The Early Church: Formed by the word

St Paul, the relentless missionary, travelled far and wide to preach the Gospel. His letters to the communities he founded and supported form a treasured part of the New Testament. In the Pauline writings we find the word of God described as a double-edged sword:

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

Hebrews 4:12
‘The word of God also invites us to recognise that we are a people... Without this sense of belonging we cannot understand our deepest identity.’ Pope Francis (Evangelii Gaudium, 268)
‘Saint Jerome recalls that we can never read Scripture simply on our own... The Bible was written by the People of God for the People of God, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Only in this communion with the People of God can we truly enter as a “we” into the heart of the truth that God himself wishes to convey to us.’ Pope Benedict XVI (Verbum Domini, 30)