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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis to inaugurate Sunday of the Word of God with special Mass

According to statistics, a majority of Catholics are exposed to the Bible only at Mass.

To help make the Bible a part of their daily lives, the pope designated a Sunday for the Word of God, the first of which will be this week.

Pope Francis will celebrate a special Mass in the Vatican to inaugurate it. He will use the lectionary used during the Second Vatican Council. He will give copies of the Bible to 40 people from all walks of life.

President, Pontifical Council For the New Evangelization
“This feast seeks to revive believers' responsibility to know Sacred Scripture and keep it alive through its permanent diffusion and understanding, thus making sense of the life of the Church in every situation.”

The Vatican presented the evocative logo showing Jesus with the disciples from Emmaus, represented as a married couple.

The St Pauls Publishing House also prepared this guide, in various languages, with ideas for the celebration. It suggests treating the Liturgy of the Word at Mass with reverence, reading the Bible with one's family, meditating in front of works of art and organizing reading marathons or trivia.

The goal is to help Catholics deepen their knowledge of and pray with the Bible.

President, Pontifical Council For the New Evangelization
“Catholics need—or have to feel the need—to get back in touch with the Word of God.”

Secretary, Pontifical Council For the New Evangelization
“Unfortunately, often in our parishes, we don't prepare people to read the Word of God to others. Many times, the rector says, 'Who wants to read?' and someone who doesn't understand what he or she is reading volunteers. It's important to be able to teach how to proclaim the Word, so the person feels it's something that's alive and that belongs to him or her. It's important to teach the person how to communicate the Word to others.”

The Sunday of the Word of God does not have a fixed date. It will be celebrated every year on the third Sunday after the end of the Christmas season.

The Vatican asks dioceses to be creative in finding ways to help Catholics prioritize the Bible in their lives.