WHAT should our attitude be toward the word of God? I would say that basically it should be the same attitude that we have toward God himself. And the reason is thisâ€”since God is absolute simplicity with no division, parts or distinction in his being, his word must be his being, his whole divine substance himself.
We, on our part, make some distinction between God in his being and in his word because that is how we understand things in general. We need to distinguish and analyze things, breaking them into parts, before we can arrive at the whole, integral picture.
In fact, in the Trinitarian nature of God, the Second Person whom we refer as the Son, is described also as the very Word of God, the Divine Word, who is God himself insofar as he perfectly and fully knows himself and all his creation. So, Godâ€™s word is God himself!
The word of God which now comes to us with some human and natural instrumentalities through the Gospel or the Sacred Scripture together with Tradition and the Church Magisterium, should be regarded in that light.
Its primary purpose is to bring us back to God. And so more than just giving us some helpful earthly knowledge, it gives us the ultimate spiritual knowledge we need to return to God. This character of Godâ€™s word is described in the following words in the Letter to the Hebrews:
â€œFor the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword, and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.â€ (4,12)
Its purely eternal, spiritual, sacred and transcendent nature is now subjected to the conditions of time, culture, history, etc., in view of how we are. But we should not forget that it is primarily purely eternal, spiritual, sacred and transcendent, which with our spiritual powers plus Godâ€™s grace we can manage to abstract from its temporal, material, mundane and prosaic condition.
Letâ€™s remember that God became man. With his incarnation, the divine word assumes the nature of a human word. And just as God became man to bring man back to God, his divine word becomes human word to bring and reconcile the latter with the former where it comes from and where it belongs to.
Since Godâ€™s word is God himself and God is everything to us, we have to understand that it contains everything for our needs, especially our ultimate need to be with God. All things true, good and beautiful are contained in the word of God.
Thus, insofar as our sciences, arts and technologies contain truths, goodness and beauty, no matter how technical they are, we have to conclude that they also come from Godâ€™s word and belong there also.
Anyone who does not acknowledge this truth about our sciences, arts and technologies can be considered ungrateful and presumptuous. We need to overcome the dichotomy that detaches our sciences, arts and technologies from Godâ€™s word.
Our sciences, arts and technologies can only articulate the more mundane aspects of the Word of God. They should lead us to God. They should make us achieve a more intimate relationship with God, with everybody else and everything else in the whole universe.
These days, for example, Pope Francis is reminding of how our attitude should be also toward our natural and physical environment. It should be based on Godâ€™s word, full of wisdom, love and justice, and not just our own idea of what is useful, efficient, profitable, convenient, etc.
In other words, Godâ€™s word is the first and last word. Any word we coin and use in the fields of our sciences, arts, technologies, politics, business, culture, etc., should begin and end with Godâ€™s word. Otherwise it will have no proper foundation and orientation.
St. Paul has amply warned us about arrogating our words to be simply our own. â€œLet no man deceive himself,â€ he said. â€œIf any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with Godâ€¦Let no man therefore glory in men.â€ (1 Cor 3,19-21)
We certainly have to sit down and see how we can be more aware of grounding and orienting our words with Godâ€™s word. There definitely have to be some big changes in our understanding of things, our attitudes, practices, lifestyle and culture. Yes, some conversion is needed! (By Fr. Roy Cimagala)