The third constitution from the Second Vatican Council that Pope Francis is encouraging us to read as we prepare for the Holy Year of 2025 is titled: Dei Verbum (English-The Word (Verbum) of God (Dei). The document was embraced by the assembled bishops in a vote of 2344 to 6 in November of 1965. This constitution aligns the balance of both the scriptural word and the tradition of the Church. It tells us: The Word of God is transmitted both through the canonical texts of Sacred Scripture, and through Sacred Tradition, which includesmvarious forms such as liturgy, prayers, and the teachings of the Apostles and their successors. The Church looks to Tradition as a protection against errors that could arise from private interpretation.
In this balance the Church wants that easy access to Sacred Scripture should be provided for all the Christian faithful." To this end the Church sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books. Frequent reading of the divine Scriptures is encouraged for all the Christian faithful, and prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, "so that God and man may talk together". Some are ordained to preach the Word, while others reveal Christ in the way they live and interact in the world.
Because of Dei Verbum the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that "the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures." Nevertheless, the Catechism clearly states that "the Christian faith is not a 'religion of the book.' Christianity is the religion of the 'Word' of God, a word which is 'not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living'. If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, 'open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures.'"
The Catechism goes on to state that "In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words."
Although this is a short document, it provides the direction for a Catholic Christian who wants to grow in his/her faith. As we are told: Frequent reading of the divine Scriptures is encouraged for all the Christian faithful, and prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture.