Catholic Church sets 27th September 2020 aside to Celebrate Bible Month in Honor of 1600 Anniversary of St Jerome and 10 years of Verbum Domini Exhortation

CELEBRATION OF BIBLE MONTH
in honour of
1600 ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH
OF SAINT JEROME

2020 is also the 10th Anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s
Apostolic Exhortation ‘Verbum Domini’.
Sunday the 27th September is when all Parishes within the SACBC Region are encouraged to celebrate the Feast of Saint Jerome.

A short biographical profile of Saint Jerome:

We have chosen to dedicate the month of September this year to a greater appreciation for the Sacred Scriptures (the Bible) in memory of one of the most influential scripture scholars of all time, St. Jerome. He spent most of his life understanding the Word of God, translating it into Latin, which was the common language of that time, writing commentaries and instructing people. He coined the phrase: “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”.

Jerome was born in Dalmatia (347) and it was while he pursued studies in Rome that he became a Christian and began his journey of discovery of the Scriptures. He read and studied widely and entered into many of the theological debates of the time and became an important witness to the demands of a life dedicated to Christ.
Most of his life – 35 years – was spent living in Bethlehem where he managed his greatest achievement, viz. the translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew manuscripts and the rest of the Bible from the Greek texts.

This year marks 1600 years of his death in Bethlehem. We ask his prayers and guidance that we too may grow in an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ through a deeper appreciation and understanding of the written Word of God – who became flesh and lived among us. (John 1:19).

PRAYER FOR BIBLE MONTH   –      TO THE GOD WHO SPEAKS TO US   ……

Father, you prepared us for the coming of your Son through the word spoken to Abraham who together with Sarah left his father’s house and moved to a land which you had prepared for him.
From the burning bush you instructed Moses to remove his shoes so as to stand on that holy ground. Elijah fell on his knees in worship when he recognised you as a cooling breath against his cheek.
In the fullness of time your Word became flesh and made his home among us and his coming was announced through the preaching of John the Baptist.
Recreate in us the image of your Son through your Holy Spirit who moved over the emptiness when you created the heavens and the earth, so that by understanding and living your word we may grow in our knowledge of Jesus who continues to speak to us.

St. Jerome, pray for us that we may grow in our knowledge of Jesus through understanding and living the Scriptures. Amen

THE CHALLENGE:

                                     How to achieve this during the COVID-19 pandemic
                                                       and  subsequent lockdown

The ideas and suggestions provided are minimal in order to allow each Arch/diocese to come up with your own ideas and suggestions that will work best for your situation.

LITURGICAL CELEBRATION OF SAINT JEROME
27th September 2020


                                                         INTRODUCTION

St Jerome, Latin in full Eusebius Hieronymus, pseudonym Sophronius, (born c. 347, Stridon, Dalmatia – died 419/420, Bethlehem, Palestine).
Feast day September 30th. Biblical translator and monastic leader, traditionally regarded as the most learned of the Latin Fathers.
He lived for a time as a hermit, became a priest, served as secretary to Pope Damasus 1,
and established a monastery at Bethlehem.
His numerous biblical, ascetical, monastic, and theological works profoundly influenced
the early Middle Ages.
He is known particularly for his Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate, and is considered a Doctor of the Church.

Attributed to St Jerome:
“Ignorance of the Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” (St Jerome, Commentary of Isaiah)

“Love the holy Scriptures, and wisdom will love you. Love wisdom, and she will keep you safe. Honour wisdom and she will embrace you.” (St Jerome. Ep. 130.20)
 
THE READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY ARE SPECIFIC TO THE FEAST OF ST JEROME


Other References

1st Reading

ISAIAH 52: 7-8 “Ignorance of the Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
(St Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah)
Today we bring our Bible Month to a close, with a tribute to St Jerome who spent much of his life dedicated to researching and commenting on the Holy Scriptures. We also pay tribute to the many men and women who have opened for us an understanding of the Old and New Testament Tradition.
This passage is a vision of the day of deliverance.
The prophet sees the messenger come bounding over the mountains of Judaea, to bring the good new to Jerusalem that her deliverance is at hand.
The messenger is making all possible haste to give the good news.
This text is also aptly applied by Saint Paul to the first preachers of the gospel (Romans 10:15).
These are words of good news of the peace and salvation whereby the Kingdom of God is established among people.
True peace and salvation can only be brought by Christ.


See any other biography of St Jerome    



Matthew 5:17
see John 16:13

Responsorial
Psalm

Ps 119 (118) 10-13
A prayer of the People of God for fidelity to the word of the Lord and for continued openness to God’s will.
Verse 12 begins with praise of God from his people gathered
round the table of His Word.
 

Response

Verse 12b The remainder of this verse is a plea to God for further instruction in his Law.
 

2nd Reading

2 Timothy 3:14-17
Paul acknowledges that Timothy had been instructed in the Scriptures from the time he was a young boy by Eunice, his Jewish mother, and his grandmother Lois. Families can become basic schools of the Scriptures when the stories and teachings of Jesus and the great people of the Bible are told to the younger generations.
Catechists, who are proclaimers of the Word through their catechesis, as well as those who proclaim the word in the Sacred Liturgy, together exercise a prime ministry of the Word.
Verse 17 places this in perspective for us. “Through Scripture the people of God are made expert and thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
As Paul reminds Timothy: “All Scripture is inspired by God…”
We are reminded that the Scriptures are the record of the Father’s plan and those who handed them on to us did so under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
  See: Vatican II:
Dei Verbum #25    
See 2 Timothy 3:17

2 Timothy 3:16

Gospel Acclamation

Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom from heaven is like treasure hidden in a field that a man found and hid. In his excitement he went and sold everything he had and bought that field.”


2 Timothy 3:17





Gospel
Reading

Matthew 13:47-52

The image of the dragnet in this parable declares that the kingdom of God is a very mixed body of people, some saints and some sinners. The same can be said of those who proclaim the scriptures. There are undoubtedly those who offer false interpretations of the scriptures and we, the people of God, need people among us to guide us in our understanding of the Message of Salvation and what is truly the Good News.
We need the ministry of those who explore the Word of God and at the same time, we need the guidance of those who, led by the Holy Spirit, are the teachers of the Word to the people of God – Our Holy Father the Pope and our Bishops.
We are reminded of the promise of Jesus at the Last Supper: “From the Father I will send out the Spirit of truth….he will testify about me. And you, too will be my witnesses for you have been with me from the beginning.”
And later in his discourse, Jesus elaborated further: “When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into the whole truth.”     Without them and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who, after all, is the Author of the Holy Scriptures, the scene in 2 Timothy 4:3-5 may well become a reality for us.

The injunction of Paul to Timothy clearly defines the ministry of the Leaders of the Church: “In the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is the judge of the living and the dead, and by the hope I have for his coming and his kingdom I urge you, to preach the word in season and out of season….”



See: Vatican II: Dei Verbum




See: Catechism of the Catholic Church Art 3,
Sacred Scripture, Parts I, II and III
John 15:26 & 27

John 16:13
See: 2 Timothy 4:3-5. It is a picture of what can happen!
2 Timothy 4:1-2
 
Saint Paul in his Letter to the Philippians 1:27 “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”

We are blessed by the Providence of God:  we have the Bible and “The Living Tradition of the whole Church” given to us by the Holy Spirit.


See: Catechism of the Catholic Church
no. 113 #2
SACBC