Highlights I found notable include:
It is recommended that an examination of the Roman Lectionary be initiated to see if the present selection and ordering of the readings are really adequate to the mission of the Church at this historic moment. Specifically, the relation of the reading of the Old Testament with the evangelical pericope should be reconsidered, so that it does not imply a too restrictive reading of the Old Testament or the exclusion of important passages.
The revision of a Lectionary could be done in dialogue with ecumenical counterparts who use this common Lectionary.
It is desirable that an authoritative examination of the problem of the Lectionary be carried out in the liturgies of Oriental Catholic Churches.
Holy Spirit and Word of God
The sacred Scriptures, being a gift entrusted by the Holy Spirit to the Church Bride of Christ, have in the Church their own hermeneutical place.
The Spirit himself, who is Author of the sacred Scriptures, is also guide of their correct interpretation in the formation of the "fides Ecclesiae" through time.
The Synod recommended to pastors to remind all those baptized of the role of the Holy Spirit in inspiration (cf. "Dei Verbum," 11), in the interpretation and understanding of the sacred Scriptures (cf. "Dei Verbum," 12).Consequently, all of us disciples are invited to invoke the Holy Spirit frequently, so that he will lead us to ever more profound knowledge of the Word of God and to the testimony of our faith (cf. John 15:26-27). They remind the faithful that the sacred Scriptures close evoking the common cry of the Spirit and the Bride: "Come Lord Jesus" (cf. Revelation 22:17-20).
Homiletic updating and "Directory on the Homily"
The homily that updates the proclaimed Word: "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:21). It leads to the mystery celebrated, invites to mission and shares the joys and sorrows, the hopes and fears of the faithful, thus disposing the assembly both to the profession of faith (Creed) as well as the universal prayer of the Mass.
There should be a homily in all Masses "cum populo," even during the week. It is necessary that preachers (bishops, priests, deacons) prepare themselves in prayer, so that they preach with conviction and passion. They must ask themselves three questions:
-- What do the proclaimed readings say?
-- What do they say to me?
-- What must I say to the community, taking into account its concrete situation?
The preacher should above all allow himself to be questioned first by the Word of God he proclaims. The homily must be nourished by doctrine and transmit the teaching of the Church to strengthen the faith, call to conversion in the framework of the celebration and prepare for the action of the Eucharistic paschal mystery.To help the preacher in the ministry of the Word, and in continuity with the teaching of the post-synodal apostolic "Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis" (No. 46), the synodal fathers desire the elaboration of a "Directory on the Homily," which should show, together with the principles of homiletics and of the art of communication, the content of the biblical topics that appear in the lectionaries that are used in the liturgy.
Word of God and liturgy
The assembly, convoked and gathered by the Spirit to hear the proclamation of the Word of God, is transformed by the same action of the Spirit that is manifested in the celebration.
In fact, there, where the Church is, Lord's Spirit is; and where the Lord's Spirit is, the Church also is (cf. Saint Irenaeus, "Adversus Haereses," III, 24, 1).
The synodal fathers reaffirm that the liturgy is the privileged place in which the Word of God is fully expressed, both in the celebration of the sacraments as above all in the Eucharist, in the Liturgy of the Hours and in the liturgical year. The mystery of salvation narrated in sacred Scripture finds in the liturgy its own place of proclamation, listening and acting.
For this reason, it is imperative that:
-- The book of sacred Scripture, even outside liturgical action, has a visible and honorable place in the church.
-- Silence should be encouraged after the first and second reading and after the homily is finished, as suggested in the General Order of the Roman Missal (cf. No. 56).
-- Celebrations of the Word of God are provided, centered on the Sunday readings.
-- Readings of sacred Scripture be proclaimed from worthy liturgical books, namely the lectionaries and the Gospel, to be treated with the most profound respect for the Word of God they contain.
-- Highlight the role of the servers of the proclamation: readers and cantors.
-- Men and women lectors be adequately formed, so that they can proclaim the Word of God in a clear and comprehensible way. The latter must be invited to study and witness with their life the contents of the Word they read.
-- The Word of God be proclaimed in a clear way, with control of the dynamics of communication.
-- Persons for whom the reception of the Word of God, communicated in the usual way is difficult as well as persons with sight or hearing disabilities not be forgotten.
-- Competent and effective use be made of acoustic instruments.
Moreover, the synodal fathers feel the duty to remind of the grave responsibility of those who preside over the Eucharist so that the texts of sacred Scripture are never substituted by other texts. No text of spirituality or literature can have the value and wealth contained in sacred Scripture, which is the Word of God.
Word of God and prayerful reading
The synod proposes that all the faithful, including young people, be exhorted to approach the Scriptures through "prayerful" and assiduous "reading" (cf. "Dei Verbum," 25), in such a way that the dialogue with God becomes a daily reality of the people of God.
Therefore, it is important:
-- That the prayerful reading be profoundly related to the example of Mary and the saints in the history of the Church, as those who carried out the reading of the Word according to the Spirit;
-- That it be ensured that pastors, priests and deacons, and in a very special sense future priests, have adequate formation so that, in turn, they can form the people of God in this spiritual dynamic;
-- That the faithful be initiated -- in keeping with the circumstances, categories and cultures -- in the most appropriate method of prayerful reading, personal and/or community ("lectio divina," spiritual exercises in daily life, "Seven Steps" in Africa and in other places, various methods of prayer, sharing in the family and in the grassroots ecclesial communities, etc.);
-- That the practice of prayerful reading be encouraged, using liturgical texts that the Church proposes for the Sunday and daily Eucharistic celebration, to better understand the relation between Word and Eucharist;
-- That care be taken that the prayerful reading of the Scriptures, above all by the community, result in a commitment to charity (cf. Luke 4:18-19).
Conscious of the present widespread diffusion of "lectio divina" and of other similar methods, the synodal fathers see in them a true sign of hope and encourage all ecclesial leaders to multiply their efforts in this sense.
Catechesis and sacred Scripture
Preferably, catechesis should have its roots in Christian revelation. It should take as model Jesus' pedagogy on the road to Emmaus.
On the road to Emmaus, Jesus opens the heart of the disciples to an understanding of the Scriptures (cf. Luke 24:27). His way of proceeding shows that the catechesis that plunges its roots in Christian revelation implies an explanation of the Scriptures, inviting us also to approach the men of today to transmit to them the Gospel of salvation:
-- With special attention to the youngest children;
-- To those in need of a more profound formation rooted in the Scriptures;
-- To catechumens who must be supported on their path, showing them the plan of God through the reading of sacred Scripture, preparing them to encounter the Lord in the sacraments of Christian initiation, to be committed in the community, and to be missionaries.
The pre-baptismal catechumenate is followed by a post-baptismal mistagogy, a continuing formation in which sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church must hold center place.
Ministry of the Word and women
The synodal fathers acknowledge and encourage the service of the laity in the transmission of the faith. On this point, women especially have an indispensable role above all in the family and in catechesis. In fact, they are able to awaken interest in the Word, the personal relationship with God, and to communicate the meaning of forgiveness and evangelical sharing.
It is desirable that the ministry of the lector be open also to women, so that the Christian community will recognize their role as heralds of the Word.