Sunday of the Word of God

With the first Sunday of the Word of God coming up on 26 January, Pádraig McCarthy has revised a leaflet he first produced in a parish about 20 years ago.
Its purpose is to encourage people to read Scripture, with some simple introductory notes, and a list of the Sunday readings for the current year.
The presentation is a single trifold A4 page which can be easily copied.
If you think it would be helpful, or any part of it, Pádraig is very happy to make it available on our ACP website.
It’s attached in Word and PDF formats.

This has been updated to include a leaflet outlining the structure of the Books of the Bible.

Click Here to Download in Word

Click here to Download in PDF

Click here to download leaflet on The Books of the Bible.


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  1. Anne Faulkner says:

    Thank you for this.As yet there has been no mention of the Sunday of the Word in my area,sadly.

  2. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Go raibh mile maith agat, a Phádraig. Ar fheabhas! Also reader friendly and convenient with a great deal packed in but uncluttered. One minor misprint/repetition of date: 7th Sunday Ordinary Time should read 23 Feb.

  3. Patrick J O'Brien says:


    Very many thanks for the leaflet. Allow me to quote Pope Francis once again.. EN 175 The study of the sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer. It is essential that the revealed word radically enrich our catechesis and all our efforts to pass on the faith. Evangelisation demands familiarity with God’s word, which calls for dioceses, parishes and Catholic associations to provide for a serious ongoing study of the Bible, while encouraging its prayerful individual and communal reading.
    Onward Christians to a renewed church through the Scriptures.

  4. Joe O'Leary says:

    When the church is beaten down to survival mode, where does it reach for renewal?

    Of course the Scriptures.

    The Archdiocese of Dublin promoted scriptural renewal some time back by distributing the Gospel of Luke, but in a regrettably churchy format.

    I think we need to give moral theology and canon law a rest and make Scripture the central theological plank of episcopal and presbyteral ministry, encouraging also lay scriptural discussion groups and educational programs as well as scriptural piety (to replace such dubious investments as Medjugorje).

  5. Mary Vallely says:

    Yes but the most important aspect of Scripture is studying the life and person of Jesus in the Gospels. We can study and have deep, intellectual theological debates and enjoy the cut and thrust of such engagements as happens in every seminary, I assume BUT if we do not put the ideas and teachings of Christ into action then Scripture study is surely a waste of time and purely an academic exercise. What good has Scripture study done really if it hasn’t emphasised the qualities shown by the person of Jesus, the compassion, mercy, understanding, charity and tremendous love which is often in stark contrast to how the official Church has treated its most vulnerable and precious members.

    Those of us who are not great intellectuals are influenced more by the personality of Bergoglio, flawed as he is, than the very clever academic, unbending Benedict. It is the heart that stirs us to action and the heart of Scripture is the Son of God who became man, Jesus.

    I also watched the film, The Two Popes, and was deeply moved by it and agree with Joe O’Leary as I also found both men, or the characters as portrayed in the film, warm and engaging. It is a film made with deep compassion, humour and understanding and far from RCC bashing, for a change!

  6. Eddie Finnegan says:

    Mary@5, without the intellect the heart is just a fairly primitive pump!

    I think Padraig’s scriptural vade-me-cum has very little to do with all those too easily employed ‘cuss-words’ in your first two paragraphs: intellectual, theological, seminary, academic exercise, official Church, clever academic, unbending Benedict.
    If, as you say, the most important aspect of Scripture is studying the life and person of Jesus in the Gospels, there is no better 21st century companion to that study than the pretty humble, spiritual but (yes) theological 3- volume ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ by that same clever academic unbending Benedict. Gospel texts need a good Gospel context.

  7. Joe O'Leary says:

    Benedict’s Jesus volumes received many negative reviews from biblical scholars. I tracked some of them here:

    Most of the links I give are probably extinct now. But it was interesting to see how Benedict was rowing against the tide of biblical scholarship, using various hermeneutical strategies that are considered obsolete. He was quite closed to all the possibilities of new understanding of Jesus opened up in recent study of the Synoptics and the historical Jesus (the same closedness we ran into again and again in his outlooks on ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, liberation theology, moral theology, and so on).

    I recommend instead another multi-volume set: John Meier, A Marginal Jew.

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