Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 23 October |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Severinus Boethius
Aleteia logo
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope Francis establishes “Word of God Sunday”

VATICAN POPE HOLY MASS EASTER VIGIL

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA | i.Media

VaticanNews.va - published on 09/30/19

Urges pastors to show the importance of learning how to read, appreciate and pray daily with Sacred Scripture.

In an apostolic letter released September 30, Pope Francis has declared that the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time will be devoted to the celebration and study of the Word of God.

(September 30 is the feast day of St. Jerome, who is known especially for his translation of Scriptures into Latin.)

The document is called Aperuit illis, from its opening words, taken from St. Luke’s Gospel, where the Evangelist describes how the Risen Jesus appeared to His disciples, and how “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”

Recalling the importance given by the Second Vatican Council to rediscovering Sacred Scripture for the life of the Church, Pope Francis says he wrote this Apostolic Letter in response to requests from the faithful around the world to celebrate a Sunday of the Word of God.

A certain solemnity

Pope Francis invites local communities to find ways to “mark this Sunday with a certain solemnity.” He suggests that the sacred text be enthroned “in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s Word.” In highlighting the proclamation of the Word of the Lord, it would be appropriate “to emphasize in the homily the honor that it is due,” writes the pope.

“Pastors can also find ways of giving a Bible, or one of its books, to the entire assembly as a way of showing the importance of learning how to read, appreciate and pray daily with Sacred Scripture.”


POPE MYANMAR

Read more:
Just 2 min a day with the Gospels, and your life will change, says Francis

The Bible is for all

The Bible is not meant for a privileged few, continues Pope Francis. It belongs “to those called to hear its message and to recognize themselves in its words.” The Bible cannot be monopolized or restricted to select groups either, he writes, because it is “the book of the Lord’s people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division towards unity.”

“Pastors are primarily responsible for explaining Sacred Scripture and helping everyone to understand it,” writes Pope Francis. Which is why the homily possesses “a quasi-sacramental character.”  The pope warns against improvising or giving “long, pedantic homilies or wandering off into unrelated topics.”

Rather, he suggests using simple and suitable language. For many of the faithful, he writes, “this is the only opportunity they have to grasp the beauty of God’s Word and to see it applied to their daily lives.”

The pope uses the scene of the Risen Lord appearing to the disciples at Emmaus to demonstrate what he calls “the unbreakable bond between Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist.”

Since the Scriptures everywhere speak of Christ, he writes, “they enable us to believe that His death and resurrection are not myth but history, and are central to the faith of His disciples.”

When the sacraments are introduced and illumined by God’s Word, explains the pope, “they become ever more clearly the goal of a process whereby Christ opens our minds and hearts to acknowledge His saving work.”

“The role of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures is primordial,” writes Pope Francis. “Without the work of the Spirit, there would always be a risk of remaining limited to the written text alone.”

The pope continues: “This would open the way to a fundamentalist reading, which needs to be avoided, lest we betray the inspired, dynamic and spiritual character of the sacred text.”  It is the Holy Spirit who “makes Sacred Scripture the living word of God, experienced and handed down in the faith of His holy people.”

Pope Francis invites us never to take God’s Word for granted, “but instead to let ourselves be nourished by it, in order to acknowledge and live fully our relationship with Him and with our brothers and sisters.”


JEFF CAVINS

Read more:
New Bible is designed to make Catholics scripture-literate

Tags:
Pope FrancisScripture
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Marinella Bandini
Exclusive: Carlo Acutis as seen by his mother
2
NUN,
Gelsomino Del Guercio
She’s a mom, grandmother, former postmaster — and a cloistered nu...
3
peace
Philip Kosloski
How kindness begins in your heart
4
WEB2-Bishop_Michael.jpg
John Burger
Once considered for top post in Anglican Church, former bishop be...
5
saint teresa of Avila
Zelda Caldwell
Now there’s a computer font based on St. Teresa of Avila’s handwr...
6
SAINT THERESE OF LISIEUX
Sarah Robsdottir
When St. Therese dressed up as Joan of Arc (and the sad story of ...
7
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.