Posted in CATHOLIC TIME, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, The WORD

Sunday of the Word of God – 26 January

Sunday of the Word of God – 26 January
Making the Scriptures
Part of our Everyday Lives

SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD 26 JAN 2020

What is the Word of God?

We often identify the Bible as the Word of God. This is not wrong but God speaks to our hearts in many different ways.   For instance, He speaks to us in prayer and through our conscience and often through other people.   Hence, the Word of God covers much more than a printed book.   Nevertheless, the Bible is the privileged collection of communications between God and His people.   These stories and poems have nourished the lives of the people of Israel and the Christian Church, right through the centuries and they continue to nourish us today.   They tell the story of God’s love and our salvation from ancient times onwards.   The scriptural texts offer us both challenge and encouragement for our lives and are especially valuable to us through the hope they offer us at dark moments.

The Holy Spirit and the Scriptures

The Holy Spirit was at work in the whole process of the formation of the Scriptures.   This is why, even though many people across different times and places contributed to the writing, we believe that the Scriptures are divinely inspired.   But the Holy Spirit’s work does not come to an end with the writing of the text.   The Holy Spirit, who dwells in us by virtue of our baptism, is also at work in us as we listen to the text.   Therefore, through the Spirit’s inspiration, the words of Scripture can become a living Word of the Lord to us here and now.ArmstrongD-READING BIBLE

Opening the Law and the Prophets (see Luke 4:17) – On Reading the Old Testament as Christians

When Saint Luke, in his Gospel, portrays the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he does so in the following way:

“Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”(4:16–18).

Saint-Jerome-bible
St Jerome

For Luke, the one in whom Christians place their trust as their Lord and Saviour, who is—in the words of the Nicene Creed—God from God, Light from Light and who sits at the right hand of the Father, was, is and remains, a Jewish male from Galilee.   Our Saviour is a Jew from Galilee.   To lose sight of His essential and enduring Jewishness is to distort Jesus, it is to divorce Him from His people, and to blind us to the reality and power of the Word made flesh (see John 1:14).

Jesus, the Galilean Jew, began His “public” life with words from His Scriptures.   His life ended with word from His Scriptures—in His anguish of the cross, He prays the beginning of Psalm 21 (22):  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”   To express what He’s about and to say who He is, Jesus proclaims His Scriptures—what Christians call the Old Testament.   Today also, truly to understand what God is doing in Christ (see 2 Cor 5:19), the followers of Christ are called to read and pray the Old Testament so that we may come to a sense of the mysteries that are veiled in all our lives and revealed in Christ (see St Augustine, On the Spirit and the Letter § 27).

Because the Old Testament communicates the mysteries of God’s life and ours, to come to know God’s word in the Old Testament is to know the power of God.   This is why St Jerome famously says that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ: – it is not that we gain “information” about Christ that is otherwise inaccessible, rather, to have one’s heart opened by the word of God is to come to know the one in whom the “the power and wisdom of God” has taken flesh.   It is to know “Christ—the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24).
This means that Christians are called to read the Old Testament like Christ read it – in a way that opens the heart, that recognises the faithfulness of God to His people and to the everlasting covenant made with them, that sees in the words of the Law, the Prophets and the writings, the threshold of the Word of God.

To read like Christ is to see the Law not as a burden but as the revelation of God’s will.
To read like Christ is to see in the Psalms the most wonderful school of prayer.
To read like Christ is to submit oneself to the prophets’ call to justice and their witness to the power of God.
To read like Christ is to read as one who is “last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35), who avoids all haughtiness and refuses to put the other in the wrong.
Such a person resists the distortions of history which have caused so much suffering to God’s chosen people, the brothers and sisters of our Lord.

rembrandt's mother reading bible - sun of the word of god 26 jan 2020
Portrait of Rembrandt’s mother reading a lectionary, ca. 1630 (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).   The painting has more recently been attributed to Gerrit Dou.

…The Proclaimed Word is a Word not just in the past but a Word here and now, given to this liturgical assembly to shape, challenge and sustain their ongoing following of the Lord.   Every time a Christian community gathers, it is making a bold statement about where they have come from, who they are and where they hope one day to be.   The Scriptures nourish the boldness of the community, once more today, we are urged to allow the Word of God to nourish us as both individuals and communities.

Jesus also calls to Himself a group of disciples in today’s gospel account.   He invites them to come and walk in His ways.   Through their response, they set out on a path of discipleship leaving all behind them, it is a way that will lead some of His followers to martyrdom and others to betrayal: words of fidelity and words of treachery.   The Scriptures nurture the path of the disciples in their following of Jesus and walking in His ways, by taking the word and allowing it to shape and mould our identity as Christians. The Word proclaimed every Sunday in our Eucharistic celebration, the Word heard in the very ordinary circumstances of our daily lives, the words that we speak every moment, let all of them be, for us, moments of salvation and gifts to others….Catholic Bishops of Ireland

Official logo for the Sunday of the Word of God unveiled at Vatican

Official-logo-for-the-Sunday-of-the-Word-of-God-unveiled-at-Vatican-500x464

An icon of the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus was chosen as the official logo for the worldwide celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God.

The colourful logo is based on an icon written by the late-Benedictine Sr Marie-Paul Farran, a member of the Our Lady of Calvary Congregation, who lived and worked at its monastery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

The logo was presented to the press at a Vatican news conference on 17th January, ahead of the newly established Sunday of the Word of God, which is being celebrated on 26th January this year.

The logo was presented to the press at a Vatican news conference on 17th January, ahead of the newly established Sunday of the Word of God, which is being celebrated on 26th January this year.

The logo shows the Resurrected Christ holding in his left hand a scroll, which is “the sacred Scripture that found its fulfilment in his person,” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, told reporters.

By his side are two disciples: Clopas and his wife, Mary. They both fix their gaze on Christ while Clopas holds a stick to indicate “a pilgrimage,” the archbishop said.

Mary is holding one hand upward and with her other hand seems to be touching the Lord, reaffirming that he has fulfilled the ancient promises and is the living Word that must be proclaimed to the world, he said.

Holding the stick in one hand, Clopas’ free hand is pointing the road ahead, which all disciples are called to take in order to bring the Good News to everyone, Archbishop Fisichella said.

There is a star overhead symbolising evangelisation and the “permanent light” that guides their journey and shows them the way, he added.

It is also important, he said, to notice the feet of all three are depicted as being in motion, representing that the proclamation of the Risen Christ cannot be accomplished by “tired or lazy disciples” but only by those who are “dynamic” and ready to find new ways to speak so that sacred Scripture may become the living guide of the life of the church and its people.

Posted in PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – St Arnold Janssen (1837-1909)

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – Wednesday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A – The Memorial of St Arnold Janssen SVD (1837-1909)

“Proclamation
of the Good News
is the first
and most
significant expression,
of love
for one’s neighbour.”proclamation of the good news is the first - st arnold janssen 15 jan 2020.jpg

Quarter-Hour Prayer
St Arnold, in his youth, invented a means of personally keeping in contact with God.   To do so, he prayed the acts of faith, hope and charity every quarter hour at the signal of the church tower clock or the chime of the clock at home or in school.   He would pray:

O God, eternal truth, I believe in You.
O God, our strength and salvation, I trust in You.
O God, infinite goodness, I love You with my whole heart.

St Arnold Janssen (1837-1909)

Founder of the Missionaries of the Divine Word
Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit Adoration Sistersst arnold janssen's quarter hour prayer 15 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, GOD the FATHER, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – St Hilary

Quote/s of the Day – 13 January – Monday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father and Doctor of the Church

“The privilege of our Church is such
that it is never stronger,
than when it is attacked,
never better known,
than when it is accused,
never more powerful,
than when it
appears forsaken.”

(Treatise on the Trinity)the privilege of our church is such that it is never stronger - st hilary 13 jan 2020.jpg

“The Church is the Ship
outside which
it is impossible to understand
the Divine Word,
for Jesus spoke from the boat
to the people gathered
on the shore.”

the church is the ship outside of which - st hilary - divine word 13 jan 2020.jpg

“God only knows,
how to be love
and He only knows,
how to be Father.
And the one who loves is not envious
and one who is Father is so totally.
This name does not permit compromises,
as if God were only father
in some aspects
and not in others.”

St Hilary of Poitiers
(315-368)
Father & Doctor of the Churchgod-only-knows-how-to-love-st-hilary-13-jan-2019 and 13 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT QUOTES, FATHERS of the Church, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The CHRIST CHILD

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us.

Thought for the Day – 28 November – It’s time to Hope! Advent is nearly upon us

This year, as before, I will post daily Advent Reflections drawn from diverse Saints and Holy people – please join me in prayer and in awakening our souls to hope.

advent reflections - o come o come emmnuel - begins 1 dec - posted 28 nov 2019.jpg

Memory Awakens Hope

By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
(Pope Benedict XVI)

In one of his Christmas stories Charles Dickens tells of a man who lost his emotional memory, that is, he lost the whole chain of feelings and thoughts he had acquired in the encounter with human suffering.   This extinction of the memory of love is presented to him as liberation from the burden of the past but it becomes clear, immediately, that the whole person has been changed, now, when he meets with suffering, no memories of kindness are stirred within him…   Since his memory has dried up, the source of kindness within him has also disappeared.   He has become cold and spreads coldness around him.

Goethe deals with the same ideas as Dickens, in his account of the first celebration of the feast of Saint Roch in Bingen, after the long interruption caused by the Napoleonic wars. He observes the people as they press, tightly packed, through the church past the image of the saint and he watches their faces – the faces of the children and the adults are shining, mirroring the joy of the festal day.   But with the young people, Goethe reports, it was otherwise.   They went past unmoved, indifferent, bored.   And he gives an illuminating explanation – they were born in evil times, had nothing good to remember and consequently had nothing to hope for. In other words, it is only the person who has memories who can hope.   The person who has never experienced goodness and kindness simply does not know what such things are.

Recently a counsellor who spends much of his time talking with people on the verge of despair, was speaking in similar terms about his own work, if his client succeeds in recalling a memory of some good experience, he may once again be able to believe in goodness and thus relearn hope, then there is a way out of despair.   Memory and hope are inseparable.   To poison the past does not give hope, it destroys its emotional foundations.

Sometimes Charles Dickens’ story strikes me as a vision of contemporary experience. This man who let himself be robbed of the heart’s memory by the delusion of a false liberation — do we not find him with us today, in a generation whose past has been poisoned by a particular program of liberation that has stifled hope?   When we read of the pessimism with which our young people look toward the future, we ask ourselves, Why?   Is it that, in the midst of material affluence, they have no memory of human goodness that would allow them to hope?   By outlawing the emotions, by satirising joy, have we not trampled on the root of hope?

These reflections bring us straight to the significance of the Christian season of Advent. For Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man.   Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God Who became a Child.   This is a healing memory, it brings hope.   The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.   All the feasts in the Church’s calendar are events of remembrance and hence events of hope.   These events, of such great significance for mankind, which are preserved and opened up by faith’s calendar, are intended to become personal memories of our own life history, through the celebration of holy seasons by means of liturgy and custom.   Our personal memories are nourished by mankind’s great memories, in turn, it is only by translating them into personal term,s that these great memories are kept alive.   Man’s ability to believe always depends in part on faith having become dear on the path of life, on the humanity of God having manifested itself through the humanity of men.   No doubt each of us could tell his own story here as to what the various memories of Christmas, Easter or other festivals mean in his life.

It is the beautiful task of Advent, to awaken in all of us, memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.

“Those who run
toward the Lord,
will never lack space…
One who is climbing
never stops,
he moves from
beginning to beginning,
according to beginnings,
that never end.”

St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395)
Brother of St Basil the Greatadvent - those who run toward the Lord - st gregory of Nyssa 28 nov 2019

Posted in CATECHESIS, CATHOLIC Quotes, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD, VATICAN II - Documents

One Minute Reflection – 18 October – “I too have decided … to write it down..”

One Minute Reflection – 18 October – The Feast of St Luke the Evangelist, Gospel: Luke 10:1-9

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, pray therefore, the Lord of the harvest, to send out labourers into his harvest.” … Luke 10:2

Saint Luke’s testimony – “I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately to write it down in an orderly sequence” (Luke 1:3)

REFLECTION – “Among all the Scriptures, even those of the New Testament, the Gospels have a special pre-eminence and rightly so, for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our Saviour.   The Church has always and everywhere, held and continues to hold, that the four Gospels are of apostolic origin.  For what the Apostles preached in fulfilment of the commission of Christ, afterwards, they themselves and apostolic men, under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, handed on to us in writing – the foundation of faith, namely, the fourfold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy, held and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (Acts 1:1-2). Indeed, after the Ascension of the Lord the Apostles handed on to their hearers what He had said and done.   This they did with that clearer understanding which they enjoyed after they had been instructed by the glorious events of Christ’s life and taught by the light of the Spirit of truth (Jn 14:26).

The sacred authors wrote the four Gospels, selecting some things from the many which had been handed on by word of mouth or in writing, reducing some of them to a synthesis, explaining some things in view of the situation of their churches and preserving the form of proclamation but always, in such fashion, that they told us the honest truth about Jesus.   For their intention in writing, was that either from their own memory and recollections, or from the witness of those who “themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word” we might know “the truth concerning those matters about which we have been instructed” (Lk 1, 1-4). … Vatican Council II – Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation “ Dei Verbum ” # 18-19luke 1 3 - i too have decided - luke 10 2 the harvest is plentiful 18 oct 2019 feast of st luke.jpg

PRAYER – Lord God, You chose St Luke to reveal the mystery of Your love in his preaching and his writings.   Grant, we pray, that we may grow in love for the Holy Face of Christ, His words and His directions, revealed to us in the Gospels, in the example of your saints.   Today, on his feast, we especially look to St Luke, to guide, teach and pray for us.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever and ever, amen.st-luke-pray-for-us-18-oct-2017-no-2.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on TIME, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 15 October – Let us begin!

Quote/s of the Day – 15 October – Monday of the Twenty Eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 11:29–32

“Our Saviour’s words
are not of a nature
to be heard once
and no more
but that to understand them,
we must feed upon them
and live in them,
as if by, little and little,
growing into their meaning.”

Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)our saviour's words - st john henry newman 14 oct 2019.jpg

“Yesterday is gone.
Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today.
Let us begin.”

Saint Mother Teresa (1910-1997)yesterday is gone tomorrow has not yet come - st mother tresa 14 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, SAINT of the DAY, SPEAKING of ....., The WORD

Quotes of the Day – 30 September – St Jerome – Speaking of Holy Scripture

Quotes of the Day – 30 September – The Memorial of Saint Jerome (347-419), Priest, Father and Doctor of the Church

St Jerome – Speaking of Holy Scripture

“The Scriptures are shallow enough,
for a babe to come and drink,
without fear of drowning
and deep enough,
for theologians to swim in,
without ever reaching the bottom.”the scriptures are shallow enough for a babe - st jerome 30 sept 2019.jpg

“Make knowledge of the Scripture your love …
Live with them,
meditate on them,
make them the sole object
of your knowledge
and inquiries.”make knowledge of the scripture your love - st jerome - 30 sept 2019.jpg

“A false interpretation of Scripture,
causes, that the Gospel of the Lord,
becomes the gospel of man,
or, which is worse,
of the devil!”a false interpreation of scripture causes - st jerome 30 sept 2019.jpg

“It is worse still
to be ignorant
of your ignorance.”

St Jerome (347-419)
Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

Many more here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/09/30/quote-s-of-the-day-30-september-memorial-of-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctor/
AND here:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/quotes-of-the-day-30-september-the-memorial-of-st-jerome-347-419-father-and-doctorit is worse stilll to be ignorant of your ignorance - st jerome - 30 sept 2019.jpg