- Mar 1, 2021
Unable to preside over Mass on the Sunday of the Word of God because of a recurring bout of sciatica, Pope Francis’s homily was read by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, which coordinates the annual celebration.
The Vatican announced Saturday that for the second time this month, Pope Francis will be unable to preside over a number of liturgies and appointments due to his sciatica.
At his celebration of Mass for Sunday of the Word of God Jan. 24, Pope Francis will present a Bible to a professional soccer player, a woman from Pakistan studying in Rome to be a Scripture scholar and a physician specialized in infectious diseases.
In preparation for the Sunday of the Word of God Jan. 24, the Vatican issued recommendations for the day as well as reminders on respecting the sacred Scriptures.
Pope Francis on Sunday compared the Bible to a “love letter” from God to humanity, that those who follow Jesus should read daily, keeping the Gospel at hand “on our cell phones,” being open to His word and not just going to Him with some “rote prayers.”
This weekend, believers are blessed with two separate but complementary observances. We have the Solemnity of the Conversion of Saint Paul and the first celebration of Word of God Sunday. While distinct in themselves, the two events do have a shared message.