On September 30, 2019, Pope Francis declared the third Sunday of Ordinary time as a special feast day in honor of the Bible whose official name is “The Sunday of the Word of God.” This is great news. This coming year, it will be on January 26, 2020. Pope Francis wrote a new Motu Proprio (Aperuit Illis) to go with this new feast day. It is a great read you can find at: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/motu_proprio/documents/papa-francesco-motu-proprio-20190930_aperuit-illis.html.
Pope Francis wanted to stress some things that are particular to the Bible that we do not find in any other written text. The first is that the Bible is the word of God, and not just some words of men or wise sayings (1 Thess 2:13). The Bible is not something we can change or try to twist into what we want it to mean. It is something we should live by and consult every day. In the Bible, God instructs how we are to live, tells us who God is and how we can get to know Him, and strengthens us in times when life gets hard. But the desires of our Supreme Pontiff are marked best by the end of the second paragraph of the Motu Proprio, “It is fitting that the life of our people be constantly marked by this decisive relationship with the living word that the Lord never tires of speaking to His bride, that she may grow in love and faithful witness.” The Bible is a place where we can get to know our savior more. He even quotes the famous quote from St Jerome, “ignorance of scripture is Ignorance of Christ.” Without the Bible, we could hardly get to know Jesus. Continue reading
ISSUED “MOTU PROPRIO”
BY THE SUPREME PONTIFF
SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD
1. “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Lk 24:45). This was one of the final acts of the risen Lord before his Ascension. Jesus appeared to the assembled disciples, broke bread with them and opened their minds to the understanding of the sacred Scriptures. To them, amid their fear and bewilderment, he unveiled the meaning of the paschal mystery: that in accordance with the Father’s eternal plan he had to suffer and rise from the dead, in order to bring repentance and the forgiveness of sins (cf. Lk 24:26.46-47). He then promised to send the Holy Spirit, who would give them strength to be witnesses of this saving mystery (cf. Lk 24:49).
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” (Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Prologue: PL 24,17B). Continue reading
So many times, we take our faith for granted. We dip our fingers in the holy water font subconsciously as we bless ourselves. We say the Our Father during Mass and most of us probably do not even think about what we are saying. The responses of the Mass can be like the teacher in Charlie Brown, “Wa, wa wa wa wa waa,” and before we know it, we are at another part of the Mass and have no idea how we got there. It gets really scary when this happens when we drive! Not that it has ever happened to me. Auto pilot kicks in and away we go. Continue reading
Come to our RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) classes starting Sunday, September 8. The classes are from 12:30pm-2:00pm every Sunday in the rectory at St Joseph Church. We will be going over the basic teachings of the Catholic Church with Fr Barr and our deacons. We will learn about the Catholic understanding of the Bible, the sacraments, prayers, traditions and practices. Come and discover the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith and of the love our Lord Jesus has for you.