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And They Came With Haste, And Found Mary And Joseph, And The Babe Lying In The Manger

manger

And They Came With Haste, And Found Mary And Joseph, And The Babe Lying In The Manger – St. Luke 1: 16.

Dear Young Friends,

May I convey my belated Seasons Greetings? I know you all are in the thrill of the exciting celebrations. From your mails/letters/phone calls, it is understood that you all have celebrated the Christmas and the New Year in different ways with a variety of programs. New year is the occasion to evaluate the blessings and gifts we received in the past year and to submit our immediate needs and desires to God Almighty. Normally many of us do not take pains to count the gifts and mercies we enjoyed from our Lord God. The verse of devotion is very familiar to all of us, as we have heard this Biblical portion several times. There won’t be any doubt about “they” mentioned in the verse of devotion. The term ‘they’ is used for the shepherds who reached the manger to worship Lord Jesus. We must taker care in understanding the word ‘haste’, which has deep meaning. Whenever one has to see our Lord face to face, he has to reach the divine presence in haste. When Zacchaeus was peeping Lord Jesus through the leaves of the sycomore tree, our Lord called him by name and said “make haste and come down: for today I must abide at your house”. (St. Luke 19:5) What is this ‘haste’? Let us separate each alphabet and try to see for what they stand for. The first alphabet ‘h’ stands for humbleness one should have, prior to meeting our Lord. The second letter ‘a’ stands for the ambition of a faithful to have an abide ness with our Lord. The third letter ‘s’ is for the solemnity one faithful must have. And ‘t’ is there for the tears one should shed, remembering his own or her own sins and the final letter ‘e’ stands for the enthusiasm one should have. When we would unite all these qualities together, we could see our Lord face to face. I am sure all of you might have attended the Church worships on Christmas day as well as New Year day. On New Year day we have remembered the circumcision of our Lord as well as the memory of St. Basil, St. Gregory and the other Church Fathers.

When our Lord was 12, his mother St. Mary and St. Joseph. took him to the Jerusalem temple In Vs 43-46 we read, “And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of doctors, both bearing them, and asking them questions”.

This is what happening in our lives also. We all have started the pilgrimage to heavenly Canaan with our Savior Jesus Christ. When we started our pilgrimage the faith in the presence of our Lord with us was our power, enthusiasm and thrill. But due to some or other personal/selfish interests, we lost the frequent contact with Him and we maintained a false faith that He would be with us and we never bothered to identify the truth that we lose Him from our company. Why we lose Christ? It is only because of our selfishness, which do not allow us to identify ourselves with the interests of Christ. In our daily lives we must give priority to the interests of Christ. When we would realize that we lost the companionship of Lord Jesus, we must go back to the place and circumstance where we lost him. When His mother and St. Joseph realized that Lord is not with them, they turned back to Jerusalem seeking him. We the Christians, never turn back even if we are sure that we have lost our Lord from the fellowship and also we never bother to seek him. Unless we turn back from the style of life followed by us and seek Him, we cannot survive in his companionship. As long as we stay away from Jesus, we cannot produce heavenly fruits. In St. John 15:1 our Lord says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman” And again in verse 4 of the same chapter we read from him, “Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine no more can you, except you abide in me”.

Let us turn back and seek Him and try to abide in Him. Let our Lord make use of us to produce good fruits useful for the glory of God. May God bless us all.

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Catholicose Elect Reveals H.B’s Thoughts In The Mind.

milithios

H.B. Mar Milithios, Catholicose Elect and Metropolitan of Kunnamkulam Diocese said, until today HB had audience with God Almighty only. HB was not willing for an audience so far, as most of the audiences are not sincere. They are aimed for certain interests that might lead to controversies and unnecessary arguments. Metropolitan expressed that HB will take up and meet what all are the responsibilities and assignments, and they will be treated as the personal vision in the new position.

HB explained about his hope about the Holy Church in the following way.

The Holy Church in the 21st century must be a witnessing Church. “I will pray and work hard for the steady and blessed march of the united Church ahead to prosperity and peace. I do respect H.H The Catholicos as my father. My aim and attention will be to remain close to His Holiness supporting all the programs and ideas of His Holiness. I had never dreamed of a place in the leadership line of the H. Church. My mind is still perplexed. I must have the prayer support of one and all. Church is not a movement to be guided by a single person. One driver could drive a car, when and where passengers must be there in the front and rear seats. The passengers have no part in driving the car. When an organization, or a nation or a church is to be guided, it cannot be done by a single person. We all will have to join hands together to lead the Church in the coming years. The head of the Church is only a position. All members will have to exercise their own talents and services along with the head of the Church. In a foot ball team it is the joint action that leads the team to success. Like wise all have their own responsibilities and assignments. In my view a small kid also has his own assignments.”

When asked about H. B’s assessment about the position of the Catholicos Elect,

it was remarked, “I can see me as a cheap clay vessel. Though you all might see me in the new position with so many attractions, I am quite sure about my own merits and demerits. So I could submit myself before God Almighty as a cheap clay vessel. I am not simply telling so. It is the fact. I am not sure why God has selected this clay vessel to this position. This is my humble request to one and all that you all must pray for me and to safeguard this clay vessel from damage.” By remembering the past experience of being the Assistant to His Holiness, H.B said “Everything went on smoothly so far by the Grace of God. I am confident that the entire Church including the clergy and the laymen would join together and speed up its progress to high levels. I am sure that the creative co-operation of one and all will be beneficial for our missions and visions to come true.” Thirumeni spoke about the place ‘Kunnamkulam’ where H.B was born and bought up. “The Malankara Nazranis of Kunnamkulam had been so sincere, honest and trustworthy in the past. The local Kings of Kochi have appreciated this several times.” H.B is hopeful of the future of the Holy Church. May God Almighty bless H.B. with long life with peace, happiness, good health, and all similar blessings. Let us pray and wish “Long live Holy Father”.

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Articles Devotional

Sunday Before Pentecost

sunday-pentecost
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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Articles Devotional

Expectation And Pentecost

pentecost

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

ascension-lord-jesus-christ

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.