Sunday 24 January is the Word of God Sunday. Pope Francis has invited us to use the third Sunday of the Ordinary Time to “be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God.” In personal and communal reading and studying of the Word of God, we discover the mysteries of the love of God for us, and in sharing it with others, we bring them God’s healing advice and direction in life. Especially, in reading and studying of the Word of God, we come to love and to deepen our knowledge of Christ, who was the Word that became flesh and now dwells among us. In order to emphasis the importance of knowing our Scripture, St. Jerome (329-420 AD) once rightly said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Because without reading and studying of the Word of God, we will not fully understand our Christian identity and mission in the world that Christ has entrusted to us.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Mother Church teaches us to believe that in the sacred books, ‘the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with us; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons and daughters, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life’ (Dei Verbum No. 21).
Thus, it is the solid teaching of the whole Church, the people of God that “all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the person who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind” (Dei Verbum No. 11). It is when we study and find ways of sharing the Scripture that we allow the light of the Holy Spirit to permeate all aspects of our lives and manifest his total love in our words and actions.
Fr. Tien Cao