The Malankara World Journal Issue 21 (September 1, 2011) is now available online at:
With this issue, we are starting a special vigil for the Nativity of Virgin Mary, Mother of God, on September 8. Between September 1 and September 8 we will have special editions of Malankara World Journal with a special supplement of the Journal on September 8.
In today's edition Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Mani Rajan Corepiscopos, a member of the Board of Malankara World, introduces St. Mary, Mother of God from the Orthodox point of view. We also have a history of the term Theotokos explained by a well known Marian expert, Late Fr. O'Carroll of Catholic Church.
We continue with Lesson 2 of the Book, 'With Christ in the School of Prayer' by Andrew Murray. Today's lesson is titled, 'In Spirit and Truth' Or The True Worshippers. It is based on John 4:24: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth." We also have 'Prayer Of The Mind' by Mother Angelica excerpted from her book, Living Prayers.
In the Family section, an article by Dr. Joe McKeever titled "Marriage will sustain your love" discusses the importance of the commitment to the success of marriage.
This Sunday's gospel reading is St. Matthew 17: 22-27. Jesus talks to the disciples about his upcoming passion, death and resurrection. "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up." Notice the way that Jesus refers to Himself. He calls Himself "the Son of Man." I always wondered why Jesus was referring himself as 'son of man' as opposed to 'son of God.' Researching this further, 'son of man' is a name that every Jewish person would have understood as greatly significant.
'The Son of Man' is an Old Testament name for the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ. It expresses His rule over mankind as the new 'Adam' - the Head of the human race. It's a name that has its origin in Daniel 7:13 where we read of Daniel's vision of the program of God for the redemption of mankind. That vision gives us a picture of the Messiah as He assumes His glorious reign over the kingdoms of the world.
13 "I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14) NKJV
The other portion of the Gospel gives us another illustration of Divine Love. When Jesus and disciples came to Capernaum, those who collected the temple tax came to Peter and asked him, "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?" He said, "Yes"." All men between the ages of 20 and 50 were to support the upkeep of the temple through the two-drachma tax paid every year. It amounted to two days wages for the normal worker. The practice began with Moses as instituted in Exodus 30:11-16, and was to be given regardless of one's financial status. The rich and poor paid the same amount for ensuring that the temple and its ongoing work would be supported. Because Jesus was the Son of God, he did not have to pay temple tax at all. However, Jesus paid the tax 'so that he did not give offense to the tax collectors.' (Matthew 17:27a). For Jesus, everybody is Gods child. Jesus loved God and loved Gods people. He made the decision to pay temple tax out of love.
Jesus used this occasion as a teaching tool. Jesus commanded Peter to go out and catch a fish. When Peter opened the mouth of the fish he found a coin. Jesus wanted to use the coin to pay tax 'for Jesus and for Peter.' (Matthew 17: 27f). He paid the tax for Peter also. In that way, Jesus showed that we should share what we have with others if we want to proclaim that God is the King. Jesus shares his vision of the Kingdom of God, a community of love where everybody feels to be loved and respected. More analysis, commentary and sermons based on this week's Gospel Lesson can be found at:
Table of Contents: Malankara World Journal Issue 21
Bible Readings for This Sunday
Sermons for This Sunday
Inspiration for Today
Featured This Week: St. Mary, Mother of God
The History of the Term Theotókos
Book Excerpt: Prayer Lesson 2: 'In Spirit and Truth' Or The True Worshippers
Prayer of The Mind
U.S. Study Debunks the Myth 'religious' equals 'uneducated'
Humor: Church Humor
Family: Marriage Will Sustain Your Love
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In HIS Service
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World Journal
ID No: 956