Many in the Catholic Church have been asking themselves the same question in recent decades. As a result, the Church is encouraging its members to cherish the Scriptures and use new methods of Scripture study, and more Catholics are reading the Bible today than at any other time in its 2000-year history. This shift has been reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council and subsequent Church teaching.
Catholics, along with many other Christians, are learning to improve their understanding of the Bible through historical research, literary analysis and the findings of archaeology. Church teaching has wisely steered Catholics away from literal-minded approaches and from reading the Bible as if it were a scientific textbook on the origins of the universe.
In addition, since Vatican II, Catholics have been exposed to a much wider variety of Scripture readings at Sunday Mass through the introduction of a three-year cycle of readings. Scripture is showing up more frequently in other sacramental rites as well. As with other trends in the Church, this will take some time to flower fully. But as more Catholics are richly nourished by the life-giving Word of God, they become better instruments of evangelization and of the world’s transformation.