SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD
In his Apostolic Letter of 30 September 2019, Aperuitillis Pope Francis established that the Third Sunday inOrdinary Time is to be the Sunday of the Word of God.
It is a day to be devoted to the celebration, study, and spreading of the Word of God. Pope Francis is clear from
the very first paragraph of this letter that the relationship
between the Risen Lord, a community of believers, and
sacred Scripture is essential to who we are as Christians.
The Sunday assembly gathering to celebrate the
Eucharist is the unique moment in the week where a
community gathers in a particular place and when their
communal identity is nourished by Word and Sacrament.
An important advance in 20th century theological
reflection is that every sacramental celebration is founded
and constructed upon the Word of God, and that every
proclamation of the Word of God is sacramental.
While one might quibble with yet another Sunday being
devoted to a particular theme that is superimposed on the
liturgical celebration, this Sunday of the Word of God is
certainly understood in a different way. It is not a new
feast! After all, the Word of God is proclaimed at every Sunday Eucharist, and one of the great blessings of the liturgical reform and
renewal flowing from the Second Vatican Council is a greater appreciation of the foundational role of the Word of God in every
liturgical celebration. The reform of the lectionary has led to much more scripture being proclaimed during our liturgical gatherings and a greater awareness of the role of the Word of God in the life of faith.
What is the Word of God?
We often identify the Bible as the Word of God. This is not wrong, but God speaks to our hearts in many different ways. For
instance, he speaks to us in prayer and through our conscience, and often through other people. Hence, the Word of God covers
much more than a printed book. Nevertheless, the Bible is the privileged collection of communications between God and his people.
These stories and poems have nourished the lives of the people of Israel and the Christian Church right through the centuries, and
they continue to nourish us today. They tell the story of God’s love and our salvation from ancient times onwards. The scriptural
texts offer us both challenge and encouragement for our lives, and are especially valuable to us through the hope they offer us at