From Oct 23rd - Jan 23rd about 25 young
people joined the 12-week online Bible Study on Mission hosted by the
Apostolate of Catholic Tertiary Students (ACTS) of the Church of the Holy
Family, Kajang. While 11 of them were
locals from the parish, most of the others were students who had returned home
due to the MCO. These students joined in from as far as Sandakan and Kuching,
in spite of the challenging internet connectivity.
The Bible Study leaders were members of the Mission
trip to Paitan in Aug 2020. The material had been part of their daily Bible
reflection while on mission and this was now the opportunity to deepen their
conversion in serving the Lord. Eva Cabrini and her team of young leaders from
Sabah overcame initial concerns of leading young people they had never met,
some of whom were older and more knowledgeable about the Bible than themselves.
Though scheduled for 1 ½ hours, some sessions went on for almost 3 hours as the
students enjoyed the chance to discuss their faith.
This was the first time the youths from Holy Family,
had been involved in a Bible Study and they really loved it. The sessions that
impacted most of them was “Gen 3: The God Who Seeks” and “Phil 2: The Son who
Sacrifices”. Through the anonymous
feedback, some commented that they gained confidence to share their opinions,
while others deepened in prayer and Scripture reading, “I’ve learn to read the
Bible and the stories not at face value, but to put myself in the shoes of the
characters like Abraham and Jonah, and see it as they saw it within their
setting”. Another reflected, “i can actually know myself very well through
every session of the bible study, from the first until the last”. Vanessa
Francis shared that this Bible Study came at a good time when she was finding
her way back to God.
It was as if by the guidance of a divine hand that the
Bible Study ended just before the inaugural celebration of the Sunday of the
Word of God on Jan 25th, 2021. In his letter, Aperuit illis, Pope Francis exhorts that Catholics “urgently need
to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who
continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers.
For this reason, we need to develop a closer relationship with sacred
Scripture; otherwise, our hearts will remain cold and our eyes shut, struck as
we are by so many forms of blindness.”
As such, ACTS Campus Ministry bible studies do not
intend primarily to be scholarly, but seeks the transformation of the person in
discipleship to Jesus Christ. It recognises students are at different stages of
the faith journey and offers a variety accordingly. A few of the participants
indicated they would want to start their own group and share this Bible Study:
Mission with other friends. Others indicated they are looking forward to the next
bible study which will be The Meaning of Life & Love which will be online
from Feb 28th - Apr 25th.