Bible is ineffective unless applied

Published January 27, 2019, 12:33 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

WORD ALIVE

By FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

A man once bragged that he read the Bible from cover to cover several times. But someone said, “People who talk of knowing the Bible from cover to cover, know only the cover.”

Just reading the Bible for information or for historical value is not enough. It may even be boring since many stories and passages have been read repeatedly.  We read the Bible  not for information but transformation.

* * *

Once a priest and his friend, a soap maker,  were out taking a  walk. The soap maker said cynically, “What good is religion? Look at  all the  trouble and misery of the world after thousands of years  of teaching about goodness, truth, and peace–after all the prayers, homilies and teachings.”

* * *

The  priest said nothing. They continued walking until  they noticed  children playing in a muddy canal. Then the priest  said, “Look  at those kids. You say that soap makes people  clean,  but see  the dirt on those youngsters. Of what good is your soap?  With  all the  soap  in the world, those children are still dirty. I  wonder  how soap is effective after all.”

* * *

The  soap maker  got peeved and protested, “But  Father,  you ought to know that soap can’t do any good unless it is used.”

“Ah exactly,”  replied the priest. “So it is with Christianity and its teachings. They are ineffective unless they are reflected upon and put into practice.”

* * *

Today, National Bible Sunday, culminates Bible Week. Bible Week reminds us of the all-important Word of God as our ultimate guide and instruction.

Someone said, BIBLE is the acronym for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.”

* * *

It’s inspiring to know that more and more Catholic renewal and charismatic communities are doing Biblarasal. They meet regularly,  read passages in the Scriptures from which they seek the will of God,  then apply its message in everyday life. The message could be the gospel values of honesty, forgiveness, justice, caring for the needy like what the Good Samaritan did.

* * *

People around them notice a remarkable transformation for the better. Whereas before those lukewarm Christians led selfish and vice-ridden lives; now they have become active and exemplary church members.

* * *

One evening, a young man whose father I know was held up while walking. The thief snatched his mobile phone and wallet. The victim resisted but the man brought out a knife and stabbed him. After he was rushed to the hospital, the father was inconsolable, saying, “Imagine my son would have died.” He confided to me that he wanted to have the culprit “salvaged” (summarily killed). 

* * *

However, he relented, thinking that being a member of a Catholic renewal community, that would be wrong. When the criminal was apprehended, he was imprisoned to pay for his crime.

If the father didn’t have the spirit of forgiveness instilled in their prayer meetings, he would have done an unchristian act.

* * *

Indeed, the Bible, if applied to life, is a most effective means not only for personal but also moral transformation of our country.

* * *

THE LIGHTER SIDE. Bragging about his navel, a politician says, “It looks good because the doctor who delivered me took extra pains to cut my ‘biblical cord.’” (He meant umbilical cord).

* * *

A small boy asks a friend why his 80-year old grandma was always reading the Bible. He replies: Because she’s cramming for her Final Exam!

* * *

APPEAL. In today’s Bible Sunday, how about putting into practice Jesus’ message to be a Good Samaritan by helping the following sick indigents: Genesis Alison L., five-year-old girl leukemia patient, Dante C. undergoing dialysis, R. Cayunda, M. Maranga, Jacky Lopez who have pulmonary ailments.

* * *

GOD BLESS — the following who generous responded to my appeal: Anonymous CHINESE-FILIPINO DONOR,  GERRY “MR. FREEZE” SANTOS, GREG JR.-TEK SAUCO, WILLY-LINA ONG.

* * *

Others who may wish to help may e-mail me at: [email protected]

 

 
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