In his Apostolic Letter of 30 September 2019, Aperuit illis Pope Francis established that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be the Sunday of the Word of God. This year it falls on this coming Sunday 24th January. Sunday of the Word of God is a day to be devoted to the celebration, study, and spreading of the Word of God. Pope Francis is clear from the very first paragraph of this letter that the relationship between the Risen Lord, a community of believers, and sacred Scripture is essential to who we are as Christians.
This Sunday builds on the texts and prayers of the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time and is conscious that it comes just after the celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. While we are not yet united around the table of the Eucharist, we do share on many Sundays of the year the same scriptural readings in our different Christian assemblies. Pope Francis urges us to strengthen our bonds with the Jewish people and to continue our prayer for Christian unity.
This Sunday is a time when the community is called to give greater attention not just to the Word of God. It is also urged to reflect on how we honour that Word in our celebrations, the books that we proclaim the Word from.