The Word of God

Word of God Sunday

The Catholic Church is often accused of discouraging and even preventing the faithful from reading the Bible. But Catholics are, and have been, encouraged to read and study the Bible on their own and in small groups.

Sacred Scripture has always been an important part of the prayer life of the Church. Many prayers and devotions include passages and verses from the Bible and Catholics hear the Word of God proclaimed at every Mass.

The most commonly approved translations of the Bible suitable for use by Catholics in the United States are the New American Bible – Revised Edition and the New Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition.

Over 100 million Bibles are sold or given away each year, but many of them go unused and unread. Many people, both Catholics and non-Catholic, are unfamiliar with Sacred Scripture.

Catholics celebrate Sunday of the Word of God on the third Sunday in Ordinary Time, between January 21 and January 27. Also known as Word of God Sunday, it is devoted to encouraging Bible reading and study by Catholics.

The Bible is by Catholics, for Catholics:

Being able to read the Bible privately is a gift:

All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3: 16-17

Reading the inspired word of God :

The Word of God cuts like a sword:

 A key concept for understanding the sacred text as the Word of God in human words is certainly that of inspiration. Here too we can suggest an analogy: as the Word of God became flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, so Sacred Scripture is born from the womb of the Church by the power of the same Spirit. Sacred Scripture is “the Word of God set down in writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit”. In this way one recognizes the full importance of the human author who wrote the inspired texts and, at the same time, God himself as the true author.

Pope Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, 30 September 2010

There are many reasons and ways to read the Bible:

Different parts of the Bible need to be read in different ways:

Read with the intentions of the human and divine authors in mind:

The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful… to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 133

Catholics were never discouraged from reading the Bible:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Faith isn’t about how you feel:

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