By Barb Arland-Fye
Working for a faith-based publication provides daily opportunities for our Catholic Messenger staff of six to be aware of God’s role in our work and our lives. We have a responsibility to share the joy of the Gospel with our readers through the lived experiences of the faithful in our Diocese of Davenport and in the universal Catholic Church.
Pope Francis teaches that familiarity with God’s word is essential to the faithful’s understanding of our faith and our relationship with Jesus Christ, which is why he instituted “Sunday of the Word of God.” It is a means of “encouraging the prayerful study of the Bible and greater familiarity with God’s word” (“Devotion to Sacred Scripture”).
Celebration of Sunday of the Word of God took place Jan. 24 this year, so I asked our staff to share a favorite Scripture passage with our readers. Here are their reflections:
Lindsay Steele, diocesan reporter, chose Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“My grandmother, Pat Schoon, has always encouraged me to pray ‘for the right doors to be open and the wrong ones to be closed.’ As someone with an anxious disposition, I like to know what’s next. I have ideas on how things SHOULD be and if they don’t happen that way, I get frustrated. Often, what we believe to be the ‘ideal’ outcome may not be. God knows best. Sometimes, in the moment, you might not understand why things aren’t going according to plan, but later on, they make sense. We have to trust that God will take care of us.”
Anthony Forlini, webmaster/ videographer, said, “One of the passages that come to mind often is Luke 23:26. This is the passage where Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross. It reminds me to carry my cross with Jesus’ help and to help others carry theirs, including those whom I have not met yet. We all need to kiss our cross and carry it while looking toward Christ.”
Jill Henderson, circulation/business office coordinator, chose Isaiah 41:10. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“During tough times, and especially during the past year, I hold fast to this assurance that God is with me and promises to help me with his strength.”
Phil Hart, advertising representative said, “My favorite verse is Matthew 5: 38-48, the famous turn-the-other-cheek, love-your-enemies passages. In my view, this is the truly tough stuff of the New Testament. It goes against our human nature to act in this way. The marchers going across the Pettis Bridge during the civil rights march and letting themselves be beaten without resisting, this is really hard stuff. Loving your enemies in spite of what they do to you. If you can do these things, you are a real-deal Christian.”
Anne Marie Amacher, assistant editor and Scott County reporter, does not have a favorite Scripture verse. However, “one that sticks out in my mind since grade school is ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love’” — 1 Cor 13:13.
“There are two reasons this verse sticks out. One is that we sang a song using this verse, and the verse is stuck in my head. One of those that never really leaves. Of course I can never find the version we sang in school, but can hear us singing it. Secondly, at the time we were singing this song, I had a necklace with a cross, anchor and heart — the symbols of faith, hope and love.”
Barb Arland-Fye, editor. “Choosing a favorite Scripture is challenging because one may ‘speak’ to me so clearly one day and another one on a different day, depending on what is happening in my life. Given the recent events in our country, Ephesians 4:25-32 speaks to me, especially the following verses: ‘All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.’”
(Contact Editor Barb Arland-Fye at email@example.com)