Last Sunday, the Third Sunday of the Year, was also the Sunday of the Word of God. Celebrating the annual Sunday of the Word of God, Pope Francis encourages us to be “conquered by the beauty” the Word of God brings into our lives, opening our hearts and showing us new and unforeseen wonders and horizons of God’s love.
Pope Francis presided over the celebration of the “Sunday of the Word of God” in Saint Peter’s Basilica on 21st January. This year’s motto is taken from the Gospel of Saint John: “Remain in my Word” (John 8,31). The Pope established the day as a pastoral initiative to show the importance the word of God has in the daily life of the Church and our communities, a Word that is not confined to a book, but one that remains ever alive and becomes a concrete and tangible sign. The Vatican’s Dicastery for Evangelization and Section for Fundamental Questions regarding Evangelization in the World, prepared a special liturgical and pastoral handbook for the annual observance, which takes place each year on the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. In his homily during the Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis, referring to the Gospel reading for the Sunday, observed that when Jesus called His first disciples to leave their fishing nets to follow Him, the Lord’s word “unleashes the power of the Holy Spirit, a power that draws people to God.” That Word draws us to God and then “sends us to others,” the Pope explained, as it makes our hearts and minds grow, showing us new and exciting horizons of hope and love that we naturally wish to share with others. The Pope explained how we, too, on our own shores of life where we are occupied with the “nets” of our daily occupations, need to hear the Lord’s call to set out with Him as missionaries, “God’s messengers and witnesses to a world drowning in words, yet thirsting for the very Word it so often ignores.” Recalling how the Saints down through the centuries opened their hearts and minds to God’s Word, letting it touch them and renew their soul with the peace of Jesus and concern for others, the Pope suggested we, too, can be moved in a similar way if we “stop being ‘deaf’ to God’s Word.”
Image: Crossroadsinitiative.com / Article from Vatican News