Pope to celebrate first Sunday of the Word of God on Jan. 26

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Pope to celebrate first Sunday of the Word of God on Jan. 26

By Inés San Martín/ cruxnow.com and By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis/ vaticannews.va

Pope Francis will lead the first celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God, January 26, which he instituted as a yearly occasion to celebrate and study the Bible.

Pope Francis wants to “stimulate all Christians not to place the Bible on the shelf as one of many books, perhaps filled with dust, but as an instrument that awakens our faith,” said Italian Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella.

“It is an evangelization initiative that can help Christian communities and also priests not to improvise when it comes to communicating the word of God,” Fisichella said at a press conference in Rome. “The people of God have a right to listen to the word of God and to receive an explanation from the priest [in his homily] that is coherent with the word of God and not a free interpretation of it.”

As head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, Fisichella has been tasked with organizing the celebration, to be held worldwide on Sunday. In Rome, it’ll be celebrated by Francis with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Fisichella also said that the initiative, entrusted to the whole Church by Francis with his document Aperuit illis, is an opportunity for the Christian community to “concentrate on the great value that the Word of God occupies in its daily existence.”

Fisichella defined the occasion as an opportunity to renew the understanding Christians have of “the endless richness that comes from God’s constant dialogue with His people.”

During the papal celebration on January 26, the image of Our Lady of Knock, patron of Ireland, will be placed next to the altar. It will be brought to Rome for the occasion by Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam.

Fisichella said the choice of the image is because when she appeared in Knock, the Virgin was accompanied by St. Joseph and St. John, one of the apostles and the writer of one of the four Gospels.

The archbishop also said that at the beginning of the papal Mass, there will be “solemn enthronement of the Lectionary that was used in all the sessions of the Second Vatican Council.”

At the end of the Mass, Francis will give a copy of the Bible to 40 people who are meant to represent many others, “from the bishop to the foreigner, from the priest to the catechist, from the consecrated person to the policeman, from the ambassadors of various continents to teachers of all grades, from the poor to journalists, from the police officer to the prisoner serving a life sentence.”

CATHOLIC PUBLISHER MAKES MATERIAL AVAILABLE FOR WORD OF GOD

Catholic publisher, Bayard, rallies behind Pope Francis’ proclamation of the Word of God Sunday, making both digital and print material accessible

The first ever Sunday of the Word of God celebrated on the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time will take place on 26 January. This annual celebration was announced by Pope Francis in a Motu Proprio entitled Aperuit illis, published on 30 September 2019, the Feast of St Jerome. The Word of God Sunday, Pope Francis wrote in that Motu Proprio, “is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God”.

Responding to the Pope’s desire that “the Church experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasure of his word and enable us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world”, Prions en Église is making material accessible in digital and print formats. In a statement released by Bayard, its parent company, the editors of the missalette explained how their own mission coincides with Pope Francis’ thought expressed in the Motu proprio:

“These words contain a great teaching. 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” (no. 4).

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:56
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