This week, we present you with a very fine ministry that happens every Wednesday night: Bible Study. Here is Theresa de Ocampo, the facilitator of this ministry, to present it to us:
The present Bible Study evolved from the Bible Sharing groups that used to meet weekly ten or so years ago.
It was in 2009 when the first Bible Study series then entitled A Quick Journey Through the Bible was offered at St. Mary’s. An eight-week overview of the Bible, it was attended by over one hundred participants! It was followed by more in-depth studies on Matthew, Acts, and The Bible Timeline that traces salvation history throughout the Old and New Testaments. Over the years, we also studied various topics about the Catholic faith and virtue formation. We recently finished Philippians and next week, we will go back to doing Lectio Divina on Sunday readings.
Regardless of the topic, the format is generally the same. A video talk or teaching is presented, then a group discussion follows using the prescribed study guide. An environment of openness and fellowship allows participants to comfortably exchange knowledge and insights, share life experiences, raise questions and doubts, and express differences. It is interesting to learn how God speaks to us in ways unique to each individual and to sense His words written in ancient times coming to life, active and moving, in the now, in our present circumstances.
Our common goal in Bible Study is to seek the Truth to find the Way that leads to Life.
Why read the Bible? To love God, we need to know God. We cannot love someone whom we do not know. Sacred Scriptures is God’s means of revealing Himself to us. We come to know God, His nature and His ways, His heart and His will, from the testimonies narrated and recorded in the Bible. By studying the texts, we obtain a better understanding of God’s immense love for us; to which, once rooted in our hearts, our natural response would be to love Him back, to trust and obey Him.
The Bible is also God’s way of revealing to us who we truly are. His words make us aware of our value and dignity as well as our weakness and need for divine help. We learn the areas where the enemy tends to deceive us, find guidance in overcoming them, and know that by His graces, it is possible to love and walk in peace.
Why study? Is reading not enough? To grasp the true meaning of the text, it is worthwhile to examine its context – the history and culture of the time, the author and the audience, the interpretation of the Church.
Come and Join us! Free sessions, free coffee, free handouts. No registration, no prior knowledge required. People of all ages are welcome. Meetings occur every Wednesday at 6:45pm in the church basement.
Lastly, a sincere thank you to the generous volunteers who donate time and resources to make our meetings a pleasant experience.
Thank you, Theresa, for this text, and most of all, thank you for the ministry. May your shared reading of Scripture provide for all who participate “a lamp for their feet, a light for their path” (Ps 119:105)