Sunday of the Word of God
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Pope Francis declared in 2019 that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
will be a special annual celebration known as the “Sunday of the Word
of God” (Aperuit illus, no. 3). Why has Pope Francis done this?
St. Jerome once said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
Without presuming to speak for our Holy Father, I believe he is reminding us how important Scripture is to our Faith as a Church. That is to say,
what we believe and what we teach is rooted in Scripture.
The scriptures are also crucial in our own personal prayer. We come to
know Jesus through the lived experiences of others made known to us
in the Gospel stories themselves. One powerful moment stands out, I
think of the paralytic who is brought by his friends to Christ hoping for a
miracle. And what does Christ do? He heals the man. This story gives us
hope. Hope if we need healing ourselves. Hope for the people we are
praying for who need healing. But, without the story, without the message, would we understand Jesus’ power to heal? We need the Bible to
remember all that Christ has done, in part, to have faith and hope in all
that Christ can do!
Pope Francis has given us some suggestions to highlight the importance
of the Word in the life of the faithful:
- Enthronement of the sacred text at Mass (e.g. like placing the book of the Gospels on the ambo after the Gospel is proclaimed)
- Commissioning readers to proclaim the Word at Mass (If you have been considering your involvement at the liturgy, maybe becoming a lector might be for you. Email Cheryl Emmette if interested. )
- Bringing our Bibles to Mass
- Praying with Scriptures in our own daily time set aside for prayer
The Bible is so important for us as Catholics. By it’s history, we learn
how God has revealed himself to humanity over the years. It’s a love
story about a God who would do anything to bring us back to himself;
even send his Son to die for our sake. It’s an instruction manual for how
to live. It’s a roadmap for how to spend eternity with God in heaven.
The Bible is a message of God’s love meant to give us faith, hope, and
perseverance on the journey. I pray that as each of you prays with the
scriptures in your own lives, you may experience the fire of God’s love
within you just as the disciples did on the Road to Emmaus: Then they
said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he
spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”
Great news! Season 3 of The Chosen is here. We will be offering another
viewing beginning on Thursday Feb. 9 at 6pm (following Mass). Please
bring an appetizer to share; RSVP to Cheryl Emmette.
In Christ’s love and friendship.