In 2019, Pope Francis dedicated the third Sunday of Ordinary Time, soon after the Christmas season, as the Word of God Sunday; and this year it falls on 23 January.
Therefore, my sisters and brothers, I take this opportunity to invite all of you to become a friend of the Word of God - contained in the Bible. Because the Word of God has the power to bring positive changes in our lives. It is God's inspired Word for man.
As it is written in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."
* It is through the Scriptures our God reaches out to our hearts and minds.
* It is through the Scriptures we gain some knowledge of the nature of God (1 John 4:7).
I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of the Word of God in our lives. As St Jerome rightly said: "The ignorance of scriptures is ignorance of Christ." And we as Catholics have to make it our prime duty to read, understand and contemplate on the Word of God so that we can be drawn closer to God.
Reading the Bible every day is a journey with God through the scriptures. Simply reading the Bible is not enough but it is critically important to listen and understand what those scriptures are trying to tell you.
The Scriptures are the foundation of the Church; besides the Holy Eucharist, it is spiritual food which nourishes and gives shape to our prayer life. When we read the Word of God.
God speaks to us through the Word of God and He shows us the way for our salvation.
As you very well know that in our diocese we have published a special Bible written in our own language - Konkani so that you can have a better understanding of God's message.
I encourage you and your family to become a friend of the Bible. Once you finish your family or personal rosary, do take time to read the Gospel reading of the day and reflect upon it in silence; listen and see if it is conveying to you a particular message, discuss it with your family members and use that message to bring positive changes in your life and in the lives of all your family members.
Most importantly use the Word of God to enhance your relationship with God Himself.
I wish all of you a Happy Word of God Sunday.
+Bishop Alwyn Barreto