January 23rd, 2022, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Parish Family
Today we celebrate the “Sunday of the Word of God.” Pope Fran- cis, in instituting this celebration, wrote, “The Bible is the book of the Lord’s people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division towards unity. The word of God unites believers and makes them one people.” We see a glimpse of the love for sacred scripture in our first reading. The book of Nehemiah is an account of the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Preemi- nent in the rebuilding was the reconstruction of the Jewish temple, the holy place where God’s holy people would offer sacrifices to God.
In the process of reconstruction, a book of the law of Moses is discovered. Ezra, a priest and scribe, gathers the entire remnant of the Jewish people together and recites the entirety of the book before the assembly. The people bow down and weep at God’s words. Af- ter the tragedy of the Babylonian exile, they recognize the im- portance of fidelity to God’s Word, which was a special gift given to them as His people. By listening to the book of the law, God’s peo- ple move from being dispersed to being united as His holy people once again. Do we recognize the gift that the Bible is? In it contains all that is necessary for our salvation. Through the scriptures, God speaks to us of His love and fidelity. He challenges us when we go astray. He communicates His plan for humanity to live in commun- ion with God and with one another. We need to spend time each day reading and praying with the scriptures. The more time we spend with the scriptures, the more they become a part of us. We begin to think as God thinks, love as God loves, and see others as God sees them.
As we become more deeply immersed in the scriptures, it will also change how we approach the celebration of the Mass. The liturgy makes extensive use of the Bible, presenting the mysteries of our faith and helping us to enter more deeply into the Eucharistic sacrifice. That is why the Liturgy of the Word is sometimes referred to as “the table of the Word.” In the same way that the Holy Eucharist nourishes us with Christ’s body and blood, the Word of God nour- ishes the deepest desires of our hearts, bringing comfort, peace, and healing for life’s many challenges.
We all desire to have a deeper friendship with God. The primary way we deepen friendship in life is to spend time with the other, to get to know the them and allow them to know us. The same is true of friendship with God: the more time we spend with His Word, the more we will become acquainted with Him and his plan for our lives. (hprweb.com)
God bless you all.
Sister Maria Inviolata, SMDG
New Parish Office Hours beginning January 2022
Ave Maria Parish office at St Denis (810-359-5400) will be open Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 am—1 pm and on Friday from 8:30– noon (closed during Mass). Ave Maria Parish office at St Mary (810-622-9904) will be open Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 am– 1pm (closed during Mass).
If you would like to speak with someone on the phone during office hours, please call St Denis on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or St. Mary Tuesday, Thursday. Otherwise you can leave a message and someone will get back with you.
God Bless you! Sister Maria Inviola