Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Word of God Sunday

“How do we receive the Word of God? The response is clear: As one receives Jesus Christ. The Church tells us that Jesus is present in the Scripture, in His Word.” Pope Francis.

On 22 January - Word of God Sunday - we are invited to never take God’s Word for granted, but instead to let ourselves be nourished by it, in order to acknowledge and live fully our relationship with Him and with our brothers and sisters.

Salvation, faith, unity and mercy all depend on knowing Christ and Sacred Scripture. On this Word of God Sunday let us re-commit and deepen our engagement with Sacred Scripture.

Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, Motu proprio Aperuit illis, published 30 September 2019, established the third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God. 


Is 8:23-9:3: In the Galilean country, the people have seen a great light.

Psalm 26:1,4,13-14  R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

1 Cor 1:10-13,17: I appeal to you, my brothers and sisters, make up the differences between you.

Alleluia, alleluia! Jesus preached the Good News of the Kingdom and healed all who were sick. Alleluia.

Mt 4:12-23: He went to Capernaum, that the prophecy of Isaiah be fulfilled.


How might we better hear the Word of God? Below are some suggestions for this Sunday with reference to Motu Proprio: Aperuit Illis

Focus attention in the liturgy. “It is important that in the Eucharistic celebration the sacred text be enthroned, in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s word.”

Pray for Proclaimers of the Word. Take the opportunity on Word of God Sunday to pray for those who are entrusted with reading the Scriptures at Mass.

Commit time to reflect on the Word. Read the scriptures of the following Sunday as a companion for daily reflection and ministry. Share with others your own reflections for the following Sunday’s readings. Listen to the Homily Studio for 30 minute conversations about the following Sunday readings. HERE

Listen to the scripture readings each day HERE. Lectio Divina - a method of prayer for listening to scripture with our hearts, is recorded as a podcast each day of the week.


Sunday of the Word of God Seminars

Listen to 5 seminars by top Bible scholars on Sunday 22 January (USA time). The link for more information click HERE

Titles of the five seminars are:

Who actually wrote the Bible?

What are the Synoptic Gospels?

What parts of the Bible are also read by our Jewish and Protestant friends?

How is the Catholic approach to reading the Bible different from other approaches?

How can I practice the Lectio Divina method of Scriptural meditation?


The Word website helps people to engage with Sacred Scripture. There are videos and posts for all ages. Visit the link HERE


Photo on main slider: Dei Verbum: Where Peter is.

Above: Proclaimer of the Word. St Anne church NY 2018. Source The Catholic Spirit. CNS photo/G.A. Shemitz