The Sunday of the Word of God

01-26-2020Pastor's CornerRev. Robert J. Deehan, V.F.

With the promulgation of his Apostolic Letter (Motu Proprio), Aperuit Illis, on September 30, 2019, Pope Francis has announced that, going forward, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (this Sunday) is to be celebrated as The Sunday of the Word of God as a way to reflect on the importance of the Word of God for everyday living. The Holy Father cites how various local Churches have sought to "make Sacred Scripture (Bible) more accessible to believers, to increase their gratitude for so great a gift, and to help them strive daily to embody and bear witness to its teachings." He encourages people to read the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum of the Second Vatican Council, which expounds the nature of Sacred Scripture, its transmission from generation to generation, its divine inspiration embracing the Old and New Testaments, and the importance of Scripture for the life of the Church. We believe that even though the Bible speaks about times gone by, we believe it is the Living Word of God, which contains truths, which we are to live by.

God speaks to us in His Living Word. "The Bible cannot be just the heritage of some, much less a collection of books for the benefit of a privileged few. It belongs above all to those called to hear its message and to recognize themselves in its words… The Bible is the book of the Lord's people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division towards unity. The word of God unites believers and makes them one people."

How have you made the Word of God in the Bible an important part of your life – both by paying close attention to the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass and by reading a portion of Sacred Scripture in your daily personal prayer? Have you ever taken advantage of opportunities to learn about the Bible? There are Catholic Bible commentaries available, Bible study opportunities here at Holy Family and elsewhere, and Scripture reflection booklets we make available to parishioners seasonally that help unpack the meaning of Bible passages. "When Sacred Scripture is read in light of the same Spirit whom it was written, it remains ever new. The Old Testament is never old once it is part of the New, since all has been transformed thanks to the one Spirit who inspired it. The sacred text as a whole serves a prophetic function regarding not the future but the present of whoever is nourished by the word. Jesus himself clearly stated this at the beginning of his ministry: 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.' (Luke 4:4:21). Those who draw daily nourishment from God's word become, like Jesus, a contemporary of all those whom they encounter: they are not tempted to fall into sterile nostalgia for the past, or to dream of ethereal utopias yet to come. Sacred Scripture accomplishes its prophetic work above all in those who listen to it." The pope acknowledges that the message can be both inviting to hear and challenging as well. If it isn't already, make the reading of the Word of God an important part of your spiritual life. Our priests, deacon and Faith Formation staff members are ready to help you get started.

You can read the full test of the Holy Father's Apostolic Exhortation here.