What does this sentence in Dei Verbum mean?

In paragraph 21 we read: The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God’s word and of Christ’s body.

I am in RCIA, and our catechist read this section of Dei Verbum in class, saying we should give the same reverence to the Bible as we do to Jesus in the Eucharist. I’m wondering if that is an accurate analysis of this paragraph in Dei Verbum? Do Catholics worship the Bible as they worship Jesus in the Eucharist? If we are to treat the Bible with the same reverence as the Eucharist, how come it’s acceptable to leave our Bibles on the dashboard of our cars, or on a table near a cup of coffee that might spill, or to highlight in our Bibles? In short, what does paragraph 21 mean?

If possible, I would like a priest to answer. Thank you!

Dear friend,

Just because the Church venerates Sacred Scripture as it venerates Christ, this does NOT mean that such veneration is of the same kind and scope. While we venerate Christ, we also adore Him. Scripture is ABOUT Christ. The Eucharist IS Christ! When the Church began we didn’t even have the New Testament, but we had the Eucharist from the very beginning. Sacred Scripture is the hand maid of our Eucharistic Lord; not His stand in.

You might mention this to your pastor. There should be no confusion about this in the RCIA. Welcome home, by the way!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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