SERMON OF THE WEEK
November 4, 2012
Next Sunday is "Koodosh-eetho" Sunday. Koodosh-eetho means sanctification of the church.
The gospel reading for Sunday is from Mark 8:27-33
Message: The meaning and purpose of Koodosh-eetho: This is a process through which the church becomes holier by taking the divine properties of God. It is to bring moral perfection in man. Sanctification is an annual custom making the worshippers holier by accepting the divine properties of God. The English word "Church", according to Websters' dictionary, was originated from the Greek word "Kuriakos". The meaning of this word is "belonging to the Lord." It came to designate the place where God's people met for worship and prayer. So the church is a group of people called out to a life belonging the the Lord, and regularly meet to worship, to discover and to do the will of God. The annual sanctification is a process through which members renew their faith and commit themselves to continue the faith. In today's gospel, Jesus and his followers entered the district of Caesarea Philippi. There Jesus looked at the disciples in a moment of reflection and asked, "Who do men say that I am?".
This Sunday marks the beginning of a new church calendar year.
Church is a rock of faith. The members make up the body of the rock. It is through this body through which the gospel is proclaimed and God's will is advanced.
The disciples began sharing with Jesus what they have heard from other people. "Some say you are Elijah, others say John the Baptist, still other, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." Many people in the area spoke of Jesus as a prophet, teacher, holy man or a spiritual leader. However, people did ot consider him as the Son of God.
Then Jesus asked the disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" That's where the truth about Jesus' divinity is revealed. Peter answered, "You are the messiah, son of the living God.' Jesus was delighted to hear Peter's answer. Then Jesus said to Peter, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for it was not revealed to you by man, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are the rock, and on this rock I will build my church."
Jesus recognized Peter's faith that Jesus is the messiah and the son of the living God. Jesus was saying this truth was revealed to Peter by the holy spirit. Jesus says it is on this rock, meaning Peter's faith, that Jesus' church will be built. The gates of hades, meaning the power of evil, will not be able to overpower God's hold on His people.
Peter's response that, "You are the Christ - the annointed one, savior, redeemer, the son of the living God" is the foundation of the church.. When Peter said he is the Son of God and savior of the world shown in the flesh, Jesus affirms the spirit of God was in Peter to have said it correctly. This is the foundation of faith upon which Jesus built his church.
The Church was founded by God in the person of Jesus Christ. Our Lord named Peter the future leader of the church, when he said to him "Thou art Peter (Rock), and upon this rock I will build my church. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. (Mathew 16:19)
Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil