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Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!


As we come close to Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and the completion of the fifty days of lent, we must remind ourselves of why we have gone through this long period of self-denial, abstinence, and repentance. Many of us think that lent is a time when we are supposed to deny something we like very much, spend more time in prayer, and live charitably. Others think that lent is our time for imitating the forty days and nights that our Lord spent in the wilderness. Yes, it is important, that we maintain a purposeful, prayerful, and penitential lent spiritually, and an outreaching, sharing, and compassionate lent practically. Yet all of these are but means, and should be seen as aids on our journey towards the great Resurrection of our Lord. We therefore have to be conscious that all we do during Lent is our preparation for the death and resurrection of our Lord.

As we live in the midst of a world plagued by war, famine, crime and moral decay, we have no other hope than to look to our Lord who destroyed death and gave new life to all. This new life and hope should strengthen us to overcome all of these destructive forces and, in fact, enable us to speak out against them. With His Death, we have died, but with His Resurrection, we also rise. May He who gives life to those in the tombs, come into our lives and give us Life that sees no death, but eternal life; for this is the triumph we celebrate.

Therefore, we must rise and stand upon our feet and pronounce Our Risen Lord to a world that is in need of Truth. Now is the time for us to turn from our old and sinful ways, to put aside the distractions of this world and to focus on the building up of the Church of Christ, so that our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and even those who have distanced themselves from the Church may also receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance of the Kingdom of God.

The Holy week exposes the sin of mankind which inflicted severe sufferings and death on our Lord and Master. We could also reflect on the total self emptying of Him while facing these challenges. Easter is a glorious vindication of the fact that Christ’s way or Cross alone is ultimately victorious.

Glory be to Him who willingly died and rose again on the third day for the sake of our salvation!

May the eternal light and peace of the Empty Tomb shine in our hearts, our homes, our parishes, and the whole world. We wish all of our beloved ones a blessed Passion Week and Feast of the Resurrection. We hope that this Lent has given us an experience of transformation in our lives so that we are moved to become stronger witnesses of Christ in this world.

Easter Message – H.G. Alexios Mar Eusebius is the Metropolitan of the diocese South-West America

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A Message For Holy Week


Lenten blessings be upon you! Nowadays many Christians prefer going for pilgrimage to the holy land and they find gratification by walking through the soil where our Lord Jesus walked on some 2000 years ago. But only the affluent people are afford to have such a pilgrimage though everyone is desirous of. Here is a God sent opportunity for each one of us to make a pilgrimage through the life- events of Christ incarnate. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, we are going for a pilgrimage in a peculiar way.

As we meditate upon the life stories of Christ especially his passion, crucifixion and resurrection through the liturgies on the holy week, in an experiential realm, we feel the very presence of Christ amidst us and are able to imbibe the grace of healing.

On Palm Sunday, we are called to sing Hosanna like the large multitude did on the street of Jerusalem glorifying Jesus while on His arrival mounted on a colt (Mat21:9). Let us pray Hosanna meaning ‘Save us’ so that our present world may be saved from eternal perish.

On Maundy Thursday, let us come close leaning on our master Jesus for holy supper(Holy Qurbana) and receive his holy body and blood not as Judas Iscariot did (Mark 14:20) but as his favourite disciple Saint John did (John21:20).

On Good Friday, when we participate in the procession of the way of cross around the church , let the same attitude of Simon Cyrene reign over us in carrying the Cross of Christ (Mark15:21). And while we chant lengthy prayers and hymns, let us cry aloud like the women of Jerusalem did by lamenting of our sinful lives and of our children. Let us kneel down on the floor of the Church as if we were at Calvary. Let us bring myrrh and frankincense with all devotion and sincerity to the holy altar for the burial service as a mark of paying homage to our Lord as Joseph and Nichodimus did for the burial of Christ (John 19:39).

On Gospel Saturday, let our memorial service for the departed souls go deep down into the Sheol heralding the joy of victory of our Lord over death as our out- reaching mission in tandem with that of Christ (1 Peter 3:19, 4:6).

On Easter Sunday, let us run like St.Peter and St. John to the tomb of Christ (The Holy Altar) so as to make us believe that indeed ‘Christ has risen’  (John20:3-8).

One of the greatest prophetic themes of the old testament concerning the promised Messiah is that the Father would send His son “to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind (Isaiah 49:8; 61:1) and we read in the gospel of St.Luke 4:18 that it was fulfilled in Christ Incarnate. The ministry of Christ was one of numerous healings of “all kinds of sicknesses and all kinds of disease” (Mat 4:23). In addition, Jesus healed darkened hearts and minds as he released people from demonic oppression.

Like their Mater before them, the early apostles participated in God’s work of healing as well, attributing their miracle to the risen and ascended Christ. “Jesus the Christ heals you, “Peter told a newly restored man who had been bedridden for eight years  (Acts9:34).St.Paul identified healing as a gift of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:9). Thus, the New Testament foundation was established for the healing ministry to be a part of the sacramental life of the Church (James 5:14-15). The Orthodox Church has never believed or behaved as though the gifts of the spirit or the healing miracles of Christ have somehow passed away. Did not Jesus promise, “He who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my father (John 14:12). As we do the prayer of healing, it doesn’t mean that we are commanding God to heal nor doubting His ability to heal, but pleading for His promised mercy on all who are ill.

In the book of the Acts of the Apostles 3:1-10, we see that the apostles participate not only in preaching and teaching but in healing as well. The sacrament of healing manifests God’s presence in the Church and confirms the message of the gospel.

Let me quote some verses from the holy Bible which throws a light into the importance of having the holy service of the anointing of the sick. “My son, do not be negligent when you are sick, but pray to the Lord and He will heal you. Depart from transgression and direct your hand aright, and cleanse your heart from every sin. Offer a sweet-smelling sacrifice and a memorial of the finest wheat flour; and pour oil on your offering, as if you are soon to die. And keep in touch with your physician, for the Lord created him; and do not let him leave you, for you need him. There is a time when success is also in their hands, for they will pray to the Lord to give them success in bringing relief and healing, for the sake of preserving your life” (Wisdom of Sirach 38:9-14).

The sacrament –healing prayer and service of anointing the sick– known in Greek as evchelaion (the oil of prayer), is intended for all who suffer from any physical and mental illnesses. In many orthodox parishes and monasteries of the Eastern Orthodox Churches it is the custom to celebrate the evchelaion in Church on holy Wednesday evening or Maundy Thursday morning during holy Week, and everyone present is invited to approach for anointing, whether physically ill or not; for, even if we don’t require healing of the body, we are all of us in need of healing for our soul. All too often in orthodoxy the anointing of the sick has become a forgotten sacrament: we orthodox need to make far greater use of it.

In tandem with the present need, I feel it necessary to have a special healing service on the eve of Maundy Thursday in our church as well. Let us pray for all the sick around us and submit ourselves before God to be healed. When we pray for others, it is true that we also get healing. We read in the book of Job42:10 ff that when Job, the righteous, did pray for his friends, he regained his health and wealth. The prayer of the erstwhile people of India had been: “Loka Samastha sukhino bhavanthu”! See what a broader outlook was it that of our forefathers! Let this same attitude reign over us! No fervent prayers remain unanswered. God bless us.

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Devotional Thought On Great Lent


By the grace of God, we are once again entering into the 50 days lent popularly known as ‘Great Lent’ -the biggest of the 5 canonical Lents of the holy Church- which leads us to commemorate the climax episode of Christ’s incarnation and to be the contemporary of those events happened in the past. “Lent is not a collection of prohibitions but it is an option for what is positive”. Fasting is one of the traditions Christians have inherited from Judaism. It was common enough at the time of Jesus for him to warn us: “When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward” (Matt 6:16).

There are many ways to keep a good Lent. During Lent time, a faithful believer of Christ is supposed to abstain from some particular food or pleasure, especially avoiding non-vegetarian and sex. This is what exactly St. Paul meant when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:5 “Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self control”. Of course, the first thing God wanted from human was to abstain from a certain food (Genesis 2:16-17). Lent involves an element of sacrifice as the observant forsakes something that he/she likes most. It is the best remedy to get rid of the lust in oneself which deviates one from the divinity. Lent is, further, an opportunity for oneself to abstain from bad habits like smoking, drinking, etc.

Some people doubt whether diet regimen during Lent in our church is biblical or not. Abstaining from the king’s rich food, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah ate vegetables (lentels) and drank water. (Daniel 1:8-12). See what Daniel says, “ In those days, I Daniel, was mourning for three weeks, I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks”.(Daniel 10:2-3). It is said in Joel 1:14; 2:12 that we have to lament and mourn for sanctifying fast. The fasting period is called the lamenting period. Daniel did not eat any delicacies, meat or wine during fasting period. According to one’s strength, power and call everyone adjusts the dietary arrangements and the duration of the fasting. We see that St. John the Baptist, the greatest of all born of women abstained from eating fish or meat. The children like Hananiah and the rest ate only lentels, and drank water. Daniel rejected the delicacies and wine. The Church takes note that the Hebrew youths were blessed by God through holy fasting. It was fasting that delivered the children from the furnace and Daniel the prophet from the jaws of the lions.

Simple food in small quantity helps creating in oneself awareness that gluttony is a sin. A scoop of simple food would help one to inculcate an idea that our prayers should be need based and not greed based. Through lent one gets to know of the depths of pain of starving people. Lent inspires one to identify oneself with the poor and to the necessity of being austere throughout one’s life. One who observes lent in all sincerity and seriousness comes to the understanding that it is a sin of being rich in a poor world.

The Church’s commandment is that one should not eat anything until evening or 3 p.m. If one is not capable of doing it, fast till mid-day. If possible, one should avoid tasty and rich food like egg, milk, fish, meat, oil, wine, etc. And purify himself/her self through prayer, meditation on Bible and prostration. One is bound by moral obligations, such as giving alms and helping the needy etc, during fasting period. It is compulsory that one should participate in the Holy Communion after the true confession.

As our lives become ever busier, there is the danger that the voice of the Lord gets drowned out. Even in Jesus’ own time, it was easy to become distracted by the cares and duties of everyday life as the

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The Rich Young Man And Jesus

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When we go through the Gospel narratives the encounter of Jesus with young people seems very attractive. Young people are fond of asking questions, because they want to find answers for all the issues of their day to day life. Jesus was patient enough to hear the problems of the young people and he liked to have dialogues and even debates with the youth. We see people of different social backgrounds and faith affirmations approaching Jesus to find better answers for their questions. The rich man of the eighteenth chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke is a typical example. His story is repeated by the other two Gospel writers also (Mtt 19,16-30; Mk 10,17-31). I find this portion very meaningful for the New Year.

During the time of Jesus as well as today three kinds of people enjoy power in a society:

a) The young people have a say in a society because of their youthful energy and ideas. They are pro active and the famous revolutions of the world were led by them only. The uprising of the youth in 1968 was a great phenomenon around the world. Young people want to destroy the existing system and to establish a new world; normally they will be very idealistic in matters of politics.

b) The rich people govern most of the modern societies. They create a world, which will be attractive for the majority. They are able to purchase anything and everything. It is very difficult to stand against them.

c) The wise people guide a society by their wisdom. Right kind of wisdom is more powerful than physical strength and wealth. The wise men will have many followers, because they create a new culture of their own. They help common people to analyze situations and to take new steps in their life.

In the case of the man who approaches Jesus he had all the above qualifications; he is a young, rich and a wise man. Therefore we can imagine how much influential he would be. When he approaches Jesus he shows himself as an obedient disciple. If we read the passage carefully we can find a lot of positive things in his life. They are the following:

1. He had a good childhood and he became an expert in matters of the Jewish Law called Torah. We have to appreciate his parents for sending him for religious studies at an early stage. Not only did he learn all the commandments, but also he could remember those at a later stage.

2. In spite of his busy life he finds enough time for spiritual nourishment. He comes to Jesus secretly for seeking Eternal Life. I know many youngsters who deviate from the faith of their childhood. They feel proud of their new assignments and they work hard in the night as well as day to amass wealth. Once Jesus tells us a story about an young man who wants to “tear down barns and build bigger ones” so that he can store more grains; his philosophy of life is to “eat, drink and make merry” (Lk 12, 16-20).

3. The young man has the knowledge that Jesus is able to solve problems of his life. Many people have problems in their life, but only a few know how to solve them and whom to approach for it. They want to solve everything by themselves and often they fail in doing this. Just like Nicodemus, who came to Jesus secretly in the night, this young man also acknowledges the spiritual authority of Jesus.

4. He asks for the right thing, which is Eternal Life. He is not like the rich man to whom Jesus said: “You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself” (Lk 12,20). Many youngsters of today seek answers for many things, but their real problem is in their inefficiency to ask the right questions.

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The Food Security Project Of Jesus

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The price of food materials is increasing everywhere in the world along with that of oil. Inflation is a regular phenomenon in countries like India and people are afraid of starvation. Economists and scientists suggest many ways to control inflation and to put an end to the rise of price for essential commodities. In places like Kerala the governments are thinking about developing a Food Security Project (Bhakshya Suraksha Padhati) so that this issue can be dealt with for a long time. In this background let us have a new study about the Feeding of the Five Thousand.

This miracle is recorded in all the four gospels (Mtt 14,13-21; Mk 6,32-44; Lk 9,10-17; Jn 6,1-13) and in Matthew and Mark there is a second account; the Feeding of the Four thousand (Mtt 15,32-38; Mk 8,1-13). Whether the first was done in a Jewish territory and the second in a Gentile land is a matter of debate. Some people think that Matthew and Mark give a duplicate account of the same miracle.

Both these reports have many things in common; only the place of happening, the number of loaves, the number of people gathered and the number of baskets are different. This miracle happened in a place near the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus got big crowds always. According to Luke this happened in a place called Bethsaida and John says that the season was that of Passover. The reason for a big gathering might be the increasing popularity of Jesus due to the healing miracles he was performing and because of the wonderful sermons he was delivering.  Jesus is accompanied by his twelve disciples and the event becomes a practical class for them. Good teachers use always teaching aids and they choose good locations to make their ideas more concrete. The Feeding of the Multitude teaches the disciples as well as the people gathered the salient features of the Kingdom of God. They are the following:

1. God acts when his people suffer

Spirituality is not only about nourishing the “spirit” but also about addressing the needs of the “body” and “mind”. Since the spirit finds its home in the body, physical needs appear also in the divine plan of salvation. God is concerned about the material requirements of his people and he intervenes in history whenever there is a heavy need. He had answered the cries of Moses and the Israelites during their desert life and He had provided the Manna. According to the fourth Gospel this same God is active in the feeding of the five thousand. Jn 6,25-59 gives us a detailed exposition of the report of the feeding and there Jesus compares the event with that of the time of Moses.

The pain of the people was always disturbing Jesus. He was healing “the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, who were laid at his feet” (Mtt 15,30) and the people were amazed at his divine power and they said: “this is a new teaching”. Yes, the healing and the teaching were two sides of the ministry of Jesus and these happened together. Jesus had compassion to the crowd which spent three days with him in a remote place. It is interesting here to note that even though the hungry people did not make any uproar Jesus understands their pain and he expressed his compassion towards them.

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Teachers Of The Bible, Share The Glory And Goodness of God

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One of the recent conferences of the Orthodox priests who work in the Outside Kerala Region had a very relevant theme: “Share the glory and goodness of God”. It gave a call for the theosis or divinization of Christian ministers. This was taken from the introductory remarks of the Second Epistle of St. Peter, which reads: “His (God’s) divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2Pet.1:3). Let us examine the context in which the verse was originally written and what are the demands of being called in the glory and goodness of God.

Even though the authorship of the Second Epistle was always disputed right from the beginning, the main ideas are compatible with those of the Early Christian Church. Origen was the first Church Father who ascribed the epistle to St. Peter, the disciple of Christ as it is mentioned in the very first verse of the book. A careful reading of the letter would expose the context in which it was written. It seems that Peter wrote it almost at the end of his life by visualizing his death (2Pet. 1:14-15). His intention was to make sure that his disciples or students teach the right kind of Gospel in their congregations. He did this because many false interpreters of the Bible were misguiding the people (2.1). Peter speaks about “eloquent but erring” teachers who crept in to an Apostolic Church and invaded it. These had not only deviated from the “orthodox” faith of the Church but also misguided the believers, who were supposed to be divinized through the study of Bible.

False Interpreters of the Scripture

The main theme of the Epistle is, however, a caricature of the “false interpreters” of the Bible. Peter finds them as a dangerous group like the “False Prophets” of the Old Testament. These were mostly court prophets, who worked in the palaces of Old Testament kings. For them money, power and name were more important than the Word of God. Just to please the rulers of Israel they compromised with the world mostly. The Bible teachers of the Church of 2 Peter are not better than these. See the important allegations raised against them in the Epistle:

1. They introduce destructive heresies (2:1): The responsibility of a Christian teacher is always to teach the right faith in accordance with the Bible. But there were many in the past who became heretics, because of their lack of commitment to God, who appointed them as teachers of His Word. Even today there are many who do this without knowing that they will have to report back to Him, who sent them.

2. They do not respect the heavenly beings (2:10): Because of their over confidence and arrogance they lose their thoughts even about heaven. The presence of heavenly beings like angels in the Church will totally be ignored by these foolish preachers. They do not realize that whatever they do is naked before the “unseen” divine beings.

3. They are arrogant (2:11): Due to their ability to know the Scripture, understand it and interpret it, some theologians become arrogant. They forget the source of their wisdom and think that whatever they do are just because of their talents. Gradually they distance themselves from God and the people among whom they are appointed as God’s companions.

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Devotional Thoughts For The New Year

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Anything new is fascinating to the human mind. But, alas! novelty created by man “will not endure” and man goes ahead discontent in search of something newer and fascinating. This is equally true of earthly and carnal pleasure-generating environments and stimulants.

It is in this context that we need to listen to Heaven’s promise and assurance,” Behold I make all things new”. Creation was in the beginning all new and beautiful, with innocence, holiness and wisdom and the accompanying creative curiosity. Since those blessed days, creation has been marred by disobedience, selfishness, covetousness and rivalry-all of which attempted to defy and negate the enduring Love of God. While it was love that moved God to create us, it is again his love that moved to renew andre-create us to what we should be. Thus the joy of Christmas that marks the incarnation of God’s love and goodness to humanity, brings us glad tidings of great joy and the promise of a renewed and restored humanity.

As 2004 is pealed out and the new year is ushered in with prayers and revelries, it comes to us as a challenge to realize it as a transforming moment in our lives- to share a moment of a deep sense of humility and gratitude. “Hope” is the word that accompanies may a New Year Greeting . In truth it rests in our mental readiness to surrender our lives to the One who has promised to make us all new!. A new year obviously would bring in its train lots of opportunities and challenges as usual. They are to be faced and negotiated with “Christ “our Companion. The emerging situations and the environment may not proclaim any substantial change, but the change occurs in us, as we say to ourselves, “it’s a new day”! The situations may change ,but the willingness to get transformed, rests with us alone. May our New Year Resolutions be perched on a genuine desire to let God Change our lives, and to carry some Good News to those around us, of love hope and peace. That, of course, would change lives and be part of the “newness” that is promised to all.

It is significant that the Church exhorts us to welcome the Birth of Jesus with 25 days of lent, and greet the New Year morn with the Holy Liturgy and communion. Every festival has got a spiritual and a cultural aspect. Much care needs to be taken to ensure that one does not eclipse the other!

These are days when religious passion is ignited- not for the sake of human love, but for hate and war. Even religion and religious leaders stand bereft of the much needed credibility. Hence the need for strong moorings in human love, compassion and sacrifice as part of our spiritual convictions.

The New Years Day is one to ponder deep on the relevance of our existence, to feel humble and grateful before God, and to be a “good news “to those around us. The New Year becomes new ,only where it is opened and lived with the Lord who transforms everything.

May the readers be blessed and be filled with the spirit of compassion, love and an unquenchable thirst to seek after Truth, and thus to be NEW!

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Sunday Before Pentecost

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Reading: From the Gospel according to St.John 17:13-26

The basic reason of the incarnation of our redeemer was the replacement of the entire mankind in God Almighty. As the humanity is living on the earth, where the Satan could play his tricks every now and often and trap as many of the children of God as he could. It would be easy for the evil powers to take control of the people who are spiritually weak and tired. That is why the faithful are often exhorted to keep vigil against the attacks from the evil forces and to keep up the fullness of spiritual growth always. When one is in God and with God, his or her spirituality would be growing to the fullness as desired by God Almighty.

Today’s reading is often revered in the Orthodox contexts as the prayer of our Lord as the High Priest. Hence this Biblical portion is respectfully called as the prayer of the High Priest. (Mahaa Purohitha Prarthana). Our Lord prays for the following:

a) For the fullness of His joy in us
b) For our sanctification through His truth
c) For the oneness of all of us
d) For our perfect stay in God Almighty.

Let us think what His joy is. The selfless love which compelled our Lord to offer His life on the cross for our salvation is his joy. Our Lord’s joy is the net result of His sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of our sins and our freedom from the bondage of Satan. Are we grateful or concerned about it? Let us think and try to find out an ideal answer. Our Lord offered His life giving blood as a ransom for our freedom and salvation. While watching the freedom enjoyed by the mankind, the joy in our Lord is bubbling up like anything. Presently when we could think about our sins with true repentance and confess them before God with genuine repentance, our Lord would enjoy and His joy will increase from nothing to the fullness.

We should not forget that the sanctification is often brought in by the Holy Spirit. So we all must seek for the abundant supply of Holy Spirit in us. When we are weak in the matter of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, we must replace the vacuum of the Holy Spirit without much delay by constant prayer, meditation and longing. Let us be guided by the Holy Spirit in our day to day affairs. Holy Spirit is willing to guide us through the paths of God. But we will have to seek His guidance and blessing. He will guide us to the truth and real love. He will always sanctify us from the filth and dirt of this world.

God desires to be united with us all. He wants us to love one another. Loving one another is the significance of the Holy Trinity. In Trinity love is flowing from one another. It is desired that we must maintain such a flowing love from us to our family, society and to everyone. Selfishness is the factor which often blocks the love to other person or society. Let us try to achieve complete freedom from the selfishness.

May God enable us all to stay in Him permanently and solidly. As and when we are sanctified, we could remain in Him perfectly.

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Expectation And Pentecost

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We read in the first chapter of the Acts of Apostles about the Ascension of our Lord Jesus on the 40th day after the blessed Resurrection. Before Ascension, our Lord exhorted His beloved followers and the Apostles to wait for His Father’s promise. Our Lord also informed them that they would be strengthened to witness risen Christ not only in all Judea and Jerusalem, but also in every nook and corner of the world (Acts 1:8) So they waited with prayer and one accord. There were 120 persons altogether including the Apostles, who remained in one prayer and one accord to inherit Holy Spirit. As mentioned in Acts 2: 1-12, they all received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire. As a token of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, they all talked in other languages. They all received the Holy Spirit’s power in abundance.

In all our Sacraments, there is a solemn occasion when and where the Holy Spirit will descend from High above and will brood upon the submitted mysteries. The Holy Church teaches that whenever the Holy Spirit would descend during any one of the Sacraments (Sacraments are the visible symbols of the invisible graces of God Almighty) the participants/ congregation also would be blessed with the renewal of the Holy Spirit. We all have received the Holy Spirit initially during our Baptism as well as anointment of Holy Chrism. As we all are living in the world, the Holy Spirit in us might not grow into the perfection and hence we have to renew the Holy Spirit every now and often.  The Holy Church advises us to follow a strict sacramental life so that we could retain the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us. We could achieve this through our sacramental lives, but we must strictly follow a system of having one prayer and one accord. So also we must long for the arrival of the Holy Spirit during the Sacrament in which we are attending. And we must expect for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. In the Holy Sacrament of Eucharist, the Altar Assistant cautions us the time of the arrival of the Holy Spirit.  But often we could not keep one prayer and one accord. Whenever we attend a Sacrament, let it be a baptism or a matrimony or priesthood, or a Holy Eucharist, if we could keep up one accord and one prayer to bless us with the fullness of Holy Spirit, we all would be blessed with the fullness of Holy Spirit. The Holy Church separates ten days prior to Pentecost, for the expectation of the Holy Spirit. Unless and until we keep one prayer and one accord, we would not be able to come up with power from the kneeling position, as exhorted by the celebrant then and there. Let us try to attend this years Pentecost service with one prayer and one accord.

May God bless us all and renew the Holy Spirit in each and every one of us.

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The Feast Of The Ascension Of Our Lord

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Reading: From the Gospel according to. St.Luke24:36-53

Today’s reading is the continuation of our Lord’s appearance to the two Apostles that went to Emmaus. As soon as the two realized the great and exciting experience of being with the risen Lord, they rushed back to their colleagues and shared what they saw and what they experienced. When the eleven were together our Lord appeared among them for one more time. But they were terrified and affrighted. Realizing this great truth, our Lord said “let peace be unto you”. He is the one who had offered: “I leave my peace unto you. My peace is not like the peace of the world”.

Our Lord is present among all of us during the times of sorrows as well as happiness. But we often do not realize Him or His magnificent presence. The Apostles could experience the presence of our Lord, though they suspected Him to be a spirit. It is a pity that we neither realize His presence nor even as a spirit. We often forget or ignore about the presence of God among us. Unless we do not submit ourselves to Him at every moment, our prayers and worships will be of no use.

In verse 38 we listen the kind verses of our Lord and Savior. “Why are you troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your mind?

We all know and believe that Lord Jesus is the truth, way and light. Still at times of troubles we often get upset and worried. Instead of seeking the compassion of our Lord God, we often think of many other sources to get peace and comfort. At such occasions our Lord is asking to each and every one of us so gently: why are you troubled and why are you thinking so much in your hearts? At times of difficulties, worries and tensions, let us seek His mercy and compassion, instead of getting much tensed and depressed. We must try to listen and to identify the voice of our Lord God, who often speaks to us. We must give heed to the soft, loving, caring and sweet voice of our Lord in our daily lives. He is there with the offer “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee”. Let us follow Him and His soft and touching voice.

In verse 41 we read: “And when they yet believed not for joy, he said unto them, have you here any meat?”

He is asking us the same question. He is still continuing the same to us all who claim that we are his true followers. Our Lord is not asking for himself, but for the ones who are longing for a piece of bread among us. Our Lord is asking to feed the hungry and thirsty around us. If we feed the needy around us, it is as good as feeding our Lord God. We often close our eyes against the ones who are in need. Our prayers during the Lenten season remind us to go after the poor and needy to feed them, instead of the poor or needy might ask us. Let us take a decision to take care of the poor and needy among or around us. If we could love them as our brethren, it would be easy to care them.

May this day of Ascension of our Lord grant us more peace and comfort. Let His everlasting peace be with us all. May God bless us all.