The Church's shepherds not only proclaim and explain directly to the People of God the deposit of faith which has been committed to them, but moreover they make authentic judgments regarding expressions of that deposit and the explanations which the faithful seek and offer. They do this in such a way that in holding to, practising, and professing the heritage of the faith, there results on the part of the bishops and faithful a remarkable common effort.
From this it follows that it is necessary for the ministry of the word to set forth the divine revelation such as it is taught by the Magisterium and such as it expresses itself, under the watchfulness of the Magisterium, in the living awareness and faith of the People of God. In this way the ministry of the word is not a mere repetition of ancient doctrine, but rather it is a faithful reproduction of it, with adaptation to new problems and with a growing understanding of it.
The ministry of the word, therefore, takes its beginning from Holy Writ and from the preaching of the apostles, as these are understood, explained, and applied in concrete situations by the Church. The ministry of the word is the communication of the message of salvation: it brings the Gospel to men. The mystery which has been announced and handed down deeply influences that will to have life, that innermost desire for attaining fulfilment, and that expectation of future happiness which God has implanted in the heart of every man and which by his grace he raises to the supernatural order. (Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Cathechetical Directory, 1971).