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Happy Mother's Day

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  • Rev. Fr. K.K. John
    Happy Mother s Day Mother s day is about honoring mothers. Gifts, cards, hugs, breakfast or dinner in a restaurant, telephone greetings, etc are tokens of
    Message 1 of 118 , Apr 24, 2005
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      Happy Mother's Day

      Mother's day is about honoring mothers. Gifts, cards, hugs,
      breakfast or dinner in a restaurant, telephone greetings, etc
      are tokens of affection that come to mind when we hear about
      mother's day. It is happy season for both donors and recipients.
      Business community is all the more happy because they make a few
      bucks out of it. It is a festival in honor of all mothers since
      1907. United States Congress recognized it as festival in 1914.
      Anna Jarvis, a woman is behind the celebrations to honor,
      "Motherhood and family life at a time of rising feminist
      activism." What reminisces in my mind is the forgone glory of
      womanhood and motherhood. In olden days large families
      comprising children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents
      lived under one roof. Grandfathers and grandmothers imparted
      important lessons on fear of God, history, tradition, customs,
      manners, ethics, morality, mutual respect, affection, sharing,
      caring and so on. Faith in God and religion is bequeathed rather
      than acquired. St Paul commended Timothy for his devout faith
      inherited from his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice, 2Tim 1:5.
      Grandparents' influence in molding youngsters' character is now
      old fable. According to Hebrew custom even slaves, servants and
      strangers who lived in the same house were considered members of
      one family, which invariably had positive ramification on the
      growing child. They were valuable assets in the family. Abraham
      entrusted Eleazer, his servant to find wife to his only son
      Isaac.
      We have many women who adorned honorable roles as wife, mother,
      mother-in-law and sister. Most of them were perfect model
      mothers. Sarah, Rebecca, Rachael, Hanna, Naomi, Ruth, Elizabeth,
      etc are some of the memorable names. Hannah as barren endured
      much ridicule from society. She earnestly prayed and God
      answered her prayer. She named the child Samuel which meant "God
      answered." She promptly dedicated Samuel to God at three years
      age. Her rare quality of placing God first is an excellent model
      worthy of emulation for all mothers. Nowadays fear of losing if
      they dedicate to God prevents people from complying with
      biblical obligations, such as, tithe, Sunday worship,
      encouraging children for God's services, etc. Hanna shows
      otherwise. God blessed her further and gave her more children.
      Esther is shining star who showed strength and dignity. She
      could change the unchangeable heart of king and the law of the
      land.

      But crown of all, there is a woman in the Bible, whose name is
      not written. She was Morth Smooni. She and her seven children
      endured brutal persecution and death at the hands of Antiochus
      Epiphanes. She encouraged each of them to accept martyrdom for
      the great hope of eternal life with Lord saying, "My beloved
      children, I know not how you were formed in my womb. It is not
      I, but the Creator of Universe and of humanity, He who examines
      every heart gave you shape, image, life and soul. Because you
      have given your body to death for the sake of His statutes He
      will mercifully restore your life and soul," II Mac 7:22-24.
      Such marvelous testimony is seldom found elsewhere in the whole
      of history. A mother's success at best depends on how she leads
      her children to God and virtuous living. Holy Church honors
      Morth Smooni as Saint. There is a church in the name of Morth
      Smooni in the village of Karkus, near Mosul. Every year on 1st
      August, day of her memory, northern wall of the church shines
      with radiant light and Morth Smooni and her seven children are
      seen walking on the wall. This miracle is recorded in (1) page
      257 of "Seemayathra,"1946, by Mor Gregorious of Angamaly, (2)
      page 256 of "Seemayathra," 1963 by Kadavil Paul Remban, (3) page
      110 of "Ethiopian Synod and visit to Holy Lands," 1965 by Fr TC
      Jacob, according to Vishudhagrandham, page 193.
      Gospel of Luke begins with the annunciation to Zachariah about
      John's birth. Luke wrote his Gospel as per details he received
      from St Mary, which makes the account credible. Why God when it
      pleased Him, chose Zachariah and Elizabeth couple? "They were
      both righteous before God, walking in all commandments and
      ordinances of the Lord blameless," v6. Elizabeth nurtured John
      in Lord's discipline from very early days. He was upright and
      righteous who defended morality unto death. His courage and
      frankness questioning the immoral king is without parallel in
      the whole of history. No wonder, son of a righteous and
      blameless mother became voice in the wilderness who prepared the
      way for the Lord.

      St Mary's mother was a devoted woman who dedicated her only
      child to Lord. Yuyakim and Hanna were God fearing and devoted
      but they had no children. They vowed that if Hanna bore a child
      they would dedicate the child to Lord. Such practice was very
      ancient and popular among Jews. Hanna conceived, delivered a
      female child and named her, Mary. According to the vow they
      dedicated Mary to Lord. From the age of three Mary grew up in
      temple until maturity. Mary was so virtuous and humble that God
      chose Mary to bear "The only begotten Son of God," our redeemer,
      and all generations bless her, "God bearer," Theotokos.
      I was at first thoroughly against the idea of honoring mothers
      yearly once because mother's day should be a daily, not a yearly
      matter. It is children's primary duty especially of male
      children to care parents particularly mothers because mothers
      are more vulnerable than fathers. Mosaic Law forbids children to
      curse or disobey parents. "Everyone that curses his father or
      his mother shall be surely put to death: he has cursed his
      father or mother; his blood shall be upon him," Lev 20:9, Pro
      20:20. If death penalty was imposed for cursing father or mother
      how a son could go scot-free if he neglected aged parents?
      Jewish concept of family was entirely different from what we see
      in them now. There were no old age homes or nursing homes to
      dump the elderly. It was nonnegotiable duty of every child to
      afford care for old age parents. Dereliction was viewed
      seriously and no one would have risked the consequences. Our
      Lord was dutiful son. Even while suffering the most excruciating
      pain on the cross, He remembered beloved mother and entrusted
      her to John because she had no other children in biological
      sense. "Brothers" mentioned in the gospels are in fact cousins.
      But Protestants twist the Bible and teach heresy for their own
      perdition. For more details please read my article, "Mary." I
      came to know that there are people in our community who never or
      for years do not visit or send even a letter to parents. So I
      changed my mind. Greeting or meeting once a year is better than
      never!

      Until recently Christians followed biblical tradition but now
      concept of family itself changed from joint family to single
      family to nuclear family. People are too self-centered and
      pre-occupied. Workaholics and pleasure seekers hardly find time
      and space for parents and children. Erosion in family values and
      virtuous conduct have festered the core of social fabric and yet
      the business world is complacent. They dump children in day-care
      centers and parents in nursing homes. Ill-nurtured children turn
      alcohol and drug addicts. They are live-bombs indulging in
      criminal activities for self gratification. Old age people on
      the other hand feel lonely, depressed and despised. Being
      neglected and none to love, they live in crowded cities and yet
      are lonely. These are side effects of the industrial revolution
      and we have no easy solution in sight except to turn back to God
      like the Ninevites. A total revival is the need of the hour.
      Surge in feministic ideas brought many women to high-end-jobs at
      par with men. In the rush they forgot children. There is nothing
      more excellent, more desirable and more gratifying for a woman
      than being a devoted mother who brings up her children in Lord's
      discipline. A virtuous mother ought to be a virtuous wife also.
      Parents neglect children when they need parental support and
      children forsake parents when they grow, tit-for-tat. Neglecting
      children and parents is immorality. They forfeit moral right to
      expect grown-up children taking care of them in old age. Present
      senseless self-effacing social structure is creation of extreme
      individual selfishness that distanced God from personal life.
      When one distances God from family/private life what remains is
      animal sensuality. Children born out of animal pleasure will
      show animal nature and that is the present social problem. This
      social evil has not yet engrossed Malayalee community. But dead
      end is near at least to some families who blindly adapted
      western styles utterly disregarding family values. It is better
      to go back to basics. That means children need be nurtured in
      the home in Lord's discipline without dumping them in day-care
      centers and parents need be loved and cared in homes in their
      old ages, not dumping them in nursing homes. Evolve a strategy
      centered in Godly precepts where father, mother and children get
      their due love and care. Thus make mother's day or father's day
      meaningful.

      Happy mother's day,
      Johnachen.
    • Mark Sadek
      For truly the assistance which God gives to our nature is provided to those who correctly live the life of virtue. This assistance was already there at our
      Message 118 of 118 , May 9, 2005
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        "For truly the assistance which God gives to our nature is provided to
        those who correctly live the life of virtue. This assistance was
        already there at our birth, but it is manifested and made known
        whenever we apply ourselves to diligent training in the higher life and
        strip ourselves for the more vigorous contests."

        St. Gregory of Nyssa.
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