This Sunday, January 30, National Bible Sunday, marks the closing of National Bible Week, a weeklong celebration of God’s Word in the Bible and in our lives. Last Monday I attended and participated in the opening ceremonies and activity – the 12-hour proclamation of God’s Word at the Quezon City Memorial Circle – sponsored by the Philippine Bible Society and hosted by the Quezon City Government. i-Proclaim readers included government officials, clergy and lay members of many Bible-believing churches, both Catholic and Protestant, charismatic communities, NGOs and other multi-sectoral representatives; I was blessed to be one of the readers, proclaiming Proverbs 16.
Readers lined up on stage and read their assigned scripture passages, one after another, with no explanation or comments on the reading. The Scripture passages varied, now from Isaiah, next from Hebrews, then from the Psalms, etc. In a way I had expected that public reception of such an activity would be somewhat lackluster as there were no efforts to hype-up the activity. But many people stayed and listened for hours. Truly the Word of God has power!
Listening to the readers proclaiming the Word of God, I could feel the impact of the footprints of the prophets, psalmists and kings, the disciples and early Christians as they lived and walked in Bible times. As the readings continued, people listening began nodding their heads, even murmuring “Yes!…” when the Word talked directly to them. Their ancient footprints still have the power to make a difference in our lives today.
And I began thinking back in my life of the people who had left their footprints along the roadway of my life journey. My father who taught me to love God in nature. My mother who always saw that I went to church and attended other faith building activities. My first grade teacher who instilled in me the love for reading. Fr Murphy who helped me focus my life in the right direction toward God. My younger sister Mary who has shown me that persistence in the face of serious physical disability can overcome. Jun Catan, my darling husband of 49 years, who has loved me and still loves me despite my many imperfections. Sister Carmeli, OSA, my spiritual guide and soul mate. The many brothers and sisters in the BCBP who have made me truly feel at home in this country where the Lord transplanted me many years ago in 1962. Fe Buenviaje, my radio co-host, who has helped keep my faith evangelistic. And so many, many others (family, friends, teachers, fellow companions in life’s journey, business associates, parishioners, co-workers in MAPECON) who have enriched my life then and now and, I am sure, will continue to do so in the coming years ahead.
As I listened to the proclamation of the Word, I realized that it is not enough that we walk through life doing our own thing. God wants us to make a dynamic impact on everything and everyone around us. He wants us to leave our indelible footprints behind to inspire and encourage others, both now and in future generations. And our lives must be able to be proclaimed to others as examples of courage, integrity, godly character, faith and trust in God.