Supper by Jesus Himself, “I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). In John’s Gospel, he was personally told three times, by Jesus Himself after His Resurrection, to “Feed my lambs! Look after my sheep! Feed my sheep!” Peter was thus entrusted, and continues to be entrusted, with the responsibility of the Good Shepherd (John 21:15-19). He handed down this pastoral responsibility to his successor. This handing down continued from one successor to the next in the Church until today. This explains the source and authority of the teaching office of the Church of Christ built on Peter, the Rock, and his unique status as Pope in this indispensable Office (Matthew 16:18-19).

For over 2000 years now, the Church Of Christ, built on the Rock, from its “first” Peter to its “266th Peter” – Pope Francis, has been in possession of this same priceless Treasure (the deposit of Faith) and continues to faithfully hold fast, preserve and hand it down to its succeeding generations (CCC 76, 84; 2 Thess. 2:15; Jude 1:3). Despite the many generations of changes, and even uncertainties, in the Church, and in the world at large, this priceless Treasure remains intact in the Church, maintaining its priceless purity and stays evergreen without losing its eternal value (DV 10). The value or the worth of this treasure,unlike the stock market, does not diminish or increase according to human evaluation or assessment. Instead of being changed by the changing events in world history, it has changed and will continue to change, effect and shape world events and human history.

Wisdom 7:27 may shed some light on this unchanged changer or unmoved mover; “Although Wisdom is alone, she can do everything; herself unchanging, she renews the world, and, generation after generation, passing into holy souls, she makes them into God's friends and prophets.”

In the same way, though the Church’s official interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures or the official teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not change in essence, it remains forever relevant and effective in shaping world events and human life (CCC 84). This priceless Treasure, that is, the deposit of Faith entrusted by Christ to His Apostles can be described in one Word, namely, Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1; Luke 1:1-4; John 1:1-5; 20:31; Hebrews 1:1-2). And Paul said in more specific terms, “We preach the message of the Cross-Christ crucified- the power and wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23; 2:1-5). Since the Apostolic times, this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church supported by its two pillars, that is, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, remains faithfully firm on the One Foundation — Jesus Christ ( 1 Corinthians 3:12) and as the branches remain faithfully in the vine, it has been bearing fruit in plenty and fruit that will last (John 15:1-17).

Enjoy the Treasure
2 Timothy 3:14-17 sums up well this special relationship between the Magisterium of the Church, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition:

“You must keep to what you have been taught (Tradition) and know to be true; remember who your teachers were (the magisterium) and how, ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures – from these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be upright. This is how someone who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work.”

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