Lettera Madre january 2020
SUORE DELLA PROVVIDENZA ROSMINIANE
Via Aurelia, 773
My dear Sisters,
With the Apostolic Letter “Aperuit Illis”, published in the form of Motu proprio, Pope Francis has instituted “The Sunday of the Word”, fixed for the III Sunday of Ordinary Time, which this year falls on 26th January. Inaugurating the ‘Sunday of the Word of God’, he wants to underline the centrality of Scripture in the life of the Church and in the different conditions where she finds herself.
Let us respond to his invitation to Catholics across the world: to deepen our esteem, love and faithful witness to God and to his Word. In fact, ‘this day aims at reviving in believers, the responsibility to know the Sacred Scriptures’.
Therefore, it is also for us:
o A day of celebration – to place the Word of God at the centre of life, alongside the Eucharist.
o A day to live in a solemn manner – to rediscover the paschal and salvific meaning of the Word of God, which always urges us to leave behind individualism and to be reborn in love.
o The celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God has an ecumenical value – because as the Scriptures point out – the path to follow, for those who listen, is to reach for an authentic and strong unity.
“He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Lk 24:45).
This was one of the final acts of the Risen Lord before his Ascension. Jesus appeared to the assembled disciples, broke bread with them and opened their minds to the understanding of Sacred Scripture.
I ask myself how ready am I to listen to him in every circumstance of my life?
The official logo chosen for the world celebration of the ‘Sunday of the Word of God’, is the icon of the encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24: 13-35).
The colourful icon, which highlights multiple aspects which converge on the ‘Sunday of the Word of God’ is the work of the late-Benedictine Sr Marie-Paul Farran, an Egyptian religious, of the Congregation of Our Lady of Calvary, (who died last May) who spent all her life in the Benedictine monastery on the Mount of Olives, in Jerusalem.
The logo shows the Risen Christ holding in his left hand “the scroll of the Book”, that is the Sacred Scripture that found its fulfilment in his person.
By his side are two disciples: Cleopas and his wife, Mary. They both fix their gaze on Christ while Cleopas holds
a stick to indicate
a pilgrimage, while Mary is holding one hand upward and with her other hand seems to be touching the Lord, reaffirming that he has fulfilled the ancient promises and is the living Word that must be proclaimed to the world. Holding the stick in one hand, Cleopas’ free hand is pointing to the road ahead, which all disciples are called to take in order to bring the Good News to everyone.
Next to the disciples, we notice the star, a sign of evangelization which guides their steps and directs them towards the future as a permanent light. Again, there is dynamic movement: the feet are an expression of their being on the move and sent to the places where they must make the announcement of the Risen Christ.
In short, the whole scene of the Logo does nothing other than remember the very heart of the ‘Sunday of the Word of God’: the announcement of the Risen Christ cannot find the disciples tired or idle but always dynamic in discovering new language, so that the Sacred Scriptures are a living guide in the life of the Church and its people.
The wish expressed by Pope Francis becomes reality in our life: “May the Sunday of the Word of God help his people to grow in religious and intimate familiarity with the Sacred Scriptures. For as the sacred author of ancient times has taught:
‘This word is very near to you:
it is on your lips and in your heart
for your observance’ (Dt 30:14)”.
God Bless, c.m.
For those who can participate – or follow via the web / EWTN – Mass will be celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica at 10 am; you will notice the statue of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland on the papal altar.
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