CBF-SEA BA Link 2008-37

Merry Christmas and a Blissful New Year

to one and all….


Dear friends in the Word,

We wish each of you a joyful Christmas and a grace-filled New Year.

Yes, Christmas is JOY.

In the words of Pope Benedict XVI

on December 18th, 2005:

christmas“God is close to us,

so close that he made himself a child.

The incarnation is good news

for the world today,

where God is absent.

A world dominated by fear, uncertainty.

A dark world, in which many need anesthesia in order to live.

JOY is the true gift of Christmas,

and not the expensive gifts

that cost time and money.

And joy we can express in simple ways, with a smile, a gesture, with helping out a little, with an act of forgiveness.”

merry-christmasSo this is our prayer for you and for all of us:

May the Joy of the Lord fill our hearts to the brim,

and may we radiate that joy to the world,

so all may know that Christ is the Savior of all mankind.

Your Trio CBF-SEA Coordinators’team:

Emma, Doms, Star


CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No.36

CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No.36


My dear friends in the Word, we are approaching Christmas and New Year. The year 2008 has almost come to a close – with 36 links … Hopefully they have linked us closer together.

The past week  I sent you 30 Synod propositions as they came to us from Zenit.  Fr. Ludger just informed me there are 55 in all. You will get the rest in the coming days until Dec 14. And the following will be Dec 23, because I will be away for my annual retreatFr. Doms will put them together in our Web.

Here is a Christmas present for all of us: a beautiful sharing from Star, and two reactions to the Synod propositions from Fr. Ludger and Sr. Miriam.

Estrella del Mar wrote:


Star in Dar Es Salaam

There are two warring fraternities in Cebu who are constantly at war and kill each other for years.  A number of their members on both sides have died already in their war.  The police authorities had apprehended them and after court proceedings, the offenders from both fraternities are now in jail.

The Prison Ministry regularly visit our jails and conduct a bible sharing to those who are willing to participate.  The two warring groups participate in these bible sharing sessions in jail.  Lo and Behold!  They were touched by the power of the Word and realized their sins and promised to reform their lives even in jail.  The two warring groups are now friends inside the jail.  The young people were interviewed by the TV newsmen in jail.  These young criminals, live on TV, said “We are very happy to have discovered the Word, know Jesus and try our best to reform.  We hope it is not too late to change and follow God’s Word.  We thank very much the people who came and brought the Bible to us and helped us read it and listen to God’s message.” (paraphrased from the Cebuano interview)

I almost cried listening to the short clips as part of the evening news.  But I had to hurry to go to Church or I would be late for the First Friday mass.  I thanked the prison ministers and I thanked the Lord for touching these young men’s lives.  And I realize more and more, the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.  We need more people to bring God’s Word and be the living word to others.

pwgc2smtnI also hope and pray that we, in the ministry of the Word, do not kill each other in one way or another!
If those who had not heard the Word, who became hardened criminals, returned to the Lord and reconciled with their enemies when they encountered the Word – how much more for us, who have committed ourselves to Evangelization through Scriptures???  Perhaps we need to read again, listen again to what God is telling us.  Perhaps we need to be “imprisoned” and be alone with the Word in our hearts in order to hear what God is telling us!
God bless us and guide us!

Fr. Ludger wrote:


Fr. Ludger with Bishop Ablondi

Even though I am disappointed that CBF was mentioned only in connection with spreading the Bible – together with the Bible Societies – I think there is so much in the propositions that can legitimately be considered as fruit of the members of CBF. But more important than claiming paternity is the question: What do Federation members make out of the rich material of the Synod? Of course, the final document will be the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation (or whatever it will be called) of the Holy Father. But we don’t have to wait for that. Already now we can gradually familiarize ourselves with the thinking and suggestions of the Synod.

Fr. Ludger’s challenging question “What do Federation members make out of the rich material of the Synod?” has been answered by Sr. Miriam. Thanks, dear Sister. We are looking forward to your paper.

Sister Miriam OSB:

Thank you so much for the updates.



You are truly God-sent; the materials you are sending me are helpful and useful for the conference I am preparing for the Religious Week in the Institute for Consecrated Life in Quezon City this January 24, 2009.  The topic assigned to me is “Jesus, the Living Word of God and the Prayer of the Religious Community.”

I will surely send you a copy…

In the Lord,

yours Sr. Emma Gunanto, osu.


CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No.35

CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No.35



My dear friends in the Word,

Here are the synodal propositions 6-10 published by Zenit (ZE081203). I am sure you will enjoy reading it, and discover the CBF’s presence in the Synod.


Proposition 6

Patristic reading of Scripture

Not to be neglected for the interpretation of the biblical text, is the Patristic reading of Scripture, which distinguishes two senses: literal and spiritual. The literal sense is that signified by the words of Scripture and found among the scientific instruments of critical exegesis. The spiritual sense concerns also the reality of the events of which Scripture speaks, taking into account the living Tradition of the whole Church and of the analogy of the faith, which implies the intrinsic connection of the truths of the faith among them and in the totality of the design of divine Revelation.

Proposition 7

Unity between Word of God and Eucharist

It is important to consider the profound unity between the Word of God and the Eucharist (cf. “Dei Verbum,” 21), as expressed by some particular texts, such as John 6:35-58; Luke 24:13-35, in such a way as to overcome the dichotomy between the two realities, which is often present in theological and pastoral reflection. In this way the connection with the preceding Synod on the Eucharist will become more evident.

The Word of God is made sacramental flesh in the Eucharistic event and leads Sacred Scripture to its fulfillment. The Eucharist is a hermeneutic principle of Sacred Scripture, as Sacred Scripture illumines and explains the Eucharistic mystery. In this sense the Synodal Fathers hope that a theological reflection on the sacramentality of the Word of God might be promoted. Without the recognition of the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, the intelligence of Sacred Scripture remains unfulfilled.

Proposition 8

Word of reconciliation and conversion

The Word of God is word of reconciliation because in it God reconciles all things to himself (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Ephesians 1:10). God’s merciful forgiveness, incarnated in Jesus, raises the sinner.

The importance of the Word of God in the sacraments of healing (Penance and Anointing) must be underlined. The Church must be the community that, reconciled by that Word that is Jesus Christ (cf. Ephesians 2:14-18; Colossians 1:22), offers all a space of reconciliation, of mercy and of forgiveness.

The healing force of the Word of God is a living call to a constant personal conversion in the listener himself and an incentive to a courageous proclamation of reconciliation offered by the Father in Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

In these days of conflicts of all kinds and of inter-religious tensions, in fidelity to the work of reconciliation fulfilled by God in Jesus, Catholics are committed to give example of reconciliation, seeking to share the same human, ethical and religious values in their relationship with God and with others. Thus they seek to construct a just and peaceful society.Proposition 9


Encounter with the Word in reading sacred Scripture

This Synod re-proposes forcefully to all the faithful the encounter with Jesus, Word of God made flesh, as event of grace that reoccurs in the reading and hearing of the Sacred Scriptures. Taking up a thought shared by the Fathers, Saint Cyprian reminds: “Attend assiduously to prayer and to “lectio divina.” When you pray you speak with God, when you read it is! God who speaks with you” (“Ad Donatum,” 15).

Hence, we sincerely hope that from this assembly a new season will spring of great love for sacred Scripture on the part of all the members of the People of God, so that from their prayerful and faithful reading in time the relationship with the very person of Jesus will be deepened. In this prospective, it is hoped — in so far as possible — that each of the faithful will personally possess the Bible (cf. Deuteronomy 17:18-20) and enjoy the benefits of the special indulgence connected with the reading of Scripture (cf. “Indulgentiarum Doctrina,” 30).

Proposition 10

The Old Testament in the Christian Bible

Jesus prayed the psalms and read the laws and the prophets, quoting them in his preaching and presenting himself as the fulfillment of Scripture (cf. Matthew 5:17; Luke 4:21; 24:27; John 5:46). The New Testament has drawn constantly from the Old Testament the words and expressions that a! llow it to recount and explain the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (cf. Matthew 1-2 and “Es passim”; Mark 6:3; Luke 24:25-31). At the same time, of the rest, his death and resurrection “gave these same texts a fullness of meaning that at first was inconceivable” (Pontifical Biblical Commission, “The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church,” III A 2).

Consequently, apostolic faith in Jesus is proclaimed “according to the Scriptures” (cf. 1 Corinthians 15) and presents Jesus Christ as the “yes” of God to all the promises (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:20).

For these reasons, knowledge of the Old Testament is indispensable for those who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because — according to the word of St. Augustine — the New Testament is concealed in the Old and the Old is revealed in the New (cf. “Quaestiones in Heptateucum,” 2, 73).

Hence, we hope that in the preaching and in catechesis due account ! will be taken of the pages of the Old Testament, explaining it appropriately in the context of the history of salvation and help the People of God to appreciate it in the light of faith in Jesus Lord.

In the Lord,

yours Sr. Emma Gunanto, osu.



CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No.34

CBF-SEA LINK 2008 No. 34

now reaching 10,000+mark

My dear friends in the Word,

Fr. Doms and Sr. Emma

Fr. Doms and Sr. Emma in Tanzania

Zenit has published the  synodal propositions 1-5, which were submitted to the Pope at the end of the world Synod of Bishops on the “Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,” held last October at the Vatican. Attached please find the text we copied  for you. The translation of the remaining propositions will be published by Zenit in subsequent services.

We would like to welcome the new contact person for the SVD Province of Java, Fr.. Isdaryanto, SVD, who has been appointed by the Provincial to coordinate the BA in Java. Father Is is very eager to learn from the experiences of new friends in the CBF. His email is svd.rektor@gmail.com

We are very pleased to see that the number of visitors to our web has exceeded the 10.000. Congratulations, dear Fr. Doms!

In the Lord,

yours Sr. Emma Gunanto, osu.


Synod Propositions 1-5

Conclusions of Episcopal Assembly on Word of God

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 2, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here are translations of the synodal propositions 1-5, which were submitted to Benedict XVI at the end of the world Synod of Bishops on the “Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,” held in October at the Vatican.

ZENIT will publish a translation of the remaining propositions in subsequent services.

* * *


Proposition 1

Documents that were presented to the Supreme Pontiff Presented for the consideration of the Supreme Pontiff — in addition to the documents on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church relating to this Synod, namely the lineamenta, the instrumentum laboris, the reports before and after discussion, and the texts of the interventions, whether those presented in t! he hall or those written, the reports of the minor circles and their discussions — above all some specific proposals, which the fathers held to be of particular importance.

The synodal fathers humbly requested the Holy Father to take the opportunity to offer a document on the mystery of the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church, also in the light of the Year dedicated to St. Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles, on the 2,000th anniversary of his birth.

Proposition 2

From the dogmatic constitution “Dei Verbum” to the synod on the Word of God

The synodal fathers, at more than 40 years after the promulgation of the dogmatic constitution on the divine revelation “Dei Verbum” to the work of the Vatican II ecumenical council, acknowledge with gratitude the great benefits contributed by this document to the life of the Church, at the exegetic, theological, spiritual, pastoral and ecumenical level.

Throughout the history of the “intellectus fidei” and of Christian doctrine, this constitution brought to light the Trinitarian and historic salvific horizon of revelation.

In these years the ecclesial awareness has undoubtedly grown that Jesus Christ, God’s Word incarnate, “by the very fact of his presence and with the manifestation he makes of himself with words and works, with signs and miracles, and especially with his death and his resurrection from the dead, and at last with the sending of the Spirit of truth, fulfills and completes Revelation and corroborates it with the divine testimony, that is that God is with us to deliver us from the darkness of sin and death and resurrect us for eternal life” (“Dei Verbum,” 4).

All this has allowed for further reflection on the infinite value of the Word of God that is given to us in sacred Scripture, as inspired testimony of revelation, which with the living Tradition of the Church constitutes the supreme rule of faith (cf. “Dei Verbum,” 21). It is this same Word that is kept and interpreted faithfully by the Magisterium (cf. “Dei Verbum,” 10), which is celebrated in the sacred Liturgy and which gives itself to us in the Eucharist as bread of eternal life (cf. John 6).

Treasuring all that emerged in these years, the Church feels today the need to reflect further on the mystery of the Word of God in its different articulations and pastoral implications. Hence, this synodal assembly expresses the hope that all the faithful will grow in the awareness of the mystery of Christ, only savior and mediator between God and men (cf. 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 9:15), and the Church renewed by the religious hearing of the Word of God might undertake a new missionary season, proclaiming the Good News to all men.


Proposition 3

Analogy “Verbi Dei”

The expression Word of God is analogical. It refers fi! rst of all to the Word of God in Person who is the Only-begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages, Word of God made flesh (cf. John 18) is the unique and definitive Word entrusted to humanity. To receive the Revelation, man must open his mind and heart to the action of the Holy Spirit that makes him understand the Word of God present in the sacred Scriptures. Man responds to God in full liberty with the obedience of the faith (cf. Romans 1:5; 2 Corinthians 10:5-6; “Dei Verbum,” 5).

Mary, Mother of Jesus, personifies this obedience of the faith in an exemplary manner, she is also the archetype of the faith of the Church that hears and receives the Word of God.

Proposition 5

Holy Spirit and Word of God

The sacred Scriptures, being a gift entrusted by the Holy Spirit to the Church Bride of Christ, have in the Church their own hermeneutical place.

The Spirit himself, who is Author of the sacred Scriptures, is also guide of their correct interpretation in the formation of the “fides Ecclesiae” through time.

The Synod recommended to pastors to remind all those baptized of the role of the Holy Spirit in inspiration (cf. “Dei Verbum,” 11), in the interpretation and understanding of the sacred Scriptures (cf. “Dei Verbum,” 12).

Consequently, all of us disciples are invited to invoke the Holy Spirit frequently, so that he will lead us to ever more profound knowledge of the Word of God and to the testimony of our faith (cf. John 15:26-27). They remind the faithful that the sacred Scriptures close evoking the common cry of the Spirit and the Bride: “Come Lord Jesus” (cf. Revelation 22:17-20).

[Translation by ZENIT]