Sunday of the Word of God

The Irish Liturgical Calendar explains it like this: Saint Luke tells us that before his Ascension, the Risen Lord appeared to the apostles and broke bread with them. ‘He then opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (Acts 24:45). This is how Pope Francis begins his apostolic letter, ‘Aperuit illis’, issued 30 September 2019, the feast of St. Jerome, instituting the Sunday of the Word of God: ‘The relationship between the Risen Lord, the community of believers and sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians. Without the Lord who opens our minds to them, it is impossible to understand the scriptures in depth. Yet the contrary is equally true: without the scriptures, the events of the mission of Jesus and of his Church in this world would remain incomprehensible. Hence, Saint Jerome could rightly claim: ‘Ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ’

At the end of the Year of Mercy Pope Francis proposed setting aside ‘a Sunday given entirely to the word of God, so as to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant dialogue between the Lord and his people.’ He declares the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (this year 22nd January 2023) to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God. He notes this as a fitting time ‘to strengthen our bonds with the Jewish people and to pray for Christian unity’.