Devoting a specific Sunday of the liturgical year to the word of God can enable the Church to experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasure of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world. (Aperuit Illis 2)
In his Motu Proprio Aperuit illis, dated September 30 2019, Pope Francis instituted a Sunday of the Word of God.
In order to encourage one another to read the Scriptures more frequently, and to open our hearts to the treasures the Lord opens for us in His Word, St. John the Evangelist encourages you to discover the practice of lectio divina. Lectio divina is a four-step method of prayerfully reading the Scriptures that has been practiced by saints throughout the ages, and proven a very powerful way to grow in your relationship with Christ.
- Lectio = Read
Choose a short passage from Scripture and read over it slowly several times. Don't rush. Let it sink in. It can be helpful to have a good Bible commentary on hand for deeper reflection and passages that are unclear.
- Meditatio = Meditate
Sit with your chosen passage and really "chew" on it. Think about it from the perspectives of the different characters that show up in it. For example, imagine you're someone in the crowd listening to the Sermon on the Mount. How do Jesus' words strike you?
- Oratio = Pray
Talk to God about what you've read and reflected on. Let Him know about what you encountered in the passage that you struggle with. Ask Him to help you in any opportunities for growth that your reading and meditation has revealed. Thank Him for speaking to you in the Scriptures.
- Contemplatio = Contemplate
Rest in God's presence. Listen to Him in the silence of your heart and let His Word penetrate and transform you at the deepest level.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
The Word of God has the power transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us through the Scriptures. Start practicing lectio divina as a regular part of your daily prayer routine and watch how it transforms your life.