Pope Francis sets aside special Sunday for Bible focus

“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.”

Why should I read Matthew’s Gospel?

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.

The most famous embrace

One clue that a fictional character has become truly influential in a culture is when that character is known by people who have never read the novels or seen the films in which that character first appeared. Many people know who Sherlock Holmes is even if they have never read a word of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about him. By Joseph Bentz The fame of Mickey Mouse goes far beyond any particular cartoon in which he has appeared. People know of Harry Potter and Darth Vader even though they may have never read the Harry Potter books or watched the Star Wars films. Some characters, like Santa Claus or Barbie, did not even originate in a particular text but still have cultural influence worldwide.

Four prayers to get you through a horrible day

As a kid, one of my favourite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I’d giggle and groan as my mum read to me every awful thing a boy named Alexander experiences in a single day. By Hannah DeMarco First, Alex’s breakfast cereal is missing a prize. Then he doesn’t get the seat he wants in the car, his mum forgets to pack dessert in his lunch bag, his dentist finds a cavity, an elevator closes on his foot, and he gets pushed into a mud puddle. Throughout this harrowing day, Alexander repeatedly exclaims, “I think I’ll move to Australia!” In the end, his mum reassures him that everyone has bad days—even Australians. Alexander learns a valuable lesson: it’s OK to have bad days.

A verse that impacted my life – Cardinal John Dew

“Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68 Is there a particular Bible verse that has had a huge impact on your life? For Bible Society President, Cardinal John Dew, it was something Jesus said to Peter in John 6 that had a profound impact on him. Watch the video to hear Cardinal Dew talking about the impact of this passage and the Scriptures have had on his life.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

The Old Testament book of Nehemiah is a fascinating insight into what happens to God’s people just before Jesus is born. After being exiled to Babylon, they are allowed to return to Judah and Jerusalem some decades later. They rebuild the Temple and then Nehemiah leads the people in the rebuilding of the city walls. It’s a great story of how a community bands together and achieves something everyone thought impossible. Our guest writer today, Barry Kirby from Wellington explains… Nehemiah is our man of focus today. When the book opens, Nehemiah is serving under the Persian King. He is a cupbearer to the King. This allows his access to, at the time, one of the most powerful men in the world.