Tagaytay City—July 22, 2011—Last Friday marked the theological symposium entitled: “Verbum Domini: The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,” hosted by the Divine Word Seminary—School of Theology (DWST) in cooperation with the Catholic Biblical Association of the Philippines (CBAP) and Tagaytay Religious Association (TRA). Around 300 participants came to listen to the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Manila, Bishop Broderick Pabillo who served as the keynote speaker of the said symposium.
The talk is basically an exposition of the latest Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Verbum Domini (VD) signed by Pope Benedict XVI on September 30, 2010 and made pubic only on November 11, 2011. Bishop Pabillo made his presentation simple yet substantial to guide us in reading the document.
From the start, he made it clear that the purpose of the document is “to renew the Church’s faith in the word of God (VD 27).” With this, he indicated that the focus of the document is not only the biblical text but the Word of God in general. He started with the theological point of view of the Word of God, with emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit from the process of inspiration to interpretation. Then he went on with the discussion on the relationship of the Word of God and the Church. He stresses that there is no dichotomy between the Church and the Word of God for the Church and her activities are deeply rooted in the Word of God. Special attention was given to liturgy and part of it is on the homily. Liturgy and the Word are related to each other in a way that it is in the liturgy that the Word becomes alive. In the same manner, it is in the homily that the ancient text is being actualized in the present. Lastly, he talked about the Word of God in the mission of the Church. The Church is called to spread the word of God to all humanity. This is founded in her nature as missionary – evangelizers of the world. And part of our evangelization are the elements of justice, care for the earth, involvement with our time and importance of culture. Bishop Pabillo ended his talk with the message of Pope Benedict XVI for the World Youth day in Madrid.
The event started with an opening liturgy followed by the welcome address of Fr. Alex Muana, SVD, Dean of Studies of DWST. Fr. Wilfredo Saniel, SVD, Rector of Divine Word Seminary concluded the symposium with his closing remarks.
Mark Ramos, SVD