Jesus said, Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing
Sunday 3C is dedicated to the Word of God. Already in the Reformed tradition, Bible Sunday celebrates the importance of the Scriptures (usually on or near Reformation Sunday). Pope Francis established this Sunday in 2019, to mark the 16th centenary of the death of St Jerome, the brilliant, hard-working, holy and irascible bible scholar. More importantly, it serves to underline the place of the Scriptures in our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.
The third Sunday in Ordinary Time is a suitable day because on this Sunday we start reading the Gospel for the year from the start. In 2022, this means we are reading from Luke: the opening dedication (1:1-4) and the opening scene of the ministry in the synagogue in Nazareth (4:14-21). The Nazareth story continues next Sunday with the remaining verses (4:21-30). Today’s reading contains the words: ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen,’ something we aspire to every Sunday.
The Sunday of the Word of God presents an opportunity to reflect on the place of the Scriptures in our lives as individual believers and as part of the community of faith. There are plenty of resources: Vatican II documents; the publications of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (up-to-date position papers); the writings and reflections of Pope Francis. See also Bible+, on my own website. Here are a few sample links:
- Dei Verbum (VaticanII)
- The Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture (PBC)
- The Joy of the Gospel (Pope Francis)
- Sunday of the Word of God (Pope Francis)
This year, it becomes especially important because we are embarking on the substance of the synodal pathways. There are many dimensions to the regeneration of faith today. There is no doubt, however, that this regeneration can have no other genesis than in the Word of God.
Lord, inspire me to read your Scriptures and to meditate upon them day and night. I beg you to give me real understanding of what I need, that I in turn may put its precepts into practice. Yet, I know that understanding and good intentions are worthless, unless rooted in your graceful love. So I ask that the words of Scripture may also be not just signs on a page, but channels of grace into my heart. Amen.
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Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Kieran J. O’Mahony OSA