Sunday of the Word of God
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Global and regional conflicts and wars, rising crime and violence even amongst the young, diminishing trust levels in public officials, and powerful hurricanes like never seen before have instigated fear in people, have undermined the hopes of some and left others traumatized, and have resulted in people asking where is God in the midst of their distress. They wonder whether God has abandoned them.
The just concluded Christmas Season celebrated the Word of God entering those human realities, and by the Incarnation the Word has created for humanity possibilities and opportunities that bring new hope and opportunity for renewal.
This 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Sunday of the Word of God, proclaims that the Word made incarnate is the gift of meaning to humanity. The social and political upheavals in life can make us feel overwhelmed. However, engaging the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Easter mystery, invites us to see that, despite the present pain, a future is possible. The Word of God made flesh has taught us not to allow sadness or disappointments to put a veil over our eyes and somehow to distort reality. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus reveals to us that, although pain, suffering, and death are real, they do not have the last word.
And so, the Word of God is our gift of hope. That hope is grounded on God’s vision of reality that has been revealed in the ministry, passion and death, and resurrection of Jesus.
With that said, the celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God renews our hope, encouraging us to persist in bringing about the Kingdom of God for all people, even in the face of crises and continued resistance. We are empowered to persist in a vision that others might not be able to see, but those of us who see it can help others to see. Our goal is not to correct, critique, or condemn, but we strive toward the fulfilment of God’s perfect plan that realizes the full blessings which God has in mind for all people.
Because the Word of God took on human flesh and persisted to the end, we too are invited to persist to the end.
I wish to encourage all in the different local churches throughout the Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) to join the universal church in reflecting on and celebrating the great importance of the Word of God for our everyday living.
Wishing all a fruitful celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God.
Apart from the usual enthronement and blessings of the bibles, the following are ideas for Sunday of the Word of God.
In preparation for the Sunday of the Word of God, bishops with their priests and deacons could gather to pray over and study the biblical text. And to share homiletical ideas. This could be the beginning of what can be a weekly or monthly exercise.
Also, in preparation for the Sunday liturgy, parish priests could gather with their pastoral teams to reflect on the readings.
Parishioners could be invited to bring their bibles to mass on the Sunday of the Word of God to be blessed.
Individuals could be given space during the liturgy on the Sunday of the Word of God to witness to how the Word of God has nourished their lives.
A procession with an enthroned Bible through the streets of the parish community or church compound could be held before or after the mass on the Sunday of the Word of God.
Small wins should be celebrated. Groups and/or individuals who have digested the Word of God and are manifesting its fruits in concrete ways in the community could be recognized. The children, youth and young adults should be given special recognition.
A special Liturgy of the Word for children could be prepared and celebrated in a space specially prepared for that day. Again, this could be the start of an ongoing Children’s ministry.
Writtend by Fr. Hugh Logan, Zonal Coordinator – Caribbean Zone – Catholic Biblical Federation