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Now what is Pope Francis Doing?

Some are frightened by what he is doing. He seems to be changing church doctrine.

Others are delighted by what he is doing. They see him as urging us to become a church of the poor and for the poor.

Still other are intrigued by what he is doing, He seems to be shaking things up.

And still others who could care less. For them he represents an irrelevant view of “the real world”.

So what has he done now?

One can probably see all four reactions to his recent change to the liturgical calendar.

Starting in 2020 (January 26) the Third Sunday of the Ordinary Time (Sundays outside the major liturgical seasons of Advent, Lent, Easter) is now celebrated the Sunday of the Word of God.

Pope Francis in his own words…

“May the Sunday of the Word of God help his people to grow in religious and intimate familiarity with the sacred Scriptures.”

“Saint Jerome could rightly claim: ‘Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.’”

He offers some significant suggestions in the document announcing the change at the Vatican website.

St. Vincent de Paul would rejoice

The word of God turned his life around! He began to view the world of his day differently after absorbing the story of Jesus and the stories Jesus told.

It is not stretch of the imagination to say that his embodiment of the Word God in the sweat of his brow and the strength of his arms…  changed the world of His day… and prefigured our church today

Listen to what he taught his followers

Each day Vincent read from the New Testament and obliged his confreres to do the same: The priests and all the students are to read a chapter of the New Testament, reverencing this book as the norm of Christian holiness.

One of the elderly missionaries of the Congregation noted that Vincent was very devout during the celebration of Mass, especially during the reading of the Gospel. Others noted that when he found a passage that began with the words: “Amen, amen, I say to you…,” he became more attentive to the words and his voice became more devout: “He seemed to absorb the meaning of the words of the  Sacred Scripture, nurturing his soul with the substance of the text just as a child is nurtured by his mother’s milk. Thus, it seemed that all his actions were filled with the spirit of Jesus Christ.”

I suspect this is part of what St. Paul meant when he wrote “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Food for thought

  • When was the last time I picked up the Bible outside of Eucharist
  • Will we risk allowing the dangerous book, the Bible, into our lives by reading it more frequently
  • Will we risk asking what parallels with my life do see in the Bible
  • Will we allow what we read to shape our lives regarding the issues of our day and our lives?

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