Word of God Sunday

Word of God Sunday

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

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 common 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.

Pope Francis established January 26, 2020 as Sunday of the Word of God. From now on, the third Sunday in Ordinary Time will be 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 Word of God takes time and effort:

There are many reasons and ways to read the Bible:

“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

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

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

Nor should we fail to mention here how earnestly these same our predecessors, when the opportunity occurred, recommended the study or preaching or in fine the pious reading and meditation on the Sacred Scriptures. Pius X most heartily commended the society of St. Jerome, which strives to promote among the faithful – and to facilitate with all its power – the truly praiseworthy custom of reading and meditating on the holy Gospels; he exhorted them to persevere in the enterprise they had begun, proclaiming it “a most useful undertaking, as well as most suited to the times,” seeing that it helps in no small way “to dissipate the idea that the Church is opposed to or in any way impedes the reading of the Scriptures in the vernacular.”

Pope Pius XII, Divino Afflante Spiritu, September 30, 1943

Catholics were never discouraged from reading the Bible:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

The greatest signs of the presence of God:

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