Sunday, November 22, 2015
Korean Catholic Bible Week
During the last week of the liturgical year, the Korean Church celebrates Bible Week, hoping for a larger reading audience for the Scriptures. Articles and the editorial of the Peace Weekly remind the readers the importance of input from the Scriptures to see the world through the eyes of Jesus.
This year the theme for the week is taken from Genesis: "God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good" (Gen. 1-31). We are urged to go to the Scriptures to find answers to our problems with the environment. Bishop's message reminds the readers that to undo some of the harm to nature we need to heed the Gospel of reconciliation and intimacy with God's creation.
God has ordered us to take care of his creation. Reading the Scriptures we learn how precious creation is, and in Jesus, we see his intimate connection with nature and helping people to return to the family of humanity from their ailments and alienation.
In Korea, we have many who have taken to transcribing the Scriptures: copying each word by hand. In this issue of the Peace Weekly, we have those who have done this not only once, but one woman has copied the Old Testament 8 times in the last 18 years, and the New Testament 11 times. She says it deepened her faith life, and gave her more joy. She spends about 1 hour and 20 minutes each day in this way.
One young girl of sixteen heard that the diocese would give a gift of an overseas pilgrimage to all the students who copied the Old and New Testaments. She began with the desire to go abroad; in the beginning, it was tedious and difficult, but she began to enjoy what she was doing.
There are many of these stories and those who accomplish the task find that it gives them a chance to mull over each word and reflect on what they are writing. It is not to have another copy of the Bible but to meet God. We are forced to slow down and become reflective when we read.
Reading, writing, and reflection on the words of Scripture are meant to activate us to live them. Knowledge we don't use is not really helpful to us. We need to live it daily. Hopefully, we will get more who will be attracted to reading of Scripture, doing it more frequently, with a change in lives.