ABP is the acronym for Biblical Animation of All Pastoral Life. It derives from the Spanish Animación Biblica de la Pastoral. It may be loosely translated as ‘Animation of the Bible for all Pastoral activities’.
It is a deepening of an invitation to make the Word of God central to everything we do and promotes a culture where the source, soul, sap, essence, life and heart of all our activities, in short, everything is animated by the Word of God. The root of animate is from the Latin word anima, meaning ‘breath’ or ‘spirit’. To animate something is to give it breath or life.
The vision of the ABP, is that all would come to a deep and personal encounter with Our Lord Jesus Christ through meditation on the Word of God. Its mission is to be the catalyst that would lead the people of God to engage God’s Word so creatively that it effects a change in lifestyle becoming a lamp to their feet and a light on their path (cf Ps 119: 105).
Our aim is to lead people to a “profound knowledge of the Word of God”. In order to achieve this, people must be trained to read and meditate on the Word of God. The Word must become the ‘staple diet’ of the faithful, so that, through their own experience, they will see that the words of Jesus are spirit and life (cf Jn 6:63).
As missionary disciples, called to live like Christ and bring others to Him, how could we proclaim a message whose content and spirit we do not know thoroughly?
“We must build our missionary commitment and the whole of our lives on the rock of the Word of God,” said Benedict XVI in the opening address of the Aparecida Document, (2017). Pope Benedict also expressed the view that the centrality of the divine word is an extreme necessity especially where the Gospel has been forgotten or meets with indifference as a result of secularism.
We must make the Bible alive today in each of us so that it becomes the motivating spirit of our daily living. It is not Bible study, but rather reflection on the Bible—how is Scripture ‘speaking’ to me? ABP then is not about starting a new Ministry but about deepening our encounter.
Individual practice of Imaginative Contemplation or Lectio Divina or meeting regularly to read the Word, at home, in the workplace or in our ministry groups, to reflect and share personal stories of how the Lord continues to work in our lives, are good starting points.
Enthronement of the Bible is encouraged in places where groups of people meet regularly to reflect on the Word of God. This is a simple but highly symbolic ceremony to honour both the Word of God and the Spirit of the place. This is holy ground!
The work of ABP incorporates:
1) Interpretation or knowledge of the Word,
2) Communion with Jesus, or prayer with the Word,
3) Evangelisation or proclamation of the Word.
This Archdiocesan Biblical Apostolate is a ministry of The RC Archbishop of Port of Spain within the Evangelization Commission.