Do you remember a little over a year ago pope Francis issued a declaration that the Third Sunday of the Year should be devoted to the study, celebration and dissemination of the word of God. When we celebrated the Third Sunday of the Year last year there was a considerable amount of attention given to this declaration of Pope Francis. In some churches bibles were given away, others sold them and a good many very meaningful and beautiful homilies were preached giving true celebration to the importance of the word of God.
Well, one very important point of the pope’s declaration on this most important theme focuses on two things: it is a day to be celebrated each year and two: the importance of the word of God is not to be stressed only on this Third Sunday of the Year and beyond that it is to be celebrated on each day that follows each Sunday of the year. In other words our celebration of God’s word is to be stressed front and center along with our celebration of the Eucharist every time w gather to celebrate this great act of our faith and worship.
During this past year we have really been put to the test, so to speak, because of the many sacrifices we have had to make with regard to our gathering as faith communities to celebrate the word of God each Sunday and on weekdays as well, This has been a kind of distraction and even more. We are all very much aware that our attention has been focused so greatly on the dangers of the pandemic, that has forced so many changes in our way of life, not only our faith life and its practices but changes in our thinking as well.
Please, let this Third Sunday of the year in ordinary time remind us to renew our commitment to the word of God and not only for one day. May it remind us too of how deeply our lives are rooted on the word of God. Perhaps we should all recommit ourselves to the reading of sacred scripture, not only on Sundays but on every day for the word of God has something to teach us as we live out each and every day. This annual day of giving special focus and attention to the place of the word of God in our liturgy must be not only a one day emphasis but a daily one for the entire year.
Many of us might like to follow the scriptures that are set aside for the liturgy we celebrate and that is certainly a very beautiful focus to have in celebrating God’s word all year long. Others, may choose to simply turn to favorite scripture passages, stories that have a special personal meaning for us. That too, is a beautiful way to deepen and celebrate God’s word through each week. The important thing is that God’s word has been given to us as a gift, a gift that enriches and deepens our relationship with the Lord. For today and for every day, may the word of God be paramount in your life and bring you countless rich blessings.