Since the 21st Ecumenical Council Vatican II (1962-1965) and especially the promulgation of the Dei Verbum Dogmatic Constitution Divine Revelation (November 1965 ) and now in recent Papal Document VERBUM DOMINI, The Word of The Lord, the ministry, apostolate and devotion to the Word of God has certainly caught attention and has becomes central focus of the Church.
In order to animate and fortify various ministries connected with Biblical Apostolate, the Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference established Catholic Bible Commission Pakistan (CBCP) in April 2002.
With the background of Dei Verbum (Nov. 1965) and Verbum Domini (Nov. 2010) CBCP has launched various Biblical Apostolate Programs to promote and spread the zeal for the Word of God. One of these programs is entitled “Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible”
The purpose of this Bible Promotion program is to animate, encourage, support and guide eople to own Holy Bible, read it daily and consistently as to journey through the Bible and to share and multiply this joy with others around. It will help the believers to become animators, ministers, missionary and preachers of the Word of God. Being among the Friends of the Bible will certainly cause a lot of joy and blessings both for the readers his family and community and society at large.
SEVEN SIGNS – SEVEN BLESSINGS
There are seven signs of being counted in the Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible. As each of these sign cause a special blessing, these signs in return are also named as seven Blessings.
1. Own and love your Bible
As every person owns and loves few things so too Holy Bible ought to be owned and loved. It must be considered and important and precious item of one’s possession. Even while going from one place to another, it must be part and parcel of my bag. As the Word of God is not a ‘book’ but ‘person’, it should be part of our family. And as we do not, in many cases, use the things of others, one should feel proud to have and read from one’s own Bible.
2. Read Regularly
We, according to our needs, priorities and interest, fixed and set apart time for every matter. Reading of the Holy Bible must become part of our interest and priority. One should develop a habit and routine of opening and reading Bible daily. One could read one chapter or more or less. It ought to be a part of your daily doings and usual routine. The day I don’t read I should ‘miss’ it.
3. Read Continually
Friends of the Bible should, once in life time, journey through the Holy Bible. Our eyes should receive this grace of having seen, read, and gone over every ‘word’ of the Bible.
Thus the Holy Bible, in this program, should be read consistently and not selectively. Every word, verse, passage, chapter and book should be read, no matter whether it is difficult or not understood. This is level and program of personal reading and not studying of the Holy Bible.
In case for any reason when one has not been able to read it for few days, next time it should be read from exactly the same place where it was left previously.
4. Share the Joy and Blessing
Blessings and joys are celebrated collectively and shared in a communitarian was. Such also is the blessing and joy of being part of “Hundred Thousand Friends of The Bible”. Once a while, after week or more, one should share blessing and joy of any word, verse, or event that caused inspiration, new light and fresh joy or hope. This can be shared with parents, elders in the family, brothers, sisters, friends…etc. It could be done through phone call, SMS, letter or conversation.
5. Give as a Gift
Giving is the best sharing. Each is quite accustomed to exchange gifts and presents. We are aware of variety of qualities and values of gifts. What a joy and blessing to give the Word of God as gift on any or even no occasion at all! Friends of the Bible should save from their pocket money and once in every two years give one Bible as a gift.
One could gift or donate Bible dedicating it as a memory in the name of someone else, alive or deceased alike. Gift of Bible is life giving. Gifting the Bible is gifting the Life-Giver. What a great gift and what a blessings and joy !
6. Invite Others
Being among Friends of the Bible is being missionary and minister of the Word of God. Every friend ought to invite in a year at least 10 others to become Friends of the Bible. No matter if other do not accept, pay interest on this invitation. The blessings in this sign of being Friends of the Bible is that one’s joy should be shared and multiplied.
7. Thank and Praise God
Thanking God for His Word is the climax of all blessings and joys. Friends of the Bible bless and praise God for the grace that His Word has been translated and made available in one’s language. Thank God for the gift of being able to see, read and share. Thank the Holy Spirit for this gift of being part of “Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible”.
The Bible Promotion Program entitled Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible was of solemnly launched on 30th. September 2010 on the Feast of St. Jerome, at Theological Institute for Laity (TIL) by Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, Archbishop of Lahore and President of Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference. This was a symbolic, official and nation-wide launching
Other Solemn Launching has been held in every Arch/Dioceses and Parishes and main cities of Pakistan at various times and occasions. This phase is in progress.
Catholic Bible Commission Pakistan (CBCP) continued promoting this program of Klam Ke Lakh Dost (Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible). This program was Solemnly Launched on 30th September 2010, Feast of St. Jerome, at Theological Institute for Laity (TIL).
The basic objective of the program Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible is to animate people to read Bible and read continuously, constantly and consistently. This is a simple invitation to love and read Word of God daily without skipping any verse, chapter or book of the Bible.
Each Catholic Christian is invited to join this Bible promotion Program and be part of Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible. One has to contact CBCP office, through E. Mail, phone, post, and give the required information and data of one self. One is registered upon payment of Rs. 100.- as registration fee.
This data is fed in the computer and each one is giving registration/serial number. An special colorful and laminated identity card is issued for the friend of the Bible.
This identity Card of being among Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible will give provide various privileges such as discount in the purchase of CBCP publications and programs. In fact being among Friends of the Bible will become a prior condition to participate any of the CBCP training and formation programs. Logically enough if one is not friend of the Bible why then go for Bible Programs?
Join…Be part of
Hundred Thousand Friends of the Bible
Catholic Bible Commission Pakistan (CBCP) awarded many Completion Certificates of Klam ke Lakh Dost since many have completed reading of the entire Holy Bible.