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Tools to make Word of God Sunday last all year


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Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 01/26/20

One suggestion: Start with the readings at Mass.

Last year, on September 30, Pope Francis declared that the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time will be devoted to the celebration and study of the Word of God. That means the first Word of God Sunday is today, January 26.

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

The Bible is not meant for a privileged few, reminded Pope Francis.

The well-known master of prayer Fr. Jacques Philippe suggests that for those who want to dive into praying with Scripture, the best place to start is with the readings for Mass.

He gives two reasons for this:

  1. It links us into the life of the universal Church, as we pray with the words being proclaimed and meditated at every Mass around the world.
  2. It is a ready-made fount of three well chosen texts that are interconnected, drawing on the Old Testament, the Psalms, St. Paul, etc, and one of the Gospels.

“It is very rare for at least one of the three passages not to speak to us,” observes Fr. Philippe.

Some helpful tools

In praying with the readings from Mass, or a select reading each day, there are an abundance of good tools. Aleteia recommends this selection:

The “Praying With …” series from Magnificat. This series is organized by the calendar year, and brings in a host of writers to offer unique reflections.

The “In Conversation With God” series. This is one of the best series out there for meditating on the Mass readings of every day of the liturgical year, Sundays and weekdays. You will be able to come back to this series year after year because of its richness.

The “Companion to the Sunday Readings” by Christopher West. This unique series offers reflections on the Sunday Mass readings through the lens of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, helping us orient our desires for union with God with our understanding of ourselves and our relationships with others.

And if you feel like you are diving into prayer for the first time, or needing a refresher, or have never figured it out despite repeated trying, take a look at this course called Oremus.

The Oremus study program teaches you the essentials of an effective and fruitful prayer life. Over the course of eight weeks you will discover how God speaks to you, even in the smallest encounters. Following the Tradition of the Catholic Church and the wisdom of the saints, you will learn how to express yourself to God in prayer, and how to hear his voice.
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