Friday, 3 October 2008

Oh the Word of My Lord

With the start of the Bishops' Synod on the Word of God this coming weekend and the current focus on St Paul and his epistles this year, it puts to bed once and for all any suggestions that Catholics do not take Scripture seriously. In a similar vein this diocese has once again put together a series of reflections for Advent, this year focussing on Paul's letters and the Gospel for each Sunday of Advent. They offer people the opportunity either in a group or as an individual to reflect on and deepen their knowledge of the Scriptures that we hear Sunday by Sunday. Importantly these reflections are available to all within and without the diocese as a free download or for a mere £1.50 from the Diocesan Bookshop at DABCEC in Crawley. The icon shown on the cover of the booklet is that of Our Lady Seat of Wisdon (Sedes Sapientiae) a gift from Pope John Paul II to University students across the world.

Meditation and reflection on the Word of God should lead us to deeper contemplation of the mystery of God's salvific will for the world, and to action in spreading God's message by word and deed. The tools to assist in this are available either from the diocese in its Pastoral Team or nationally from any number of sources. So recently on Home Mission Sunday, the Bishops' agency for evangelisation provided a free DVD to all parishes on evangelisation. Today as well, for example, we hold the CAFOD Harvest Fast Day which is one way in which we can support the work of the Church across the world with those who are poor. This office also received information today from the organisation called Action by Christians against Torture, an ecumencial body which runs an annual Christmas Card Campaign for those who have been wrongly imprisoned for their beliefs. There are many other ways in which we can respond to God's Word our lives, we just have to listen.

Finally in the context of reflecting on the Word of God it is worth mentioning that this Sunday is Rosary Sunday. In the Rosary we now begin a month of devotion to Mary, the Mother of God who listened to God's Word and did his will. Just as the Scriptures, the prayer of the Rosary always points us to the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. A useful guide to praying the Rosary is provided by New Advent.

Jesus said: "Anyone who listens to you listens to me." (Luke 10:16)

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