On the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we celebrate Bible Sunday with the theme – “Strengthening the Family through Word and Eucharist”. Once again we renew our commitment to make the Living Word alive in us, as we live and share the knowledge of God with one another.
Two important things always occur when a family gets together – meal and talk. Why do we need to eat food and what is the significance of talking? God has provided two most precious graces – Eucharist (meal) and Bible (talk).
The Eucharist has its origin in the Passover Meal (it was a ritual meal held before Moses delivered the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt to the Promise Land – Exodus 11-12). The Bible (talk) is described as a love letter from Heaven for us. God the Father “shows forth his great, patient and unfailing love throughout history of humankind” in his love letter. He hopes that we may inherit eternal happiness by paying attention to his message, but often we fail to heed his advise.
The Bible is the “Family Book”. It describes the relationship of the human family, family crises, love stories, and it contains great wisdom and spiritually. In the Bible, God helps us with practical advice and wisdom for each family member in order to build relationships with one another. In our family, we encounter “hope and disappointment, love and betrayal, joy and despair, triumph and failure”. We cannot run away from these realities of life. Thus, the Family Book. As a family, we should cultivate reading the Bible together prayerfully and meditatively, and make the words “active and alive” (Heb 4:12). So a family that prays and eats together, always stays together and indeed this family is very strong in the Eucharist.
Jesus practiced what He preached. In the Eucharistic celebration, we encounter the Real Presence of Jesus in the Word (Liturgy of the Word) and in the Sacrament (the Liturgy of the Eucharist). The Word and the Eucharist complement each other as how the word and action go hand-in-hand. Without action, the word remains meaningless. Each time we celebrate and participate in the Eucharist, we remember and re-enact “the self-giving act of Jesus” and his commandment of “Do this in memory of Me,” (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-26).
The Eucharist gives us strength and grace to bear witness to Christ and His Church by living together in love and harmony. What we have learned and received from the Eucharist is what we should become in the Church community and society. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, we are reminded that through this Sacrament we are to “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life,” or “Go and announce the Good News of the Lord.”
Either on your personal level or BEC level, please spare a couple of minutes on the questions below and write down or share your reflection:
- ) God’s word has power. Our words too have power to heal or to hurt, especially those closest to us. How aware are we of that? How often do we put our words to good use?
- ) The bread-provider of the family is the one who exercises the power, but he/she is also called to make sacrifices, even to the extent of laying down his/her own life (like Christ in the Eucharist) in order to provide for the family. Are we convinced that with greater power comes greater responsibility and servanthood?
(An abstract from the Bible Sunday Message 2019 by Regional Biblical Commission of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei).
Rev. Fr. George P.