Bible Reading Ineffective Unless It’s Applied

Word Alive by Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD for January 26, 2020 /Bible Sunday Reflection

Spiritual and Religious book from Logos Publications available online

A man once bragged that he read the Bible from cover to cover several times. But someone remarked, “People who read the Bible from cover to cover, know only the cover.”

Just reading the Bible is not enough. It may even be boring since the stories and passages are read and re-read through the years.

What’s more important is to ponder God’s message or what God is telling you and apply it in everyday life.

For instance, after reading Jesus’ messages to forgive not just seven times but 70 times 7 (meaning unlimited) or “You shall not kill…steal” or “Honor your father and mother,” you should then put these into practice as the will of God.

There’s a story about a priest and his friend, who owned a soap factory. As they were out taking a walk, the soap maker said cynically, “What good is religion? Look at all the troubles, violence, and miseries of the world after thousands of years of preachings and exhortations about goodness, justice, and peace.”

The priest said nothing. They continued walking until they noticed children playing in a muddy canal. Then the priest said, “Look at those kids. You say that soap makes people clean, but see the dirt on those youngsters. Of what good is your soap?”

The soap maker got peeved and sharply reacted, “But, Father, you ought to know that soap cannot do any good unless it is used.”

“Ah exactly,” replied the priest. “So it is with Christianity and its TEACHINGS. They are ineffective unless they are used or put into practice.”

January 20-25 is National Bible Week and culminates today, National Bible Sunday.

Let’s remember that the teachings and commands of God as contained in the Bible are there not to burden and restrict our freedom but rather serve as guide in life and work for our own good, individually and collectively, as a nation.

Take, for instance, God’s command of fidelity to one’s spouse. Some men feel restricted of their freedom to enjoy the company of other women or worse, grossly disregard their marriage vows. Infidelity, however, inflicts deep emotional wounds, bitter quarrels, and a broken family. Moreover, God’s command, “Thou shalt not steal,” is imposed not only to restrict our greed or amass wealth that are ill-gotten but also the wanton and unabated violation of the commandment leads to the country’s economic stagnation and perdition.


A small boy asked a friend why his 80-year old grandma was always reading the Bible.

He replied: “Because she’s cramming for her Final Exam!”

Note: The Bible should not be read only to “cram for the Final Exam” but read always.

Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?

Ans: Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible?

A. Moses. Because he broke all 10 Commandments at once. (That is, when he threw down the stone tablet inscribed with the 10 Commandments)

Q. What do they call pastors in Germany?

A. German Shepherds.


A wealthy man got angry at God because of the enormous sufferings of calamity victims and homeless people.

“How can you allow such misery?” he cried out, shaking a clenched fist upward. “Why don’t You do something to alleviate their sufferings?”

And somewhere deep within himself came God’s answer: “Indeed I’m doing something. I CREATED you.”

For those spared from the devastating wrath of Taal Volcano, thank the Lord. But as an act of gratitude, reach out to the poor victims.
Course your donations, in cash or kind, to your respective parishes, the Caritas Manila, NGOs, government agencies like the Red Cross and accredited evacuation centers.

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