The Word of God

Word of God Sunday

The Catholic Church has often been accused of discouraging and even preventing its members 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:

We are fully confident that both priests and faithful will prepare their hearts more devoutly and together at the Lord’s Supper, meditating more profoundly on Sacred Scripture, and at the same time they will nourish themselves more day by day with the words of the Lord. It will follow then that according to the wishes of the Second Vatican Council, Sacred Scripture will be at the same time a perpetual source of spiritual life, an instrument of prime value for transmitting Christian doctrine and finally the center of all theology.

Pope Paul VI, Missale Romanum, 3 April 1969

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:

“And such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life.” Hence “access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 131

Catholics were never discouraged from reading the Bible:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

In constant communication with God:

Share this page with friends and family to start a conversation about your faith.

Don’t miss a post. Learn more about the Catholic Church and strengthen your Catholic faith.

Find more Fiercely Catholic video issues here.

Subscribe here.

Book a Fiercely Catholic program at your next conference, retreat, or other Catholic event.