Sunday, Januari, 21th 2024 is the third week in Ordinary Time. Pope Francis suggested the whole church to celebrate the third Sunday as the Sunday of the Word. St. Joseph community, the central community of Ruteng Province celebrated the Sunday of the Word with the Holy Spirit Sisters (SSpS) and all those who used to come to join the Sunday celebration in St. Josef’s community. The celebration was started by the enthronement of the Bible, supported by the postulants’ choir and dance. The eucahristic celebration was precided by Fr, Yosef Masan Toron, SVD, the head of the bible commission of Ruteng Province. The liturgy of the Sunday of the Word prepared by St. Arnold Janssen Bible Center, a joined center belong to SVD of Ruteng Province and Holy Spirit Sisters of the West Flores Province.

Fr. Yosef Masan Toron, SVD, as the main celebrant, in his homily reminded all the congregations about the importance of the bible. Dei Verbum, one of the most important constitution of the Vatican II, chapter VI, Art.21 underlines the importance of the bible as the spiritual food for all christians. All the faithful are invited to read and to put into practice the values of the Word. The Word of God should be the main inspiration for all christians in their daily life and services. Based on this idea, all chirstians are suggested to read the bible  and find the its spiritual values (DV. Following this idea,   Pope Francis suggested the third Sunday in ordinary time to be the Sunday of the Word. By celebrating the third Sunday, all chritians are reminded about the importance of the Word in their life.

Referred to the idea of the Dei Verbum of Vatican II and Pope Francis’ expection, Fr. Yosef remind the people about the real situation in Ruteng Diocese. The local church of Ruteng Diocese was established in 1913, pionerred by the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD). From the beginning, the SVD’s Missionaries had been trying to introduce the Word of God in different fields of services.  But until the end of 21th century, based on the research done by the Pastoral Center of Ruteng Diocese, there is no significant respect to the Word of God. The population of the catholics in Ruteng Diocese is about 800.000 people. But in reality, it is only 60% of the populations are interested to the bible. It means that most of the Christians in this area are not interested in the bible, making the bible as the guideline for everyday life.

Inspired by this real situation of Ruteng Diocese, Fr. Yosef invited the people to put more attention to the bible. It is not enough to have the books of bible, but the more is to read the bible, finding its messages and putting into practice the values of the bible. By doing this, we are heading on the right way to make the bible as the spiritual food and the inspiration of life. This invitation is going along with the program of Ruteng Province to make the year of 2024 as the Year f Bible. All members of Ruteng Province are suggested to put the bible as the center of their life and services.  The movement of making the bible as the center of life would be helpful to support the annual program of Ruteng Diocese in 2024 that focus on keeping the ecology with the main theme:  “The Year of Eccology: Harmony, Paedagogy and Prosperity”. Based on Pope Francis’ Encyclic of  “Laudato Si” , all chirsitians of Ruteng Diocese are invited to respect and love  the enviroment, keeping its harmony to make the human life more prosperous.

Fr. Yosef Masan Toron,SVD

St. Arnold Janssen Bible  Center.    

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