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Second Symposium in preparation for Week of the Bible 2023

On January 20, 2023, the Bible Society, in partnership with APECL, APECL Jeune, and the Biblical Federation, held the second symposium, at the Catholic Information Center in Jal el Dib, in preparation for the Week of the Bible, which will be taking place from 22 to 28 January 2023.

The symposium focused on the three pillars of “prayer, discernment, and listening” that Pope Francis themed for the Synodal journey.

To help us understand the Bible more and how to apply it to our lives, Bishop Jules Boutros, Bishop of the Syriac Catholic Church, discussed his journey with the youth, being one of the youngest bishops ordained in the Catholic Church, and introduced a book called “15 minutes with Jesus”. It contains 52 devotionals, one for every week of the year, addressing different spiritual and life topics. Each devotional focuses on a passage from the Bible and takes the reader on a journey to dig deeper into the text through explanations and reflections, QR codes to scan to worship songs and watch skits, and prayers.

Sr. Yara Matta, from the Sisters of the Holy Family Order and a member of the Executive Board of the Catholic Biblical Federation and Bible Society General Assembly, talked about how prayers in the Bible are based on the promises of God, as seen mainly in the Psalms. She emphasized that prayer is not only about emotions and ticking off requests. However, it is an expression of a relationship with God.

Sr. Yara shared how many people complain that they pray and nothing happens or changes. However, our prayers should first and foremost be changing us and how we live our lives.

Fr. Dany Younes s.j., the Director of El Machreq publishing house, then addressed the topic of discernment. He identified spiritual discernment as knowing if a particular word, teaching, or feeling is from God. He shared that the key to discernment is growing and maturing in faith through training ourselves to read and study the Bible regularly.

Fr. Dany explained how discernment is directly related to this week’s theme of “walking together with the Bible,” for we should discern every step we take to test if it brings us closer to God as we walk this journey together.

Last but not least, Mr. Elie Tawk, Assistant to the General Manager’s Office at Sesobel, had an interesting perspective on this year’s theme of “walking together with the Bible.” Being a person with a walking disability, he shared his testimony of how through the Bible, he was able to get the healing and freedom he truly needed without being healed physically.

He urged the church and community not to neglect people with disabilities or single them out with special programs but to integrate them with everyone else. People with disabilities should not necessarily be at the beginning of the crowd, nor at the end, but in the middle, to be supported by those around them and in turn, also support their community.

To know more about the Week of the Bible and its activities, visit www.weekofthebible.me.

 

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