With the birth of Jesus, the many words of the Bible became a living person, Jesus Christ the ultimate divine communication who is the Word of God. By John O’Connor It is appropriate that we celebrate this event with Christmas gatherings and vacations, with friends and family and food and drink. But most often and too quickly when the work and study year resumes these good times become a fading memory and we long for the next reprieve from the routines and demands of daily life. The Good News is that there is a way to live beyond the stress that surrounds us, and this is found in the Word who is more present with us today than he was in that Bethlehem stable.
The Bible is usually the last thing I want to face in the morning. I lie in bed in the early dawn, that netherworld between darkness and light, my phone in my hand, teetering between clicking on Facebook and clicking on my Bible app. By Anne Kennedy I grew up nurtured on the understanding that your morning “quiet time” in God’s Word is as important as a good breakfast. If you want to grow in body, mind, and strength, you have to face a bowl of oatmeal and your Bible before you do anything else. Now, at the age of 43, I don’t eat breakfast anymore because I’ve finally given myself permission not to bother. But the Bible—in the quiet before my children come shouting through my bedroom door—I shouldn’t give up.
It’s 6 o’clock. You shuffle into the house, not even bothering to take off your shoes before plopping down on the couch. Is it too early to go to sleep? you ask yourself. By Jennica Stevens But then you remember all the things you still have to do, and you groan. There are a million text messages to respond to. You have to prepare lunch for tomorrow. The kids have dance practice. The thought of doing even one more thing—whether it’s cooking, cleaning, or taking the dog for a walk—is just too much. All you want to do is sit and do nothing.
Growing up in the ’90s, I was bombarded with messages of self-worth 24/7. Almost every pre-teen Disney movie or Nickelodeon TV show bedazzled itself with the same tried-and-true message: Be yourself! Don’t let anyone dull your shine! By Hannah DeMarco It all sounded nice, but it seemed at odds with another message I received from well-meaning Christian adults in my life: You’re sinful! Who you are is inherently evil and corrupt! As a kid finding her place in the world, I didn’t know which voice to believe. I kept wondering, How am I supposed to be myself if myself is bad? I prayed fervently for God to make me pure. I longed to be good and honest and without blame. And I thought praying and reading my Bible would make me worthy in God’s eyes.
You wake up, hopeful and ready for a new day. But as you check the time, you see you’re already late for work—and you haven’t even showered yet! It’ll be okay, you tell yourself. You’re determined to have a good day. On your way to work, the traffic is worse than ever. Once you make it into work, you hear that your coworker is leaving. On top of that, several of your favourite projects are being taken away from you. It’s still okay, you say to yourself. I’m okay.
“May the Sunday of the Word of God help his people to grow in religious and intimate familiarity with the sacred Scriptures.” This is Pope Francis’ hope for this day he instituted in his Apostolic Letter published on September 30, in the form of a Motu Proprio of the Holy Father Francis, “Aperuit illis”, instituting the Sunday of the Word of God. Stressing how essential it is for Catholics to familiarize themselves with Christ’s written word, Francis highlights “a day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a year-long event.”
There’s something I’ve noticed when I get together with old friends to talk about days gone by: we remember the same events differently. By Mark Giacobbe Sometimes these differences involve discrepancies that beg to be resolved. But usually they involve different perspectives; different angles on the same event, with each person contributing a part of the whole that none of us possesses alone. We see in part, and we need one another to fill out our picture of the world. I believe this is why there are four Gospels. Through the multiple perspectives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, God has given us four views—four portraits—of Jesus and his work in the world. Each author has a distinctive voice that tells the story of a multi-dimensional Jesus.