It started with a poster.
It was a simple poster containing all the details of an activity called “Liturgical Bible Study”. I was intrigued. The venue was just across from where I work. I looked for my old and overused youth Bible and went there without expecting that I would know anyone.
It has been a year since then.
It started with a resolution.
The time that I saw the poster was also the time when I started pushing myself to meet new people and go out of my comfort zone. I thought then, “This is the perfect opportunity to deal with my resolution of meeting new people.. attend a Bible study.” Meet new people, I did.
It started with a person.
Someone introduced me to this Liturgical Bible Study some 4 years back. She facilitated Bible study after Bible study almost every week during households. She was the one who wanted so bad for this to happen. I remember even buying a youth Bible for myself just so I can understand the weekly readings. One thing is for sure: the seed was already planted deep in my heart.
It started with a desire.
A deep longing in my heart to really know more about God. To seek for Him through the Scriptures. To understand His ways, His emotions, His motives. The more I read about Him, the more I fall madly in love with Him. The more I sink in the entirety and depth of His love for me.
All these were affirmations of what happened last weekend at the World Single’s Congress (WSC) 2015.
It was my first time in 5 years to attend as a participant. Being a participant gave me more time to focus on my members and to serve in different ways. It was also the very first time wherein we conducted a Liturgical Bible Study (LBS) during the conference. I was so privileged to be chosen as one of the (out of 100) LBS facilitators. I was both excited – to meet new brothers and sisters and to share the LBS to others – and scared at the same time. The fear meter toppled up two notches higher when the first guy to approach me while I was holding my number 72 up was an international delegate, Mike. My first question to him was, “Do you understand Tagalog?” and he jokingly answered, “Hindi.” I seriously thought we would be conducting the LBS in straight English. I would’ve fainted! Hahaha.
All of my group mates but one (Sienna from Singapore, a sister who is not part of the community yet but has been attending the LBS already) were LBS first timers. Needless to say, it was challenging. I explained to them how the LBS works, how we do it, what hibla or one-thread message means, how to come up with a hibla. At first, the process was a little awkward. Nobody wanted to summarize. Nobody wanted to read. Nobody wanted to come up with a connection — because they weren’t sure how to do it. I had to read and summarize and give an example of a connection for them to understand how it works. Eventually the group got the hang of it and the conversation about the readings became deeper. When we got to the connections, I kind of lead them to certain similarities or prompted them to come up with ideas by saying “Do you think the temple in the Gospel has a connection in the First Reading?” My group mates started joking around, saying, “Basta sinabi mo sis, agree kaming lahat. Final na ‘yan!” (As long as you are the one who said it, it means it’s legit and it’s final! We all agree to it!). We finally came up with our hibla: We are God’s temple, and Christ alone can save us from sins.
It started with a passion.
A passion to share Christ to everyone through the Bible. It has been a weakness of Catholics to be left unaided with the Scripture, and LBS is a perfect tool to fill that weakness.
I left a post-it on the refrigerator of the common pantry among 30 offices in our floor, inviting everyone to attend our weekly Monday LBS at Bo’s Coffee, Glorieta 5. I was blessed when a Christian named Jason texted me and attended our LBS. It was an awkward first meeting. I asked him, “Anong color ng suot mo? Naka-white ako.” (What color are you wearing? I’m wearing white.). He has been a regular attendee since then.
After a year of regularly attending the LBS, we opened our own LBS group in the North. Aside from my Monday LBS nourishment, we help other people understand the Bible through our weekly Thursday LBS at KFC Mindanao Avenue, QC. We are a hot-pot of different communities: SFL, Light of Jesus (The Feast) and non-community members.
Just recently, we also conducted the LBS at the comforts of our home, with my siblings.
I realize now that LBS, or more aptly, reading the Bible, is like a chore. The more you do it, the more you become used to it. At first you don’t like doing it.. but with practice and consistency, you start to like doing it and eventually appreciate it. When you appreciate it, the more you will understand why you are doing it. Gradually, you will accelerate the skill of reading the Bible from a newbie level to a pro level.
The more I read the Bible readings now, the more that God reveals Himself to me. I thought if I read it twice, I know I already understood perfectly what He wants to say. But then I read it for the third time and discover a different interpretation. I read it for the fourth time and it’s like experiencing heaven. It also helps that I have a lot of friends who are also now into LBS. When they share about their thoughts on the readings, I discover more about God. I don’t know how it’s even possible to discover more and more of Him. What an enlightening experience!
I may not know how it all began but I am sure of how I want it to end: with every person, regardless of community, holding a Bible, conducting/attending the LBS and the Sunday mass because s/he wants to know more of Christ the way that I am discovering more of Him. That through the LBS and in all things, God may be glorified.