“The Bible is the book of the Lord’s people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division toward unity, as well as come to understand God’s love and become inspired to share it with others.” Pope Francis.

Blessing of the bibles at Sacred Heart Church

Pope Francis asks us to mark the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time as the Sunday of The Word of God. To celebrate this event, we are inviting you to bring your Bible to Mass to be blessed on 25/26th January or bring your Gospel of Luke that were given out after the Bishop’s visitation.

Pope Francis is inviting Catholics across the world to deepen their appreciation, love and faithful witness to God and his Word.

The Year of the Word celebrates “The God who speaks” and helps us to remember that our Lord is communicating with us every day, very frequently, but especially through the Bible. The Bible, having been inspired by the Holy Spirit, is more that just a historical text, it really is The Word of God.

Pope declares special Sunday each year dedicated to the Word of God

To help the Church grow in love and faithful witness to God, Pope Francis has declared the third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be dedicated to The Word of God.

“Devoting a special day “to the celebration, study and dissemination of The Word of God” will help the Church “experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world.” Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, Motu proprio “Aperuit illis”, published on 30 September, establishes that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of The Word of God”.

Recalling the importance given by the Second Vatican Council to rediscovering Sacred Scripture for the life of the Church, Pope Francis says he wrote this Apostolic Letter in response to requests from the faithful around the world to celebrate the Sunday of The Word of God.

The timing of the document is significant: 30th September is the Feast of Saint Jerome, the man who translated most of the Bible into Latin, and who famously said: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”. This year also marks 1600 years since his death.

The title of the document, “Aperuit illis”, is equally important. They are its opening words, taken from St Luke’s Gospel, where the Evangelist describes how the Risen Jesus appeared to His disciples, and how “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures”.

Pope Francis invites us never to take God’s Word for granted, “but instead to let ourselves be nourished by it, in order to acknowledge and live fully our relationship with Him and with our brothers and sisters”.

Do you have a Bible you’d like to have blessed? Perhaps a family bible? Perhaps the Gospel of Luke you recently received? Don’t forget to bring them with you for either Mass on the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary time at the weekend – 25th and 26th of Jan.

More events to celebrate the Year of the Word at Sacred Heart are currently being planned so watch this space…

For more information on The Year of the Word and The God who speaks, please take a look at The God who speaks page created by the Portsmouth Diocese.

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