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Giuseppe Moscati, a medical doctor of the early 20th century, considered his profession a lay apostolate. He sought out the poor and suffering and treated them without cost. …

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Sr Grace Lee

When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert to change stones into bread, Jesus replied: One  does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt 4: 4).

We are in the Lenten season and we want to live on God’s words found in the Bible. God’s Words in the Bible are our best prayers. In Lent we do three things: pray, fast and give offerings to those in need.

For those who attend daily Mass or who read the Bible texts from the Mass, those passages of the Bible are the most suitable for this Lenten season. If we earnestly read them, meditate on them and put them into practice, we are praying in a very good way. Besides reading the daily Gospel, we may want to read other parts of the Bible for our spiritual growth in our faith life and in our love of neighbor and God.

How to choose a Bible?

First, we choose a Catholic Bible. The Catholic Bible has 73 books in its Old and New Testament.  A Christian Bible accepts only those 66 books translated from the Hebrew and Aramaic sources. The Catholics also include the seven translations from the Greek sources.

In Chinese, we have only one Catholic translation, done by Italian Franciscan Father Gabriele Maria Allegra. It is published by the Franciscans. In English we have many translations.

Lent is the season to



In English speaking countries, they use the Jerusalem Bible, also in the Mass texts. In America they use the New American Bible. Then there is also the Christian Community Bible, and a simple translation called the Good News Bible. This Good News Bible is written in basic English for those whose English is not their first language, but there are inaccuracies in the translation.

However, the Jerusalem Bible, the Christian Community Bible and the New American Bible are all readable, even for those whose English is not their first language. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is a scholarly and most accurate translation. It follows the original sources in a  literal manner. This may cause some difficulty in the understanding of the words.

But there are footnotes found in every Bible, explaining certain words or meanings. And we can also read some Bible explanations in good biblical commentaries.

In Hong Kong, there is a special edition of the NRSV, which arranges all the texts in the method of the Lectio Divina. This is a Latin word for “divine reading” which has four steps in reading and understanding the Bible. This special edition is called THE CATHOLIC PRAYER BIBLE, LECTIO DIVINA EDITION. The four steps are: read, reflect, pray and act.

If we do not yet have a Bible, choose one to suit our language needs, one that can help us understand God’s words and so nourish ourselves spiritually for our Lenten journey (and for the rest of our life) so we may follow Christ more closely. Choose a Bible with good print, so our reading is more comfortable and enjoyable. It will be a joy to listen to God in the Bible, to share his words with others and to live as his brothers and sisters in our Christian communities.

May we continue our Lent with greater courage, energy and love for God and for neighbour, doing what we intended to do for this Lent: - pray, fast and help those in need.

 “It is no longer I who live,

but Christ who lives in me.”

Galatians 2:20

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