It is most fortunate, and surely not a coincidence that the week of prayer for Christian Unity, which begins today and ends next Sunday, also happens to end on the Sunday which Pope Francis has declared to be, henceforth, Word of God Sunday. It is most fortunate because the Scriptures, the inspired Word of God, is, together with our baptism, something that despite all our differences, we share with all Christians. They are a very powerful source of a very significant unity among Christians. In baptism we receive the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that inspired the Scriptures in the first place. This Holy Spirit opens our eyes, hearts, and minds to the content of Scripture. They come alive for us, verse by verse. And we are changed by the multi-facetted gospel that we have never finished discovering in the Bible. We, that is to say, all Christians!
A word, firstly, on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We have nothing planned at St. Mary’s, but if you go to the archdiocesan website (just google “rcav”) and type “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” in the search box at the top-right corner of the home page, you will be provided with a whole series of events throughout the week, in Catholic and other churches, that have been planned to celebrate this important week. If you have never been present at an ecumenical event, this is definitely something to consider.
A word, secondly, on Word of God Sunday, which is next Sunday, January 25th and 26th. We will celebrate this newly themed Sunday by inviting all those who already have Bibles that haven’t already been blessed, to bring them to mass. Your Bibles will be blessed during the liturgy, immediately after the general intercessions. We will also be selling Bibles before and after every mass, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, and right through till after the 7:00 p.m. mass on Sunday. There will be a choice of different editions of the Bible. So if you don’t have a Bible, remember to bring along what it takes to buy one. We accept cheques, cash, debit cards, and credit cards.
By the grace of God and by the celebration of this new Sunday, may we progress in our likeness of Christ, thanks to the effect upon us of a more assiduous reading of Scripture. And by the grace of God, as we grow in our likeness of Christ, may we grow in our communion with our fellow Christians who are not of our Catholic fold.
God bless all Christians,