Focus : The God who sends us for mission
Event : Sunday of the Word of God (Unity week)
Recently Pope Francis declared that starting from 2020, the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary time will be dedicated to the Word of God. It falls during that part of the year when the Church is encouraged to strengthen its bonds with the Jewish people and to pray for Christian unity. That means that this celebration “has ecumenical value, since the Scriptures point out, for those who listen, the path to authentic and firm unity.” Our theme this month is based Pope Francis’s document, Aperuit Illis, is based on a verse from the Gospel of St. Luke, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”
Opening Hymn: THY WORD( Amy Grant- Can be found on Youtube)
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path When I feel afraid Think I’ve lost my way Still you’re there right beside me And nothing will I fear As long as you are near Please be near me to the end Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path I will not forget Your love for me and yet My heart forever is wandering Jesus be my guide And hold me to your side I will love you to the end
Opening prayer by one of the member of the BEC.
(Words of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, given at the declaration of the Sunday of the Word of God on Sept. 30 2019) Emphasis on the importance of the word of God is needed because “the overwhelming majority” of Catholics are not familiar with sacred Scripture. For many, the only time they hear the word of God is when they attend Mass. The Bible is the most widely distributed book, but it also perhaps the one most covered in dust because it is not held in our hands.
He said that the Pope “invites us to hold the word of God in our hand s every day as much as possible so that it becomes our prayer and a greater part of one’s lived experience. We need to develop a closer relationship with sacred Scripture; otherwise, our hearts will remain cold and our eyes shut, struck as we are by so many forms of blindness.
The Pope also said, “Sacred Scripture and the sacraments are inseparable. Jesus speaks to everyone with his word in sacred Scripture, and if people “hear his voice and open the doors of our minds and hearts”, then he will enter our lives and remain ever with us.
Reflection: What does the saying above mean to you and for the Church today? Share
with one another.
Luke 24: 13-33
Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of
them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the
prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to
stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”
- READ the text aloud and LISTEN with openness.
- READ it silently by yourself until a word or phrase touches or strikes you.
- What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through the word or phrase?
- What do you say to the Lord in response to his Word?
- Share in small groups (3-4 persons) your experiences of how through the Word of God your “heart was burning within you.” Share your favorite bible verse and why it means so much to you.
Our overall theme for 2020 is “Sent with Joy to heal”. Discuss how we can share the Word of God this year and bring joy and healing to first ourselves, our family, BEC and those suffering in society.
Closing prayer by another member of the BEC.
Closing Hymn : God is Dwelling in my Heart (J 45)
God is dwelling in my heart
He and I are one
All his joy He gives me
Through Christ His son
And with Jesus in my heart
What have I to fear?
For He is the Son of God
In my heart He is near
- Christian who are baptized
Have you ever realized?
This great mystery
God dwells in you and me
- This joy God gave to you
Share it then, with others too,
Tell them that God is Love
Lift their hearts above.
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