Celebrating Sunday of the Word of God

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A roundup of resources for studying and teaching about Scripture.

by Barb Szyszkiewicz

New on the liturgical calendar: Sunday of the Word of God, which takes the place of the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 23 this year).

Pope Francis issued a new motu proprio titled Aperuit Illisdeclaring that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time will be known as “Sunday of the Word of God.”

In his announcement, Pope Francis noted,

Devoting a specific Sunday of the liturgical year to the word of God can enable the Church to experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world.

In Walking in Love of Scripture, a new resource from Twenty-Third Publications, meditations are offered as reflections on excerpts of Pope Francis’ statement. These reflections will help us take up the pope’s invitation to let the Scriptures enrich our lives. Available as single copies or in bulk (with discount) from Twenty-Third PublicationsEnjoy this short selection from this resource:

Only the Beginning

While Pope Francis has chosen a specific Sunday to celebrate God’s word, he is insistent that this is only the launching pad for a continual exploration of how God is speaking to us. God does not speak to us once for all, but is always revealing new and unexpected layers of meaning. Our Sunday readings, broken into a three-year cycle, should not and will not have the same meaning for us when we hear them again the next time they come around. We must develop a closer relationship with Scripture, Pope Francis says, to keep our hearts from growing cold, and to keep us ever aware and awake to what God is saying to us.

Ponder: How have I changed in the last ten years? Why might I hear Scripture differently now?

Pray: God of word and sacrament, let me always be open to all that you are trying to teach me.

Helpful resources from CATECHIST magazine:

Bible 101. A helpful overview for reading the Bible.

Soaked in Scripture. Unleash the power of God’s Word in your lesson planning.

The Word of God: Pastoral Applications. How can we help our students and ourselves become more aware of how the living force of God’s Word is active in our lives?

#Scripture in Your Pocket. Bible apps and Instagram accounts to bring the Word of God to your device.

Leading Young People through Lectio DivinaCreative prayer activities to try in class or at home.


Other resources of interest:

United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) statement on Pope Francis’ declaration

Pope sets special day to honor, study, share the Bible. (Boston Pilot)


Barb Szyszkiewicz is the managing editor of Today’s Catholic Teacher. 



Image credits:

Banner at top: Lisa Julia Photography/Bayard Inc.
Book: Courtesy of Twenty-Third Publications.

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