Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dei Verbum 15

It's a busy day at the church, but not too busy to post more on Vatican II's take on the Old Testament:

The principal purpose to which the plan of the old covenant was directed was to prepare for the coming of Christ, the redeemer of all and of the messianic kingdom, to announce this coming by prophecy (see Luke 24:44; John 5:39; 1 Peter 1:10), and to indicate its meaning through various types (see 1 Cor. 10:12). Now the books of the Old Testament, in accordance with the state of (hu)mankind before the time of salvation established by Christ, reveal to all ... the knowledge of God and of (people) and the ways in which God, just and merciful, deals with (human beings). These books, though they also contain some things which are incomplete and temporary, nevertheless show us true divine pedagogy. (Pius XI, encyclical 'Mit Brennender Sorge," March 14, 1937: A.A.S. 29 (1937) p. 51.) These same books, then, give expression to a lively sense of God, contain a store of sublime teachings about God, sound wisdom about human life, and a wonderful treasury of prayers, and in them the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way. Christians should receive them with reverence.

I like that "lively sense of God," the notion that we have been graced with a God revealing himself to us through history, through the Jewish people, through an opening up of that plan of salvation, through Christ and the Gospel mission. Naturally, anything of this world is incomplete and temporary when compared to the eternity of God.


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