Catechists reflected on Church and Scripture and how they are inseparable in the fifth session of Echoing the Word. Held at St Pius X, Mofolo in September, it was facilitated by Fr Joseph Vadakkan SVD who was assisted by Rev Deacon Erroll Scott. Fr Joseph opened the session with John’s prologue.
He said the whole of scripture is about Jesus Christ. “If you want to know who Jesus is, you need to read the Word of God which talks about God’s relationship with human beings, how He works in our lives and gives us direction on how to lead our lives,” he said. He described the Bible as a library of books wherein you find a number of very different works, collected together in two large groupings, the Old Testament and New Testament.
These books tell us about the Covenant, the agreement God made with Israel through Moses (the Old Covenant) which He fulfilled in Jesus (the New Covenant). It is important that we buy a Catholic Bible which contains seven extra books in the Old Testament, Fr Vadakkan said.
These books give light on biblical history and enrich our understanding of Jewish piety in the years prior to Jesus, he elaborated. “Most Bibles are arranged in four parts: the Pentateuch, the historical books, the prophetic books and the Wisdom books,” explained Fr Vadakkan. Membership in the church involves baptism and a clear acceptance of Jesus as the Lord and Saviour who suffered, died and rose from the dead.
The Church has a hierarchical structure with bishops, presbyters (priests) and deacons with each member mandated to play a role in continuing the mission of Christ. Citing various imagery of the Church as found in Scripture, he included St Paul’s description of the Church being the body of Christ and how she is the Bride of Christ.
Fr Vadakkan went on to say we recognise that the books of the Bible are unlike any other literature, because they have God or the Holy Spirit as their principal author. As far as the New Testament is concerned it was part of His creative work in establishing the Church. He concluded by saying both the scriptures and the Eucharistic body of Christ are the bread of life which give us the nourishment that leads to eternal life.