'To encounter Jesus Christ is at the heart of evangelisation.'
'The God Who Speaks' , now extended to Sunday of the Word of God, 23rd January 2022, encourages us to focus on the Bible. The Bishops of England and Wales, invite us to renew our encounter with Jesus through a greater exploration of the Bible. At Mass each Sunday, at various liturgies in the week and even in our simplest of prayers we already touch on the riches of the Bible. Yet, it seems that for many Catholics the Holy Scripture feels inaccessible, or there is a perception that the regular reading of the Bible is for other traditions. Pope Francis tells us, ‘The Sacred Scriptures are the very source of evangelisation’ and if we are to evangelise, that is, bring others to an encounter with Jesus Christ, ‘A Christian's first task is to listen to the word of God, to listen to Jesus, because he speaks to us and saves us with his word’. He suggests that we should always carry a small Bible or pocket edition of the Gospels, whether in a book or on our smartphone, so that we can explore God’s word whenever and wherever we have few minutes to spare. Pope Francis has also declared that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (in January each year) is designated as ‘Sunday of the Word of God’.
Whether it is through the books of Wisdom and the Prophets of the Old Testament, or through the Gospels and Letters of the New Testament, by engaging more fully with the word of God, we come closer to Jesus Christ. We cannot walk with Jesus across the hills of Galilee or along the dusty roads to Jerusalem, but we can hear the witness of those who did.
‘We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.’ (1 John 1: 1).
In an increasingly demanding and confusing world, let the Bible be our guide. Pope Benedict, in his exhortation, Verbum Domini, speaking to young people particularly, says that sacred Scripture can be a ‘compass pointing out the path to follow’.
- Sunday Meditations for December 2020
- 'The Sunday of the Word of God' - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - 24th January 2021
- Ideas for parishes
- 'Journeying with the Bible'
- Bible and Scripture sites
- Interfaith reflection
- 'The God Who Speaks' website
- 'The Sunday of the Word of God' - Resources from Irish Bishops
- British Sign Language Bible Translation Project
- Liturgy Office at CBCEW
- Brentwood diocese
- Southwark diocese
- Portsmouth diocese
- British Library: Discovering Sacred Texts: Manuscripts of the Christian Bible