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Word of God Sunday

Q. This past Sunday (January 24) it was announced at Mass that we were observing on that day “The Sunday of the Word of God.” What exactly is this celebration?

A. On September 30, 2019, Pope Francis instituted “The Sunday of the Word of God” to be held every year on the third Sunday of Ordinary Time, through the Apostolic Letter Aperuit illis, in the form of a motu proprio (a document issued on his own initiative and signed personally). The Pope intends for the day to be dedicated to the celebration, reflection, and dissemination of Scripture.

A note released by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and signed by the prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah, explains that The Sunday of the Word of God is a means to help people “reawaken an awareness of the importance of Sacred Scripture for our lives as believers, beginning with its resonance in the liturgy which places us in living and permanent dialogue with God.”

Though the celebration was on Sunday, its focus should press us to consider how we can allow the Scripture to shape our lives more fully every day and draw us closer to Jesus Christ. One obvious way to move toward that goal is to read the Bible every day, even if only a short passage that can spur our reflection and action. Since the new year has only just begun, why not read through the entire Bible over the course of the coming year?

It’s not as difficult as it may sound. At the risk of sounding self-promoting, I would recommend a title I published several years ago, called My Daily Catholic Bible: 20-Minute Daily Readings (Our Sunday Visitor, 2011, NABRE version). It offers two short, manageable readings for each day, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, along with an insightful quote from a saint for every day.

If twenty minutes seems more than you can spare, you might try a second title I published, My Daily Catholic New Testament: 10-Minute Daily Readings (Our Sunday Visitor, 2008). It has the same format, but with only the New Testament readings.

For more information, go to If neither of these approaches would work for you, I still urge you to find a way to read and reflect on Scripture daily. It will transform your life.

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