Sunday, January 26, 2020

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: Sunday of the Word of God

Today is the first Sunday of the Word of God. In his apostolic letter Aperuit Illis, Pope Francis called the Church to reflect on the Word of God on this Sunday. You can read the text here:  The Holy Father writes:

"Consequently, I hereby declare that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God. This Sunday of the Word of God will thus be a fitting part of that time of the year when we are encouraged to strengthen our bonds with the Jewish people and to pray for Christian unity. This is more than a temporal coincidence: the celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God has ecumenical value, since the Scriptures point out, for those who listen, the path to authentic and firm unity.

The various communities will find their own ways to mark this Sunday with a certain solemnity. It is important, however, that in the Eucharistic celebration the sacred text be enthroned, in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s word. On this Sunday, it would be particularly appropriate to highlight the proclamation of the word of the Lord and to emphasize in the homily the honour that it is due. Bishops could celebrate the Rite of Installation of Lectors or a similar commissioning of readers, in order to bring out the importance of the proclamation of God’s word in the liturgy. In this regard, renewed efforts should be made to provide members of the faithful with the training needed to be genuine proclaimers of the word, as is already the practice in the case of acolytes or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. 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, especially through the practice of lectio divina. (#3. "Aperuit Illis")

Reading Scripture is extremely important. Even more important is actually putting the words into practice. Today's readings remind us that the Lord is the light and source of salvation.  The first reading we heard during Midnight Mass. The people walk in the darkness but see a great light. This light is Christ who alone brings salvation. No one else can save. It is very important to stress this, even to fellow Catholics. I have met a few Catholics who love Our Lady and the Brown Scapular. They take the words about not facing the pains of hell as a form of a free ticket to heaven. This is not so nor what Our Lady meant via the Scapular. The Scapular is just a sacramental. It is supposed to aid us in the spiritual life so we may achieve salvation in Jesus. The Scapular does not save anyone on its own merits or even on the merits of Our Lady. She herself told us to do whatever He says. These were her last recorded words in the Gospel. So wearing a Scapular or following a specific promise from any devotion does not save anyone by its own merits. This is why in the second reading we read, "Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" Paul etc are instruments God used. They are not the source of salvation. It is important to understand this. Christ is the focal point. He is the Savior. We must be united in His name and not be divided, as the second reading tells us. We must be of one mind and purpose. If not, then we make a mockery of Christ and Catholicism.

We must follow Jesus. Jesus calls us to be fishermen and go out and cast our nets to bring the catch in. This means evangelization. Unfortunately, our Church has lost this sense. We are not going out there and evangelizing. Evangelization can be done in many ways. This does not mean standing on a corner preaching. Even a simple smile and friendly attitude is evangelization. It opens others to respect you and listen to you.  This presents the opportunity to plant seeds of faith via amicable discussions.  We have to  avoid proselyzing or being overly aggressive that we turn others away. If someone does not want to hear it, then so be it. They have made their choice. It may be temporary or permanent, only God knows. The Gospel tells us that Jesus chose the disciples for this very mission: to evangelize. We must do the same and follow Jesus.  Today's Sunday of the Word of God is important. Despite being the Church that gave us the Bible, many Catholics are ignorant of it. While some Protestants may give the pretense of knowing Scripture, they simply memorize the ones that their "pastors" teach them in order to attack Catholics.  So they too are ignorant of Scripture. This is not good. Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ, as St. Jerome tells us. We must learn Scripture. Most importantly, we must learn Scripture the way it was meant to be learned. Only the Church can interpret the Scriptures via the Holy Spirit. This is why we must seek sources approved by the Church and not just read any material out there. Scripture is full of so many great teachings and sayings, but there are also sections that may come across as disturbing or contradictory which must be read in the right context with the right exegesis and historical perspective. If not, then we will end up starting our own sect or become an atheist claiming the Bible is work of chaos instead of the Word of God. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading and for your comment. All comments are subject to approval. They must be free of vulgarity, ad hominem and must be relevant to the blog posting subject matter.


Catholic Church (751) God (405) Atheism (342) Jesus (335) Bible (306) Jesus Christ (280) Pope Francis (229) Atheist (227) Liturgy of the Word (192) Science (152) LGBT (146) Christianity (138) Pope Benedict XVI (79) Rosa Rubicondior (79) Gay (78) Abortion (75) Prayer (65) President Obama (57) Physics (53) Philosophy (52) Liturgy (51) Vatican (50) Christian (49) Blessed Virgin Mary (43) Christmas (43) New York City (40) Psychology (40) Holy Eucharist (36) Politics (34) Women (34) Biology (30) Supreme Court (30) Baseball (29) Religious Freedom (27) NYPD (26) Traditionalists (24) priests (24) Space (23) Pope John Paul II (22) Racism (21) Evil (20) Health (20) First Amendment (19) Pro Abortion (19) Protestant (19) Theology (19) Christ (18) Astrophysics (17) Child Abuse (17) Death (17) Evangelization (17) Illegal Immigrants (17) Pro Choice (17) Apologetics (16) Donald Trump (16) Police (16) Priesthood (16) Pedophilia (15) Marriage (14) Vatican II (14) Divine Mercy (12) Blog (11) Eucharist (11) Autism (10) Gospel (10) Jewish (10) Morality (10) Muslims (10) Poverty (10) September 11 (10) Easter Sunday (9) Gender Theory (9) academia (9) Human Rights (8) Pentecostals (8) Personhood (8) Sacraments (8) Big Bang Theory (7) CUNY (7) Cognitive Psychology (7) Condoms (7) David Viviano (7) Ellif_dwulfe (7) Evidence (7) Barack Obama (6) Hell (6) Hispanics (6) Holy Trinity (6) Humanism (6) NY Yankees (6) Spiritual Life (6) Babies (5) Cyber Bullying (5) Gender Dysphoria Disorder (5) Massimo Pigliucci (5) Podcast (5) Pope Pius XII (5) The Walking Dead (5) Angels (4) Donations (4) Ephebophilia (4) Pope Paul VI (4) Catholic Bloggers (3) Death penalty (3) Evangelicals (3) Pluto (3) Pope John XXIII (3) Baby Jesus (2) Dan Arel (2) Eastern Orthodox (2) Encyclical (2) Founding Fathers (2) Freeatheism (2) Oxfam (2) Penn Jillette (2) Pew Research Center (2) Plenary Indulgence (2) Cursillo (1) Dan Savage (1) Divine Providence (1) Fear The Walking Dead (1) Pentecostales (1)