On this Lord’s Day, by the proclamation and at the invitation of Pope Francis, the Church observes the first Sunday of the Word of the Lord. Last year on September 30 (the feast of Saint Jerome who is patron saint of Bible scholars and translators), the Holy Father invited the Church to recognize and celebrate the importance of the Word of God in the life of the Church. In the Apostolic Letter promulgating the observance, Francis reminded us that at the Second Vatican Council in the 1960’s, one of the goals of the Council was to “promote that warm and living love for the Scripture to which the venerable tradition of both Eastern and Western gives testimony.”
The document Pope Francis gave to institute Sunday of the Word of the Lord is known by its Latin title Aperuit Illis, which is taken from Luke 24:45: He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. The Risen Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit given to the Church opens our minds to the sacred story revealed in the Word of God. Through the proclamation of the Word of God at Mass and in the Sacred Liturgy, in the homily and through Bible study, God’s People have opened for them the treasure of God – that He is our salvation, He is our Light and Peace, He is our Lord and Savior.
Today, the Book of the Gospels is being displayed in a special way in the Cathedral to call our attention to the importance of the Word of God to all of us. As the Church reminds us, through Word and Sacrament we encounter the Lord Jesus who is the Word made flesh. At Francis’ invitation, I hope that each of you will advance in the grace of God offered us in his holy Word.