BIBLE SUNDAY: LIVING BY THE WORD (PART 2)
We hear the Word of God proclaimed at every celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the Church teaches that through this proclamation Christ himself speaks to us. It is essential therefore for lectors to speak the Word to the congregation clearly. When the Scriptures are read, Christ communes and dialogues with his people – especially when gathered for the Holy Eucharist.
Carry with you a bible or missal when you come for Mass. These days, one can download useful applications on to one’s smart phones. Many Catholics, for example, use UNIVERSALIS (www.universalis.com) where they can access Readings At Mass, Order of Mass, Yearly Calendar and other useful information. You are most welcome to follow the readings from your gadget while the Lectors/Priest proclaim the Word from the pulpit. It is said that by following the prescribed readings of the day for three years, one would have read the whole Bible.
A Brief Appreciation of the Catholic Bible: The Catholic Bible was compiled by a Catholic Council 300 years after Jesus Christ died. The Catholic bible comprises 73 books (46 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament), written over a period of about eight centuries. Although originally written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, it has been translated into more than 1000 languages.
Please take note: The most popular section of the Old Testament is the 150 Psalms which are classified as hymns, petitions and thanksgiving. You are encouraged to pray with the words of the Psalmist. It is in the Book of Psalms that God said, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm: 46:10)
A Suggestion: The printed prayer below can be cut and pasted onto the inside cover page of your Bible. Pray it daily each time you open your Holy Bible:-
“Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your Holy Word. May it sanctify us by your truth, because your Word is Truth and it is alive and active. Help us by your Holy Spirit so to listen to your holy Word, read it, study and imbibe it and always hold fast the joyful hope of everlasting life. May it be a guide to our steps, a light to our paths and a source of strength for our lives.
May your words abide in us so that when we pray, you will grant us the clarity, joy and peace to overcome the strongholds of bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, fear, doubt, discouragement and other negativities. Give us faith to receive your Word, understanding to grasp the truth and the will to practise It. Amen.”