CLFC Celebrates National Bible Sunday!

CLFC Joins the Whole Nation in Celebrating the National Bible Week and the National Bible Sunday!

NBW-13-TARP

Proclaim the Word, Profess the Faith

Christian life is like a driving car. You can start at low gears; but if you wan to speed up, you have to shift to higher gears of discipleship to the higher gears of apostleship. Discipleship is about following Christ; apostleship is about being sent . . . to represent Christ (Mt 28:19). Christ is risen; he is alive in us, his disciples. When we gather in his name (Mt 18:20), when we are bonded together in the Spirit, we become his body, the Church. That means we become the very sacrament-sign and instrument-of his presence in the world, by the grace of baptism. We must allow Christ to live on and carry on with his mission in and through us-the members of his body. We must allow Christ to continue to bring the fire of faith on earth, to set the whole world ablaze with it (Lk 12:49). We cannot leave this only to our ordained minister. We can’t leave the work of evangelization only to them; that would be reneging on our common vocation and mission! Their pastoral leadership proves to be effective only when they succeed in evoking the gifts the Holy Spirit has generously poured out on us by the grace of baptism and putting these gifts to good use-to renew the face of the earth.

Proclaim the Word, Profess the Faith! this is our common exhortation for this year which Pope Benedict XVI has called a “Year of Faith” (October 2012 – October 2013), made even more opportune by the launching of a global Synod aimed at starting off a “New Evangelization” in the world that is growing cold with the winter of materialism and secularism. He reminds us all of the time when Paul and Bamabas excitedly returned to Antioch and reported to the community how the Lord in his graciousness has “opened the door of faith” to the Gentiles (Acts 14:27)

Paul’s exhortation to Timothy: “Proclaim the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Tim 2:4) is his challenge to us as well. Let us not shut the doors that have been flung open by the Lord! He has entrusted to us His Word as the key – for binding and for loosing, on earth as in heaven (Mt 16:19)

Even as we proclaim the Sacred Scriptures as Word of God, let us not forget this Word become flesh in Jesus Christ (Jn 1:14). We are not to proclaim the Word as lifeless lines from the pages of a book. Rather we must allow it to transform us-as individuals, as families, as communities of faith, and as a nation. This cannot happen if our encounter with the Word does not facilitate our encounter with the living Word – “whom we have heard, whom we have seen with our own eyes, whom we have touched and carefully watched; the Word who is life, this we share with you!” (1Jn 1:1-2)

Let me end by borrowing from the lyrics of the beautiful song “Power to Unite” of the Catholic Family Bible Encounter: “Read the Bible; the Word of God will give you strength to face the challenge of living. Read the Bible; open it, feel it, understand it. It is the source of our hope when life is too heavy to bear, when all seems lost and unclear; read the Bible and its message will wipe away your tears.”

Profess the faith only in the Living Word. Let this Word come alive in us, fellow disciples and apostles, and through us, in the Philippines – let it set the rest of Asia ablaze!

MOST REV. PABLO VIRGILIO S. DAVID, DD

Chairman- ECBA

Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of San Fernando Pampanga

God is LOVE

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GOD IS LOVE

1Corinthians 13: 1-13

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things; endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.  So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. “

The world celebrated Valentine’s Day on February 14.  In some places, it is highly commercialized.  However, people want to express their love to their loved ones by giving gifts, flowers, chocolates, etc.  Public plazas were filled with people – families and lovers celebrating “heart’s day” or another way of saying “I love you” and giving time for the loved one.

For couples, it’s nice to romanticize love but day to day relationship is not romantic.  Expressing “I love you” is oftentimes not romantic.  Ask someone who is married for 10 years or more.  It entails a lot of care, sacrifice, patience and tolerance.  However it can also be enjoyable and inspiring.  It’s a matter of attitude.  Nevertheless it is a matter of style and creativity.  Some couples are able to maintain the “romance” even after 50 years of togetherness.  Perhaps it has something to do with focus and acceptance.  Many couples separate or one having an affair with someone else perhaps because the person has not accepted fully and totally that he/she has already a lifetime partner and not available for another in the same relationship.  If there is difficulty in the relationship, it can happen to anyone even with the new partner.  It is normal to have differences since they are different people coming from different families, different backgrounds and personal history.  There is much to learn from each other.  All these can be resolved if there is true love.  However if this was not clear at the start or there was a big misunderstanding in the marriage preparation, the relationship is bound to fail.  With enough data and long process, the Church may declare annulment of marriage vows since there was no real marriage from the very start.

For friends, love can be constant and lasting.  It’s a different kind of love than the one which is shared by couples.  It is not sexual or romantic.  It is usually on the basis of same likes, dislikes, same place they grew up together, classmates, same work, same ministry, common hobbies, common friends, etc.  It can be between boy and girl, boy and boy or girl and girl.  Friends do not necessarily meet or see each other often although frequent contacts may be helpful to the relationship.  Contacts here may be personal or through the social networking sites or cell phone messages or internet chat.  The world is getting smaller because of the progress in information technology.  Chatting with friends from different parts of the globe at almost the same time is possible.

For family members, love is a given and sometimes taken for granted because it is presumed to be always there.  However, nothing should be taken for granted for the one you think is the nearest to you may be the farthest after all.  Expressing love for parents and siblings in various ways should not be taken for granted.  Small gestures of love and care may mean a lot especially for our ageing parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles. Occasional visits are welcome gestures.

For people whom we are not related and who do not even know us, we also show love and care by helping them when they need help.  To show kindness without expecting any return favor to these people could be the most fulfilling thing one can experience.  Service can be enjoyable or tiresome depending on how one looks at it and feels about it.  When service is done with love, it is enjoyable and fulfilling.

God shows His favor and mercy to everyone including those who do not accept Him.  The sun shines for everyone.  The air that we breathe is for everyone.  The rain to water our plants and fill our dams, are for everyone.  Our natural resources are God’s gifts to us all.  But sometimes people are so greedy that they hoard it to themselves and others may not be able to use it anymore.  Oftentimes, God is blamed why people are poor.  It is only people themselves who are responsible for this social problem of poverty.  There are many factors to look into in this problem. The work of the social scientists may not be enough since it is an integrated problem.

God is Love.  Where there is true love in any of the above relationships, God is there.  True love is possible when God is part of the relationship.  Our love for God translates into love for others.  God’s mission becomes our mission which is salvation for all.   We pray that God continues to pour His everlasting, faithful and merciful love to all of us so that we can continue to love and serve others with joy and compassion!  Then true peace and God’s Kingdom may come!

*** Star

CLFC HOSTED BIBLE SEMINAR FOR CEBU CATECHISTS

Catechists of the Vicariate of Near North

Underwent Bible Seminar at CLFC

Ms. Star del Mar

Estrella (Star) del Mar gave a 2-day seminar to the Catechists of the Vicariate of Near North (Basak Mandaue to Liloan parishes) on Some Creative Methods of Teaching and Sharing Scripture to Children and Youth.  This was held on June 10-11, 2011 at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Basak,MandaueCity.  The Coordinator and organizer is Ms. Carol Gatchalian-Arcenal.  It was attended by more than 60 Catechists from the Vicariate.  Two days are not enough so a series of follow up seminars on this topic will be conducted by Ms. del Mar in July and August, 2011 due to her tight schedule at CLFC.

They were taught how to use the Bible for Kids: God Speaks to His Children with the Posters

The group applied their learning through their creative liturgy contributed by the small groups with gesture and songs.

that go with the Stories.  They were also shown how the dolls are used to represent Biblical Figures as visual aids when they tell the story to the children.  The Vignette or Sculpture, an element in Bibliodrama was introduced to them as well as a few prayer dances to facilitate prayer in the morning praise or a prayer reflection on a related text.  Bibliologue was also introduced to them which they appreciated very much.  Teaching Scripture by using a Theme for example:  A New World:  Our Hope and Our Task – was introduced to them using posters and selected biblical texts.  This will familiarize them with the Biblical texts and their application to our current situations and what we can do about them.  It is another way to do Lectio Divina. Biblical Action Songs are much appreciated by the children.  More shall be shared with them in the next meetings.

In the photos are shown the groups making their Sculpture using the members of their group to portray a scene in a Scripture text as used for teaching and for liturgy.

A Blissful Ascension of the Lord…

Ascension of the Lord (Solemnity)

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Ascension of the Lord (Solemnity)

Christian faith does not despise the human body, reducing it simply to a shell or a tent, but rather recognises and affirms that the human person is both body and soul. Indeed, the central truth of Christian revelation is that God became man, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The importance of the human body – Jesus’ body, our own body – is underpinned by Jesus’ bodily ascension into heaven, which we celebrate today. Jesus returned to God the Father, body and soul, and just as he ascended in glory, so he will one day return in glory.

The Ascension of Jesus was a defining moment both in his life and in human history. There is a very real way in which since the Lord’s Ascension God’s plan of redemption has entered into its final and ultimate fulfilment. It is as if since that moment we have been living in the ‘end times’ and Jesus’ return in glory is imminent. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it like this: ‘Already the final age of the world is with us, and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain, real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect’.

Now, truth be told, not many of us live as if Jesus’ return is imminent. In fact, it is possible that some of us don’t really believe that at all — any talk of Jesus’ return can be viewed as a little over the top or extreme or fundamentalist. The Catechism does not take this view but states clearly and unambiguously: ‘Since the Ascension Christ’s coming in glory has been imminent, even though ‘it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.’ This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are delayed’.

Jesus is truly the Lord of History and the King of the Universe. Today’s feast rejoices in and celebrates his authority and power, and looks with hope and longing for his Second Coming, when his intervention in human history will be brought to its completion and fulfilment.

‘Hail the day that sees him rise, to his throne above the skies;
Christ, awhile to mortals given, re-ascends his native heaven.’
(Charles Wesley)

BIBLIODRAMA WORKSHOP SEMINAR AT CLFC

CLFC NOW OFFERING BIBLIODRAMA

WORKSHOP SEMINAR

 

WHAT IS BIBLIODRAMA

 Bibliodrama. Is an intensive confrontation with a Scripture text (story) in which the participants come to know better themselves and their world by trying to discover themselves and the world in which they live in and through the Scripture text.

 The method is as follows: With the help of a facilitator the group tries to enter into a text: assisted by the facilitator through conversations, interviews, gestures, acting and taking into account one’s social situation and culture, each participant eventually finds a particular place in the biblical narrative. In this way, a personal relationship is developed, its depths and actually are discovered and the rest comes alive.

Thus spiritual process starts, a process in which the personal history of each participant, the common history of the group and the faith tradition are clarified through their interaction. At the same time the background of the Scripture text becomes transparent as this multidimensional activity (process) helps to discover and experience the spiritual power of biblical wisdom; it also helps to dissolve blocks of a distorted faith tradition e.g. a false image of God. This leads to a creative process in which the participants are changed, allowing new life to emerge. The individual feels encouraged to listen to the Word of God in his/her everyday life, and to live accordingly, even if this leads to a totally new path.

THE BIBLICAL TEXT COMES TO LIFE

The impact of Bibliodrama on a holistic approach, a process which draws it spiritual power from LISTENING TO THE WORD OF GOD with ear, heart, hand and intellect. In this way the Word of God can bring about an inner transformation and create a spiritual fertility by giving life and by enabling to pass life on to others.

What causes this Bibliodrama boom?

We presume that there are various reasons for the sudden interest in Bibliodrama methods among religious educators, lay ministers, leaders  and are looking for new methods:

  • the hope that in this way biblical texts can be contextualized in today’s realities (e.g. in the sense of an aggiornamento, the word coined by John XXIII)
  • the hope to discover the Bibliodrama as a possibility to counter the crisis of traditionalizing our faith
  • dissatisfaction with historical-critical approaches to biblical texts and the demand for a more creative approach which makes better use of human imagination
  • attraction of the method and the part that is played by human experience and group interaction, which previously was not so welcomed in church circles
  • the expectation to find a point where critical scripture reading and personal experience meet
  • to do this in a group and not alone
  • the inclusion of therapeutic elements and psychological explanations in our pastoral praxis and training (clinical and pastoral psychology)
  • dissatisfaction with the head-centered training of pastoral agents that seems to be far removed from reality and the wish to integrate the cognitive, affective and spiritual levels in the human person
  • specific dissatisfaction with the traditional theology in the pedagogy of religion.

 The Cebu Lay Formation Center is now offering the Bibliodrama Seminar Workshop with Certified Facilitators from the BIBLIODRAMA PHILIPPINES under the auspices of the  Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA)  of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

CONTACT US

For requests, invitations and further information:

Email:  clfc.talamban@gmail.com                       

Call:

(032)3440170

511-6471

4957086 (telefax) 

**********

 Visit us at: CLFC, Talamban, Cebu City

(at the back of San Isidro Parish Church)

INTENSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE SCRIPTURE TEXT

BIBLIODRAMA PHILIPPINES AT URDANETA CITY, PANGASINAN WITH MOST REV. JACINTO A. JOSE, DD - BISHOP OF URDANETA