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A Bible Convention

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On January 20, 2007 some fifteen parishioners of the Mother of Good Counsel parish attended the fourth Bible Convention of the Diocese of San Pablo held at the Colegio San Agustin Biñan Gym. There were two main conferences. The morning conference had Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD speaking on the topic “Apostleship and Discipleship”. Fr. Orbos spoke about the meanings of these two biblical keywords and their theological significance. The “disciple” is one who learns. The greek word for “disciple” is mathetes, a “student”; the latin equivalent, “discipulus” is built from the root “discere” which means “to learn.” Thus, a disciple is not just one “who walks behind” someone; he is someone who learns. On the other hand, the word “apostle” comes from the greek “apostellow“, “to send”. The “apostle” is one who has been sent. The word is properly applied to the original twelve disciples whom the Lord chose to “be with Him” so that later on He can send them. The apostles are those whom the Lord sends “to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). The whole Church is “apostolic” because its faith derives from the faith proclaimed by the apostles and its mission is a participation in that of the Lord: “As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.” (John 20:21)

In the afternoon session, Fr. Arlo Yap, SVD spoke on the topic “The Liturgical Study of the Bible.” The adjective “liturgical” serves to distinguish this kind of study from “academic” approaches to the study of the Scriptures. The “liturgical” study of the Scriptures is also to be distinguished from the word-based approach used in bible prayer groups. The word-based approach serves to perk up interest in the bible: it is personal, subjective and is open to interpretations that can distort the real meaning of a biblical passage. The approach proposed by Fr. Yap, is based on textual observation and engages participants through question-and-answer.

This year’s biblical convention was held in line with the Diocese of San Pablo’s BEC project. Basic Ecclesial Communities are formed by families who come together regularly to reflect on the Sunday Scriptures. The process of building up BECs in the parishes cannot be realized unless people actually gather together around the Word of God and live, inspired by that Word, as concrete incarnations of the Church in a particular, geographically defined, place. The BECs in the Philippines first came out in the 1960s in the remote rural areas of Mindanao, patterned after comunidades de base of Latin America. In the urbanized parishes of Laguna and elsewhere, this can present itself as a challenge. The challenge however is not insurmountable. In fact, the challenge makes the BEC an attractive experiment of faith.

Originally posted 2007-01-21 20:46:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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