On January 22nd, the Catholic Church celebrated the Sunday of the Word of God, a special occasion to reflect on the role of the Bible in the life of the Church and the Congregation. This year, the Claretian Missionaries celebrated it by embracing the proposal of the General Prefect of Bible Ministry and Communication, Father Henry Omonisaye, who sent days before materials to the Claretian missionaries all over the world to participate in the celebration.
This year’s emphasis has been on the homily preparation and preaching of the word, following the Apostolic Exhortation guidelines Evangelii Gaudium(139-152). In it, Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of the homily as a crucial moment for the life of the Church and for the formation of the faithful. The Pope speaks of the need for a homily that is convincing, fruitful, and adapted to the needs of the listeners, and urges priests to prepare their homilies with care and dedication.
The Claretian Missionaries have taken these words seriously, and began to work hard to prepare homilies that are relevant to each community and help the faithful to reflect on the Word of God. Following the style of Father Claret, they have focused on explaining it in a clear and simple way, so that everyone can make it a part of their daily lives.
In addition to the homily, a series of activities around the Sunday of the Word have been organized to help the faithful deepen their understanding in different parts of the world. These activities include workshops on prayerful reading of the Word, biblical studies, and spiritual retreats. These activities have been very popular among the faithful, as they have allowed them to connect with the Word of God in a deeper and more meaningful way.
The Congregation defines itself with the following words:
We are listeners and Servants of the Word of God. Our charismatic heritage defines us as “listeners and servants of the Word”. We are in the Church and in society an echo of Claret (cf. Aut 686), passionate minister of the Gospel in season and out of season, using all means at his disposal. We, like Mary, as Sons of her Heart, want to welcome and meditate upon the Word in our hearts and to proclaim it with passion.
These initiatives are a testimony to the response to Pope Francis’ call to be a Church more aware and committed to the Word of God. This deep desire was proclaimed in the last General Chapter in the form of a dream for the sexenium:
We dream of a Congregation that has as its starting point in the biblical animation of all pastoral ministry (cf. VD 73), evangelizes with all possible means in shared mission, (…), and the intelligent use of the various forms of communication media.
In conclusion, the Sunday of the Word of God is a special occasion for each Claretian Missionary and each community to delve deeper into the role of the Bible in their lives and in the life of the Church. The Word is a central element in the life of every Christian, which is why it is good to remember its importance through special celebrations like this.
Celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God in different parts of the Claretian Missions.