The Malankara World Journal Issue 14 (dated July 15, 2011) is now
available online at:
This Sunday is the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel Reading is
from St. Luke 9:10-17 - the feeding of the multitudes with 5 loaves of
bread and 2 fish. We have provided bible commentaries, analysis and
sermons to study this scripture from different angles. Read them here:
This week we picked one of my favorite passages from the bible as focus
for MW Journal:
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)
Read this along with 1 Kings 19:11-13:
11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence
of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and
shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the
wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not
in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the
fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went
out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
Lauri Lumby explained this best:
"Personally, this is one of my favorite scriptures. In these words, the
Psalmist is reminding us that it is in the stillness that we KNOW God.
Knowledge of this kind is knowledge of the heart, knowledge of the
being, knowledge of the soul....as opposed to knowledge of the mind.
Here we know God....not just about God. It is in this stillness that we
remember our Oneness with God, and thereby remember our original nature
as beings of contentment, joy, compassion and peace. Isn't this afterall
what we are all truly seeking? It is this stillness that I encourage in
my students and Spiritual Direction clients. The good news is that the
Western Contemplative traditions are full of tools through which this
stillness can be realized."
However, there is also an aspect of prayer/worship here. Metropolitan
Anthony Bloom, an Orthodox bishop (pages vii-viii) wrote in "Living Prayer:"
"One of the reasons why communal worship or private prayer seem to be so
dead or so conventional is that the act of worship, which takes place in
the heart communing with God, is too often missing. Every expression,
either verbal or in action, may help, but they are only expressions of
what is essential, namely, a deep silence of communion. We all know in
human relationships that love and friendship are deep when we can be
silent with someone. As long as we need to talk in order to keep in
touch, we can safely and sadly assume that the relationship is still
superficial; and so, if we want to worship God, we must first of all
learn to feel happy, being silent together with him. This is an easier
thing to do than one might think at first; it needs a little time, some
confidence and the courage to start.
"Once the Cure d'Ars, a French saint of the eighteenth century, asked an
old peasant what he was doing sitting for hours in the church, seemingly
not even praying; the peasant replied: 'I look at him, he looks at me
and we are happy together.' The man had learned to speak to God without
breaking the silence of intimacy by words. If we can do that we can use
any form of worship. If we try to make worship itself out of the words
we use, we will get desperately tired of those words, because unless
they have the depth of silence, they are shallow and tiresome.
"But how inspiring words can be once they are backed by silence and are
infused with the right spirit:
'O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise'
Silence is putting aside our words and thoughts to make room for God's
presence; silence is the discipline of having ears to hear. As Henri
Nouwen put it, "Silence is the home of the word. Silence gives strength
and fruitfulness to the word." ("The Way of the Heart").
Where there is a quiet, silent heart, God's word has strength,
fruitfulness, and depth. Where God's word has strength, fruitfulness and
depth, God is exalted. Where God is exalted, God's Name is hallowed and
His Kingdom comes.
To Issac, this scripture reminds him of the story of Mary and Martha.
"Sometimes God needs to tell us that its better to sit at his feet and
be with him than to be busy doing stuff for him.
For many of us we need to be reminded that we're not God. He doesn't
NEED us to accomplish his mission. He doesn't NEED us in order to be
exalted. He was doing just fine before we got here and he'll do just
fine after we're gone.
For many of us, that's not really good news. I can't tell you how many
preachers, pastors, and clergy I've talked to that turn 50 and start
worrying about their legacy. But God doesn't call us to build a legacy.
We can't build his kingdom and ours at the same time. Let's face it,
without his help we can't even build his kingdom! As Fr. Corapi is fond
of saying, even the ability to be obedient or to do good things is a
grace from God. What is humility? Realizing and keeping in perspective
the fact of who we really are. And who we really are is totally defined
by God. Without him we're nothing. With him, we're kings and priests,
but we're also slaves.
So, we ought to let God be God and not try to fill his unfillable shoes."
Of course, the theology experts will tell us that this scripture is not
about calming down or being quiet but recognizing and proclaiming the
majesty of God.
The lead article this week talks about taking a moment in your busy
schedule to take stock of yourself. There is also a health angle
associated with that. Meditation is proven to help you with your mental
health. Prayer, meditation, and contemplation are the best remedy for a
Sometimes, you can relax by being busy as our team from MGSOSA have
discovered on their trip to Dominican Republic. They have just returned
from a weeklong mission trip. We have included reflections from 3 days
of their trip in this issue. I learned that our "champakom" tree is also
in Dominican Republic. And they call our "Naranga" as perhaps "naranja."
When we read about the condition of people in places like Haiti and
Dominican Republic, we realize how lucky we are. Suddenly all the
problems we think are important looks nothing compared to what some of
the people over there go through everyday to survive.
Rev. Dn. Shiryl Mathai wrote in his memoirs:
"Fr. Dale asked us to look for the face of Jesus as we left for work in
the morning. I didn't understand what was really meant. Were we to see
Jesus in people? Were people to see Jesus in us?"
Contemplate this question as you read the article, "Letting your light
shine in the darkness."
Table of Contents: Malankara World Journal Issue 14
* Editor's Note
* Bible Readings for This Sunday
* Sermons for This Sunday
* Inspiration for Today
* Featured This Week: Be still and know that I am God
* Reports from Dominican Outreach Mission Project
* Letting your light shine in the darkness
* Let Him Pray
* Health: Are You Lonely and Depressed?
* Recipe: Fitness Drink
* Humor: Disappointed Salesman
* About Malankara World
Thank you for your support and help. We welcome your comments and feedback.
In HIS Service
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World Journal
ID No: 956