For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

In preparing to hear the Gospel proclaimed, the highpoint of the Liturgy of the Word, Christ’s faithful people trace the sign of the Cross on their forehead, lips and heart. The three-fold focus of that preparation is also a useful summary of the preparation a reader should make during the week before proclaiming the word.
✢ Understanding the reading.
Considering what the writer is trying to say; what it means to me and my community; how it relates to the other readings and prayers at Mass; considering what God is saying in this word today.
✢ Practising the proclamation of the reading.
Speaking the words out loud, to see what challenges the work of proclaiming has in store; considering how to speak it so as to give fresh and authentic voice to God’s living word.
Spending time in prayer.
Expressing one’s love for God, and learning to trust in God’s love for us. Praying for the community one is called to serve, that together, and through God’s word, all might come to live in unity with God and with each other.