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Devotional Thoughts for March 5, 2006/2nd Sun of Lent (Leprosy Sunday)

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  • Very Rev. Thomas P. Mundukuzhy Cor-Episco
    This is the first miracle Jesus performed after the Sermon on the Mount. In the first miracle, Jesus transformed the lifeless water into wine; here
    Message 1 of 2286 , Feb 23, 2006
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      This is the first miracle Jesus performed after the
      Sermon on the Mount. In the first miracle, Jesus
      transformed the lifeless water into wine; here
      transforming a lifeless person.

      Leper (Leviticus 13:45-46): Clothes shall be torn;
      head bare; cover mustache; to cry ?Unclean! Unclean?;
      dwell alone outside the camp. We see a good picture of
      Leprosy in Leviticus 13-14: Hate and aversion. As
      Christians, they Should not be alienated/isolated;
      should not be hated; should be sympathised. Our
      Church's Leprosy Center in Yacharam, Hyderabad has
      been functioning with this motto.

      No cure for leprosy on those days. Only Jesus, Son of
      God, could cure. Jesus is a good teacher: Luke 18:18
      (Ruler); Jesus is sent by God: John 3:2 (Nicodemus);
      Jesus is sent from heaven: John 3:31 (John, the
      Baptist); Jesus is a prophet: John 4:19 (Samaritan
      woman); Jesus is Messiah: John 20:16, 31 (Peter);
      Jesus is Lord and God: John 20:28 (Thomas).

      Here we see a personal request: The leper fell down
      and prayed to heal him. He had physical and mental
      flaws and wanted to be cured. He was alienated from
      society. He went to the Lord. Story of Naaman (2 Kings
      5:14ff cf. Luke 4:27). He had faith; he was humble; he
      was courteous. His desire to become holy. His faith in
      Jesus. ?What comes out makes unholy?: Mark 7:21-22.
      Wash it away: Jeremiah: 4:4: Should wash away the
      uncleanliness. Compare the Pharisee and the Publican:
      Luke 18: 9-14. Jesus told him: ?I am willing, be
      cleansed.? Jesus? readiness to cure. Jesus is the one
      to whom we should go to be cleansed. Went to Zaacheus?
      house, forgave the thief on the cross, the prodigal
      son was welcomed.

      Have compassion: Jesus had compassion (Matthew 9:36;
      14:13; 15:32 cf. John 3:17) toward the needy. We
      should have also.

      Stretched out his hand (Mark 1:41). Adam and Abshalom
      stretched their hands to sin. Do not reach out to
      iniquity (Psalm 125:3). Noah streched out his hand
      (Genesis 6:9), Moses on Jordan, and Jesus on the
      cross: Can we stretch out to save and help.

      GOD'S TOUCH: Touch to clean (Isaiah 6:7); to
      strengthen (Daniel 10:6), and to give life (Jesus).
      Jesus touched the leper and cleansed him. Leper
      doesn?t touch anybody. No one dare to touch him
      either. That is why he asked Jesus to heal him if
      willing. Jesus could do that even without touching,
      but touched. It was a fresh experience for him to be
      touched, especially here by the Son of God. Christ
      either touched the sick or was touched by them
      (Matthew 14:35-36). ?People brought all their sick to
      Him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge
      of His cloak, and all who touched Him were healed.?
      The healing touch of a doctor, and the blessing touch
      of a clergy who touch the forehead to bless or laying
      of hands at ordination. In Puerto Rico, 180 touches in
      an hour; in France, 110; in USA just two and in
      England 0 (none). Many church members are hungry for
      our touch of concern and comfort. Kiss of peace has
      that effect.

      There are several kinds of touching:

      a. Touch of understanding: Feel the pulse and take
      b. Touch of convincing: His faith was convinced by the
      c. Touch of identification: Jesus identified with the
      d. It is a massage: ?A massage is the use of touch to
      relieve stress, help body conditioning, and in
      combination with medical care to help patients recover
      from illness or injury.?
      e. Touch of salvation: Saving from sin.. come and be
      saved .. when touches, turn around .. repentance and
      faith in Jesus. Paul was touched, Lydia was touched,
      so many were touched and saved.
      f. Touch of service: Baptism is a touch of service:
      The right subject, the right administrator, right mode
      and the right purpose are needed for baptism. Moses
      was tending the sheep, Isaiah was busy in the temple,
      John was busy in fishing when God called to service.
      Philip touched the Ethiopian who turned the whole
      country to the Lord.
      g. Touch of separation: From worldly places and
      worldly things.. The Pharisee and the Publican: 2
      Corinthians 6:14.
      h. Touch of strength: ?My grace is sufficient for
      i. Touch of solace: Mother?s hand on son?s chest at
      the time of death. Heavenly father touches in times of
      sorrow and trials.
      j. Touch of supreme satisfaction: Two men touched the
      disciples at Mount Olive and said their master will
      return. "One touch is worth ten thousand words?
      (Harold Bloomfield).
      k. Therapeutic touch: Touching a person?s energy
      field. It involves five steps:
      1. Centering: Pray or focus on the best intentions to
      heal the patient;
      2. Assessment: Moving the hands around the body to
      pick up information;
      3. Unruffling: Moving the hands in a gentle flow to
      facilitate ?movement of energy.?
      4. Modulation: Gentle increase in hand movement to
      ?increase energy flow.?
      5. Closure: Gentle movements to maintain a state of
      l. Healing touch: Touching the sick.
      m. Blessing touch: Children, ordination.
      n. Divine touch.
      o. Loving touch: Leviticus 13-14 cf. Numbers 5:1-4
      p. Caring touch: Jesus cared for him.
      q. Healing touch: His shameless approach, humble
      besought and perfect surrender led for this touch.

      Break down the barrier: Those who are alienated by sin
      shall be attracted by showing our love and giving
      advice to get him/her back to the fold. Do not

      Do not do for publicity (5:14); so instruction not to
      tell any body.
      Go to the priest. To be cleansed, sinners have to go
      for confession and absolution and then make an
      offering to be cleansed: (Leviticus: 13:1-3; 14:2-32).
      Give thanks according to the Law.

      In order to eradicate our sinful situation:

      a.Let us fall on our knees before the Lord; Forget the
      proud that we are something and humble before Him and
      b.Let us make an offering: See Leviticus 14th chapter.
      As Moses commanded, make an offering.
      c.Wash body, clothes and be clean: Leviticus 14:9
      d.Cover mouth: Talk less.

      During this Lenten period, let us sinners experience
      the TOUCH of our Lord to be cleansed, healed, and
      blessed. Also let us "touch" those who are in need.

      About the Author:
      The Very Rev. Thomas P. Mundukuzhy is: a priest; a
      Cor Episcopa, the highest position for a married
      priest in our Church; a writer; and a publisher. He
      was the Sunday School Director of our American Diocese
      from 1980 -2003. Graduated from St. Berchman's
      College, Changanacherry, and ordained as a deacon in
      1955 by the late His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese
      Catholicos, Achen had his seminary training at our
      Orthodox Theological College, Kottayam (Graduate in
      Sacred Theology) and Serampore University, Calcutta
      (external student for Bachelor of Divinity) and
      training under His Grace Mathews Mar Athanasius,
      Metropolitan of the Diocese Outside Kerala and
      principal of our Theological College, Kottayam (later
      His Holiness Catholicos Mar Thoma Mathews I) as
      Student, Personal Secretary and Secretary of the
      Office of the Diocese Outside Kerala and its Sunday
      School Director from 1963-'67 (current Dioceses of
      Bombay, Calcutta, New Delhi, Madras, America and
      Canada & the United Kingdom) for a dozen years.
      Ordained to the priesthood in 1966, and after serving
      few parishes in Kerala and travelling extensively all
      over India, joined Syracuse University (New York) in
      1967 and earned his post graduate degree in
      Communications (Journalism). As one of the early
      settlers from Kerala in the U.S. and one of the
      pioneers of the American Diocese, Achen travelled most
      parts of America and Canada; served also as vicar of
      St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Syracuse, New York
      (1967-present), St. Gregorios, Toronto (1970-'90), St.
      George, Kingston (1983-present), St. Mary's, Brooklyn
      (started in 1991), and St. Paul's Congregation, Albany
      (1995-present). Achen was elevated to Cor Episcopa in
      1981. His many articles on several topics were
      Published in the widely circulating daily news papers
      MATHRU BHUMI and in Magazines like MALANKARA SABHA,
      ORTHODOX YOUTH, CHURCH WEEKLY, etc.,. Achen is also an
      author and publisher of a good number of our Church
      publications. His books like OUR CHURCH, ACOLYTE'S
      A GLANCE, etc., are widely read and appreciated. Achen
      was also a Broadcasting Editor for several years.
      Along with his several community services, the MATCH
      MAKING COUNSELLING for the wide community all over
      to help find a suitable match, a very needed service
      of our time and circumstances, is greatly appreciated
      in many circles. Achen is married to Achamma, a former
      High School Mathematics teacher and has four children,
      three boys and a girl. ... all well settled in the
      United States.

      -Moderators, ICON
      Please go to http://www.icon.org.in/devotionalhome.icon?method=getDTHome
      to read sermons posted on ICON in previous years.
    • Mark Sadek
      You cannot destroy the passions on your own, but ask God, and He will destroy them, if this is profitable for you. St. Anatoly of Optina. ... My soul yearns
      Message 2286 of 2286 , Nov 22 7:30 PM
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        "You cannot destroy the passions on your own, but ask God, and He will destroy them, if this is profitable for you."

           St. Anatoly of Optina.


        "My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness."  Isaiah 26:9


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