Pope at Audience: The Holy Spirit makes Scripture living and active

Pope Francis reflects on the work of the Holy Spirit in revelation, highlighting His role in inspiring and explaining Sacred Scripture.

Jun 12, 2024

Pope Francis speaks to pilgrims and visitors gathered for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 10, 2024. (CNS photo/Pablo Esparza)

By Christopher Wells
The Holy Spirit not only inspires Sacred Scripture but also “makes them inspiring,” Pope Francis said at Wednesday’s General Audience.

The Pope highlighted the divine inspiration of the Bible in his catechesis at Wednesday’s General Audience, as he focused on the role of the Holy Spirit in divine revelation.

However, the work of the Holy Spirit does not end with inspiration, Pope Francis explained. The Holy Spirit is continually at work in the Church to explain the meaning of Scripture and make the sacred writings “perennially living and active.”

He gave the example of being inspired by a passage of Scripture that perhaps we have read many times “without emotion.” “One day we read it in an atmosphere of faith and prayer,” the Pope said, and “the text is unexpectedly illuminated” by the Holy Spirit.

Nourished by Scripture
The Church, too, “is nourished by the spiritual reading of Sacred Scripture,” the Pope said, “that is, by reading under the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who inspired it.” He emphasized, “The Church, the Bride of Christ, is the authorized interpreter of the inspired text, the mediator of its authentic proclamation.”

While highlighting the value of lectio divina, the practice of personal and meditative reading of the Bible, Pope Francis insisted that “the quintessential spiritual reading of the Scripture is the community reading done in the liturgy, and in particular in the Holy Mass.”

“Among the many words of God that we listen to every day in Mass or in the Liturgy of the Hours, there is always one that is meant specially for us,” he said, adding that, when “welcomed into the heart, it can illuminate our day and inspire our prayer.”

Love of God at the heart of Scripture
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis with “a thought that can help us to fall in love with the Word of God.” Citing Saint Augustine and Saint Gregory the Great, he said the Scripture is like a letter from God to His creatures, that does nothing but speak of the abundance of God’s love.

And he prayed, “May the Holy Spirit, who inspired the Scriptures and now breathes with them, help us to grasp this love of God in the concrete situations of our life.”--Vatican News

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