The Empty Tomb!

THE EMPTY TOMB

John 20:1-9


 “On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them.  “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.  When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.  Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believedFor they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

Do we need to see to believe?  How come we do not yet understand?  How deep is our faith to believe and not see? To believe in the unknown?  To believe in God’s Word?

I did this exercise …

I tried to empty myself from everything:  achievements, success, prestige, honor, pride, position, power, and all material things painstakingly accumulated through the years.  And yes, even my dearly beloved ones: family and friends.  What are left? The life that God gifted me and the love He gave me and what I received and shared with others. And most of all my Faith in God.  I have always believed in a God of love, mercy and compassion.   I believe in a God who does not count my wrongs but is happy with all that I do right.  I believe in a God who is ever patient to wait for my growth.  Once upon a time, Jesus told me “you are still young; when you grow up, you will understand.”  I have grown in age and understood many things.  And yet, there is still so much to understand. Please Lord, help me to grow in faith and understand more.

I know that on the last day of my life on earth, I have to leave everything earthly behind.  I can only hold on to my spirit and all the spiritual treasures I received from God and the people who made my life meaningful with a purpose.

And when that time comes, don’t look for me in my tomb.  It will be an empty tomb.  As Jesus has risen, so I will rise with Him.  Alleluia!!  Thank you Lord for saving me!  Thank you for saving us all!  Thank you for your love, mercy and compassion!

For now, I am very much alive and happy with life!  In spite of my asthma attacks, broken spine, muscular spasms, bleeding ulcers, heartburns and refluxes, I have survived with the help of my patient Doctors and friends.  I have befriended my pains.  I continue my work joyfully and do them as if nothing happened.  But I have to accept my limitations now.  My body is ageing and my ailments are reminding me of that.  There is still so much to be done.  I have hope and trust that the good Lord will allow me to continue my work.

Easter is victory over death!  Easter is new life!  Easter is hope!  Easter is joy!

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!

By:  Estrella (Star) Cui del Mar

April 15, 2017

 

Welcome Our New Member of the CBF-SEA

We Welcome Our New Member of the CBF-SEA!

Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines, Inc.

(Association of Scholars)

Ateneo de Manila Campus

Loyola Heights

Quezon City

Philippines

Associate member since 2017

President: Sr. Professor Anicia Co

Ecclesial Assistant: Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, D.D, S.T.D.

 

The 7th Sub-regional Workshop 2017 in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Presentation of the Logo of the 2017 CBF-SEA Workshop

Logo-Pc

The theme of the event is very prominent, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9). It goes with the theme “Family and God’s word” completes the circle as it represents the message of God embracing and protecting the family.

2017- The year that the event will happen, CBF-SEA Workshop will be held in Nha Trang, Vietnam, are everywhere in the cross. Their positions create balance for the layout. The cross used is a simple and common cross.

The members of the family wear the traditional Vietnamese long robe , “ao dai”, a national costume, most commonly worn by women but can also be worn by men. This is a basic biblical family unit comprised of a man, a woman and their children, in which each member lives harmoniously, understands and fulfills his/her God-given role.

The pigeon symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is the source of life creating warmth in the family and peace for the world. Green and yellow were used as the dominant colors in the logo. Green symbolizes nature, grass, tree, trustworthiness, wisdom, and faith. This classic color also creates a calming and peaceful effect to the mind. As it goes with cheerful yellow illustrating lights of the sun and aura of the Lord spreading vitality to the world.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Christmas Blessings and Greetings!

Christmas Greetings!

manger-emm

‘Christmas is a day to open the heart:

it is necessary to open one’s heart to so much littleness,

which is there in that Baby,

and to so much wonder. It is the wonder of Christmas’

Pope Francis

 

Dearest CBF-SEA friends,

I wish you a wonderful and grace-filled Christmas

and a happy, blessed and peaceful New Year

        (January 1st – December 31st)

May our Lord shower his love and mercy

on our wounded world,

and make us instruments of his Peace.

 

See you in Vietnam!

Your companion on the way,

Sr. Emmanuel Gunanto, osu

A Christmas Letter 2016

cbf-logoCatholic Biblical Federation

Sankt Ottilien, Christmas 2016

 cbf-manger…for a son has been born for us, a son has been given to us, and dominion has been laid on his shoulders; and this is the name he has been given, ‘Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace (Is 9:5)

 

 

 

Dear Members, Friends and Benefactors of the Catholic Biblical Federation,

One more year, we are preparing to celebrate the presence of God in our world – a presence wrapped and represented these days in the tender setting of lights and Christmas decorations.

But we are also preparing to celebrate Christmas in a context of an accumulation of human conflicts, wars and tragedies greater than in the entire history of humanity. The whole of humanity seems to be crying out louder than ever before, “Where is your God?” (Ps. 42: 3). And, in fact, with greater obstinacy than ever, many are devoting themselves to denying the existence of God, to ridiculing faith in Him and even to persecuting those who confess it.

And we, once again, present to the world a poor child born in a stable, amid animals, as the son of an immigrant couple. And we tell the world, “God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong, those who by human standards are common and contemptible — indeed those who count for nothing — to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something” (1 Cor 1:27-28).

The logic of the world and the logic of God – in these days we see how far apart the one is from the other, how annihilating is one and how liberating is the other. It would seem that the oracle of the Prophet Amos has been fulfilled: “The days are coming- declares the Lord Yahweh- when I shall send a famine on the country, not hunger for food, not thirst for water, but famine for hearing Yahweh’s word. People will stagger from sea to sea, will wander from the north to the east, searching for Yahweh’s word, but will not find it. ” (Am 8:11-12).

But God has not abandoned us, he has not remained silent – he is accompanying us and he is still speaking to us. “Something which has existed since the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have watched and touched with our own hands about the Word of life” (1 Jn:1,1) …let us announce this to others more boldly than ever, let us bring them hope, the Word of Life – the Word that became Life and that dwelt, and continues to dwell, among us.

Merry Christmas to all!

Fr. Jan J. Stefanów, SVD

CBF General Secretary

http://www.c-b-f.org

Catholic Biblical Federation

cbf-seastefanow

Dear friends on our Biblical journey together,

Warmest greetings from the General Secretariat of the Catholic Biblical Federation in Sankt Ottilien (Germany)!

As we celebrate the Feast Day of the patron saint of biblical scholars – and I would add of “grass roots biblical scholars” because it was he who “popularized” the Bible, translating  it into Latin, the “vulgar” language of the people – St. Jerome, along with that of his illustrious companions Marcela and Paula, I share with you all via this medium best wishes that we may continue to follow the example of St. Jerome in the dedicated and rigorous listening to the Word that God addresses to us in Scripture and that we go on helping others to discover, listen, taste and live the Word of God.

Within three years, on 16 April 2019, the CBF will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The following year, a day like today, 30 September 2020, we will be commemorating the 1600th anniversary of the death of St. Jerome. For this reason, the General Secretariat and the Executive Committee of the Catholic Biblical Federation have launched a campaign in support of the period between 16 April 2019 and 30 September 2020 to be proclaimed in our Church as the “Year of the Bible”. I invite everyone to join this initiative and help in spreading this idea among your colleagues, parish priests, superiors and bishops of your dioceses. For our part we will be promoting it through the official channels of the Church and other institutions and organizations interested in this initiative.

Let today be the first day of the three years of preparation for the Year of the Bible in our Roman Catholic Church!

 

Fr. Jan J. Stefanow SVD

CBF General Secretary

CBF-SEA Celebrates the Natal Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary

141-svd-2

 

Hail, Mary, Mother of God, venerable treasure of the whole universe, lamp that is never extinguished, crown of virginity, support of the true faith, indestructible temple, dwelling of him whom no place can contain, O Mother and Virgin! Through you all the holy Gospels call blessed the one whom comes in the name of the Lord.


Hail, Mother of God. You enclosed under your heart the infinite God whom no space can contain. Through you the Most Holy Trinity is adored and glorified, the priceless cross is venerated throughout the universe. Through you the heavens rejoice, and the angels and archangels are filled with gladness. Through you the demons are banished, and the tempter fell from heaven. Through you the fallen human race is admitted to heaven.

Hail, Mother of God. Through you kings rule, and the only-begotten Son of God has become a star of light to those who were sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Amen.

 

141-svd