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BIBLE STUDY #85: MAYALTHO: THE PRESENTATION OF INFANT JESUS IN THE TEMPLE (February 2, FRIDAY)

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  • Very Rev. Thomas Mundukuzhy Cor Episcopa
    LUKE 2:22-40 (Evening, Morning, Holy Qurbana) 1. To follow the Law, Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to the Lord for a life service (First born to be presented
    Message 1 of 21 , Jan 29, 2007
      LUKE 2:22-40 (Evening, Morning, Holy Qurbana)

      1. To follow the Law, Mary and Joseph presented Jesus
      to the Lord for a life service (First born to be
      presented to God in remembrance of the exile bondage
      experience)
      2. We have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. So
      we have to submit ourselves before God. We are not of
      ours (1 Corinthians 6:19).
      3. Because they were too poor to offer a lamb
      (Leviticus 12:8), they offered turtle doves or young
      pigeons for purification.
      4. Two prophets (Simon and Anna) witnessed the
      presentation of Infant Jesus at the temple. The
      tradition is that when Simeon was copying the prophecy
      of Isaiah from the leather parchments, he was stuck
      with the information of virgin?s birth (the virgin
      shall conceive and bear a son: 7:14), laughed and
      stopped his work and then he had a revelation that he
      will see the child before he dies. He carried the
      child in his hands; we carry Him in us by receiving
      holy communion.
      5. Church is the temple, house of God (1Timothy 3:15).
      The holiness of its members is the wealth of the
      Church. God?s presence in the Church show through
      worship and Godly people?s presence (Simon and Anna
      there).
      6. Simon is a model for pleasing service to our Lord:
      righteous, dedicated, looking for the coming of the
      Messiah, and was directed by the Holy Spirit. He held
      Jesus in His hands.
      7. Simeon?s great purpose for living had been
      fulfilled.
      8. Simeon?s three prophecies: (1) Jesus will cause for
      the fall and rise of many (2) Jesus is a sign from
      God, and (3) Mary would be pierced with grief at the
      crucifixion of her son (Luke 2:35): Fear, sorrow,
      doubts of the unwedded pregnancy, no place to deliver,
      wandering with the child, afraid of the ruler, leaving
      the child in the temple, becoming widow, son leaving
      home at 30, threats from the Jewish leaders, trial
      scene, sight of son carrying the cross, crucifixion,
      death and burial - all these made her sword to pierce
      her heart..
      9. The spiritual attitudes of the people will be
      revealed through the acceptance or rejection of
      Christ.
      10. The 84 year old Anna was a regular prayer
      attendant with prayers and fasting.
      11. Anna who witnessed the presentation spread the
      news.
      12. Jesus, like John (1:80), grew and became strong
      with divine strength.

      LEVITICUS 12:1-8; 19:30-37

      1. Israel placed higher value on a son over a
      daughter. Uncleanliness for a son is 40 days, but 80
      days for a daughter.
      2. Burnt offering and Sin offering after the
      purification days for atonement.
      3. If cannot afford a lamb, two turtle doves or two
      young pigeons to be offered.
      4. Everybody shall keep the Sabbath.
      5. Do not go after spiritism to choose darkness rather
      than light.
      6. Honor the senior citizens: Proverbs 23:22; 1
      Timothy 5:1; Lamentations 5:12.
      7. Love strangers, not just only neighbors
      8. Be honest in judgment and dealings
      9. ?I am the Lord? ... used 13 times in this chapter.

      PROVERBS 6:20-24; 23:22-26

      1. Observe a good father?s command
      2. Follow the law of a loving mother.
      3. These commandments and laws are those of God.

      ISAIAH 11:1-10

      1. The promise of the Messiah
      2. The Messiah will be descendant of David, the stem
      of Jesse.
      3. God?s spirit will rest upon Him
      4. He will fear the Lord
      5. He will judge the world with righteousness
      6. The death and destruction will be defeated and
      arrogance and pomp will not be signs of leadership
      7. The gentiles will seek Him.

      ACTS 24:10-23

      1. Paul denies the accusation against him.
      2. Paul affirms that most of his accusers shared the
      resurrection of the just and unjust.
      3. Every Christian should have a clear conscience.
      4. Paul brought a gift from the gentile Churches to
      the Christians at Jerusalem as an expression of thanks
      (1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Romans
      15:25-33).
      5. Paul got liberty and friends got visitation
      privileges.

      EPHESIANS 3:13-21; 6:1-4

      1. The truth will be realized in our lives.
      2. The Holy Spirit cleanses and empowers the heart
      3. The basic Christian growth: strengthened by the
      Spirit, have the indwelling Christ, and to be
      established in the love.
      4. We have to be rooted like a tree and grounded in
      the love.
      5. In Christian faith, we can grasp the magnitude of
      God?s love.
      6. The fullness of this love passes our human
      knowledge: the fullness of the blessing (Romans
      15:29).
      7. God?s power works in us with His blessings.
      8. Children are ought to obey their parents (6:1-3).
      In 5:22, wives are told to be submissive.
      9. Parents should not be unreasonably severe with
      children; instruct and correct them consistently to
      serve the Lord.

      VERY REV. THOMAS P. MUNDUKUZHY COR EPISCOPA
    • Fr Mathew C. Chacko, New Jeresy
      Lessons from the Book of Jonah Introduction. The book is about Jonah, not written by Jonah. Jonah lived around 750 BC; this book about him is written, probably
      Message 2 of 21 , Jan 30, 2007
        Lessons from the Book of Jonah

        Introduction. The book is about Jonah, not written by Jonah.
        Jonah lived around 750 BC; this book about him is written, probably
        after the Exile, perhaps around 400 BC.
        The Book of Jonah is a parable, a story with a meaning.

        Outline

        Chapter 1 Jonah's call and disobedience.
        Jonah runs away from God's call [1:1-17]
        Chapter 2. His distress in the belly of the fish.
        Jonah's song of praise for his rescue [2:1-10]
        Chapter 3. Jonah preaches in Neneveh.
        Jonah preaches and Nineveh repents [3:1-10]
        Chpter 4. Jonah's displeasure at God not punishing Nineveh when it
        repented.
        Jonah's anger and God's mercy [4:1-11]

        We learn about God
        The book is not about the great fish, but about the GREAT GOD.
        God is too big to run away from. This great God cares about all
        creation, animals too. It insists that God's mercy is wide enough to
        include even people who seem to us not to deserve God's care at all.
        There is both warning and gospel in that message.
        Some More Lessons: Listening to God is essential to walking with him
        Adversity is a bridge to a deeper relationship with God.
        Obey God and leave all consequences with him.
        Obedience always brings blessings.
        Disappointments are inevitable; discouragement is a choice.

        We learn about Jonah
        Jonah tries to run away from God
        Inside the fish he prays a Psalm for help
        Delivered he preaches to Nineveh; It repents and it is spared.
        Jonah sulks, but God affirms compassion even for Nineveh.
        When we fail to obey God's calling, we go no where but "down."

        We learn about other people
        God cares about the people of Nineveh. He cares not only about
        Christians, other people too - all people as a matter of fact, he
        cares about

        JONAH AND JESUS - Death and Resurrection
        Jonah gives us one of the Bible's great images of God's power to
        save. Just as Joseph was rescued from prison to become prime
        minister, and Daniel was kept safe among lions, so Jonah is preserved
        in the belly of a great fish

        These episodes prepare for their greatest sequel ? the resurrection
        of Jesus from the tomb. Jesus went down into the depths of death and
        experienced utter loss of God ? but was raised as the ultimate proof
        of salvation.

        ULTIMATE LESSONS:

        Can we run away from God?
        Will God help us when we are in trouble?
        As God cares for all, can we care for all?

        Love & blessings.

        Mathewsachen
        Tuesday, January 30, 2007
        2nd Day of Nineveh lent 2007
      • Oommen Kappil,Philadelphia
        I m just forwarding this mail for your info. Contact information is given below, if you are interested. Thanks Oommen Kappil, Philadelphia
        Message 3 of 21 , Jan 30, 2007
          I'm just forwarding this mail for your info. Contact information is given below, if you are interested.
          Thanks
          Oommen Kappil, Philadelphia
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        • Roy Thomas, Pathanamthitta
          Dear All I thought that I should share some of the news of the convention. The convention was innaugurated by Union Minister for Labour, Shri Oscar Fernandes.
          Message 4 of 21 , Jan 30, 2007
            Dear All
            I thought that I should share some of the news of the convention. The
            convention was innaugurated by Union Minister for Labour, Shri Oscar
            Fernandes. Other dignitories included Catholicos Designate Milithios
            Thirumeni,Osthathios Thirumeni,Pachomeos Thirumeni, Dr. P.C. Alexander,
            P.J.Kurien,MP, and MLA's Joseph Puthussery and Sivadasan Pillai.

            Dr. P.C Alexander in his keynote address has outlined some key
            proposals to end the strife in our community with the Patriarch faction.
            Some of the proposals are
            1. Complete breaking away from Antioch Patriarch as outlined in our
            Constitution and proclaim our community as the Indian Orthodox Church
            like in the case of Russia, Greece etc.
            2. We need not have any relationship with the Antioch Patriarch and we
            should we a separate church identity.
            3. Our Catholicos should be supreme authority in our church.For this,
            some articles have to be ammended which are linked to the Patriarch.
            4. In churches, where we are in a minority, those churches should
            gracefully aceded to the opposite faction.Dr.P.C.Alexander informed out
            of 1500 churches, around 45 churches are under dispute and these can be
            gracefully discussed and aceded, thereby creating our own Indian
            Orthodox Church. By this, we can end decades of strife and judicial
            cases.
            The entire crowd at the convention applauded whatever Dr.P.C.Alexander
            had to tell and this led to even the Sabha Secretary, Dr.Karackal
            concurring with Dr.P.C.Alexander's proposals.
            I think that our Church shoud take heed to what Dr. Alexander had to
            say and move forward leaving behind the strife.
            Regards
            Roy Thomas
            Pathanamthitta
          • Fr. KK John, NJ, USA
            Dear Susan, I read your posting and honestly appreciate very much your frankness and zest to learn the faith of Church. I also appreciate your interest and
            Message 5 of 21 , Jan 31, 2007
              Dear Susan,
              I read your posting and honestly appreciate very much
              your frankness and zest to learn the faith of Church.
              I also appreciate your interest and wish you could be
              a good source of encouragement to all those who are
              unfamiliar with the Orthodox Church. I wondered at
              times about your deep knowledge and good language. Let
              me be very frank, I feel you know far more than what I
              know and am happy for that. You are not alone, many
              members in this forum are far better off than me. I
              recognize that in humility. I surely agree with your
              revised statement, "Kaivappu alone does not make a
              priest. That word "alone" is lot different from the
              first statement which attracted my response. No
              contradiction whatsoever.
              Yet I hope you will consider that writings often
              reflect the personal experiences and up-bringing of
              the author, except in case of fictions and doctrines.
              So when I suggested to, 'put what one writes to the
              hierarchy for approval before publishing,' it was my
              own experience. I have mentioned this in my article,
              "Bible interpretation; The Eunuch's way." When I first
              wrote about doctrine, my friend said to me, which
              words still resonate in my ears, "Achankunje, (I was
              not a priest then, my private name) you have no right
              to handle this subject..." I sent that to highest
              ecclesiastic authority and he approved my writing and
              then I published it. This was in 1974 and I was in
              Bangalore. It was not to offend you or anyone. Some
              people would find it 'arrogant', or as 'preventing
              them to write' or 'questioning their rights to free
              speech/writing,' etc; believe me, none of these. I
              have not discussed the rights of faithful to write or
              speak about the subjects like, ethics, morality,
              righteous conduct, politics, history, psychology,
              spiritual matters and or any like subject. In this
              matter I stand at par with all others.
              I still hold that I am in line with the Church
              fathers, that faithful must use caution and exercise
              restraint when they deal with doctrines of the Church
              because by doctrinal manipulations there had been a
              lot of dissentions and divisions in the Church. My
              posting need be considered in the doctrinal
              perspective only, I mean, I have no person in mind.
              My comparison of "Gandhi-Veerappan, etc, also does
              not pertain to you. There were some such
              confrontations in my life. You are not at blame for
              this confusion.
              There was another posting in the digest, though not
              addressed me in person, I feel that was directed
              against me. Here again, I clarify that I did not write
              about members' rights nor I did justify the
              wrongdoings of the clergy, while I believe that I have
              no right to judge any. In fact, I stand with the
              author in this regard. I believe, positive criticism
              is a must for progress and I honestly try to correct
              myself when faithful bring my failures to my notice.
              But that aspect and doctrines are two different things
              and I hope this explanation would put at rest all the
              imbroglios.
              If a clergy fails to properly discern his spiritual
              authority, and surely there are more failures than
              being proper, dispense it for the benefit of the
              faithful, he is in danger of greater judgment. In
              other words, priests ought to handle the spiritual
              authority very cautiously keeping the fear of judgment
              in mind at all times. No authority, especially the
              spiritual is meant for mishandling. All the Church
              fathers stress this aspect though practical
              application is seldom. Also the faithful will be free
              from all such failures of the priests and that is a
              consolation. I did not discuss this point also in the
              impugned posting.
              I wish still you could make friendship with priests,
              not unknowingly but knowing their spiritual authority.
              I apologize, if my words caused confusion or injury to
              your or anyone's feelings, Love, Johnachen.
            • K N Thomas, Kottayam
              Dear Moderators, As your title suggests, some moderation is expected. Kindly try to get posts limited to ~ 400 words or so. More people will read it. Also,
              Message 6 of 21 , Jan 31, 2007
                Dear Moderators,
                 
                As your title suggests, some moderation is expected. Kindly try to get posts limited to ~ 400 words or so. More people will read it.
                Also, arguments back and forth may not help; could be rather counterproductive.
                --
                K N Thomas, Kottayam
                 
              • Susan Benjamin
                Hi Georgy, I agree with you 100% and offer my services in editing and proof reading material in English. Susan Benjamin Toronto.
                Message 7 of 21 , Jan 31, 2007
                  Hi Georgy,

                  I agree with you 100% and offer my services in editing
                  and proof reading material in English.


                  Susan Benjamin
                  Toronto.
                • Jesvin Jose,New Mumbai, India
                  ** Dear people of God, We present to you some thought-provoking articles in this latest February 2007 edition of GREGORIAN. We believe that you would be
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jan 31, 2007
                    **

                    Dear people of God,

                    We present to you some thought-provoking articles in this latest February
                    2007 edition of GREGORIAN. We believe that you would be blessed to read it.



                    Here is the link to the online edition....

                    http://www.vashimgocsm.com/gregorian.html



                    Please pass this link to friends and family.



                    Send us your feedback at GREGORIAN_views@yahoogroups.com. If you would like
                    to be added to the regular mailing list, write to editor.gregorian@....
                    For advertisements, write to the editor or call him at 9322991120. You are
                    allowed to print bulk copies of the GREGORIAN in your area, provided it is
                    given free of cost (Let us know if you decide to do that)



                    Regards,

                    Jesvin Jose,New Mumbai, India
                  • C. Alex Alexander, M.D., Odenton, MD
                    Proselytism is not changing one����s opinion, whether it is in English, German, Latin or any other language. It is the act of converting another to one����s
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jan 31, 2007
                      Proselytism is not changing one´s opinion, whether it is in English,
                      German, Latin or any other language. It is the act of converting
                      another to one´s own faith, either overtly or covertly.

                      It is in that context that the BIRD (Bangalore Initiative for
                      Religious Dialogue) posted its Declaration on the ¨¨petitiononline¨¨
                      website and to which my earlier post provided a link.

                      I want to thank those who have added their signatures to the petition
                      and hope that many more will do so. IMHO, a Christian´s primary
                      responsibility is to walk the talk of a believer and not ´preach or
                      teach´.

                      My reading of the scriptures tell me that my primary obligation to my
                      Jesus is to love my God with all my might and love my fellow human
                      as myself without ever having to judge any of them. In that process,
                      I have marveled at the admonition of Jesus (St.Mathew 23:15)when he
                      chastised the proselytisers (ye compass sea and land to make one
                      proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more than the
                      child of hell than yourselves). The Dalit Christians will say, Amen
                      to that!

                      Thank God we have had (Mar Gregorios) and still have (Mar Osthathios)
                      among us Orthodox theological leaders who are capable of
                      articulating the fusion of a transcending God with an immanent One.
                      Mar Osthahtios in his Deccan Herald interview (Feb 20, 2005)
                      eloquently said, ´human right is the most important thing in
                      Christianity. It preaches only one God for all people. This God is
                      advaitha, compassionate Allah, Triune God, Sachidananda...`´

                      As a Christian, I have learned not to judge another even in matters
                      of another´s faith. I seek the grace of my Lord to act, behave and
                      live as a true Christian, and always remain free of `that` millstone
                      around my neck to preach, teach or proselytise.

                      My readings of the sacred literature of many religions have shown
                      that none is devoid of myths, fables and self-serving
                      interpretations. My own Christian scriptures too, I must confess have
                      their share of concepts which are inconsistent with the evolution of
                      human thought, discovery and the struggles for egalitarianism among
                      peoples and sexes. Therefore, we have an obligation to remove the
                      pillars from our own eyes before we point to the motes in the eyes of
                      our non-Christian neighbors. That itself is a constant struggle
                      worthy of every Christian´s attention.

                      It is very counter-productive and downright violent for either the
                      Talibanic Islamicists or Christian fundamentalists to constantly hark
                      on the primary obligation of theirs to proselytise or make disciples
                      of all on this planet through conversions.

                      Thank God, at least the Indian Orthodox Church never allowed such a
                      millstone around its neck. And, that was the reason why even in pre-
                      Colonial India, the Orthodox Christians lived and thrived in full
                      amity with its Hindu brothers and sisters. That is what an
                      organization like BIRD is attempting to preserve for the future
                      generation of Christians, so that an environment of peace and
                      brotherhood will continue to prevail for Christians and others in a
                      predominantly Hindu India.

                      I also truly believe as Gandhiji did, that ¨proselytising is the
                      deadliest poison that ever sapped the fountain of truth¨. However,I
                      believe that the wielders of such poison whether Christian,or Muslim
                      must be forgiven by their saner brothers and sisters for the
                      former´s inability to love their neighbors, just as they are.

                      C. Alex Alexander, M.D., Odenton, MD
                    • Rev.Fr. Alexander Kurien, Washington D.C.
                      My dear friends in Christ: Greetings in Lord Jesus Christ ! It is with deep regret and sorrow that I have to inform the faithful that our beloved P. K.
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jan 31, 2007
                        My dear friends in Christ:

                        Greetings in Lord Jesus Christ !

                        It is with deep regret and sorrow that I have to inform the faithful that our beloved P. K. Punnoose Appachen, Puthenpurackal Venattukalathil House, Kurichi, Kerala (father of Molly Abraham, Leelamma George, Achamma Philip, Susy Thomas, and Sumana Alex), at the age of 94, passed away in the Lord peacefully on Monday January 29, 2007 in Washington DC, USA. He is survived by his five wonderful girls and families, including grand and great grand children. He was a very active and loyal Orthodox Christian, fought and ran his race faithfully for Jesus. His family and friends deeply mourn this great loss.

                        Wake and Funeral Service:

                        Wake: Saturday, February 3, 2007, from 5-8 p.m.
                        Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home
                        11800 New Hampshire Avenue
                        Silver Spring, MD
                        (301)-622-2290

                        Funeral Service: Appachen's body will be transported to Kerala for burial

                        At a time like this, our strength and comfort comes from our Lord. He is our strength and refuge. He is a God of sympathy and understanding. He knows our hurt and loneliness. He knows how we feel. The Bible tells us that He knows our sorrow and records our tears. That all our thoughts, our ways and our words are known to Him. And that a book of remembrance is written before Him for those that fear the Lord and think upon His name. In the midst of such sorrow may we turn to the words of God for strength. God is adequate for each situation and circumstance of life.
                        Psalm 121:1-8 -- "I look up to the mountains-- does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps. The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever."

                        A Prayer:

                        Lord, thank You for the spring of eternal life and joy that You have placed in all of us. We thank you for giving a wonderful and meaningful Christian life for Appachen. We proudly celebrate his fruitful Christian life, faith and trust in, and loyalty to you. He led his life to its fullest with his children and family, grand and great grand children pleasing you. We thank you for giving him that spring of eternal life and joy. Please be the strength and comfort for all family members. In His precious name Jesus Christ we ask. Amen.
                        In Christ,
                        His Servant,
                        Alexander (James) Kurien Achen
                        Vicar, St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church of
                        Greater Washington, DC
                      • Rev. Fr Jose Thomas, Ethiopia
                        Re:Dr. Poulos Mar Gregorios on the Throne of St. Thomas Dear Mr. Thomas, It may take much space of the ICON to give clarifications to your questions and
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jan 31, 2007
                          Re:Dr. Poulos Mar Gregorios on the Throne of St. Thomas

                          Dear Mr. Thomas,
                          It may take much space of the ICON to give clarifications to your questions and doubts. Kindly go through the posting.

                          It is the argument of the patriarchal faction that the liturgy and worship of Malankara Orthodox Church has been inherited from Syrian Orthodox Church. Hence, the Malankara Orthodox Church must accept the Supremacy of Syrian Patriarch of Antioch. In this situation, I have made this comment that “The Antiochenes accepted the formula of Chalcedon. The present Syrian Patriarch H.H Ignatius Zakka Iwas I (in the line of St.
                          Severius of Antioch) and his followers are the adherents of Alexandrian Christology.”

                          Besides, I have asked that being the adherent of Alexandrian Christology is Syrian Orthodox Church ready to accept the supremacy of Alexandrian Patriarch. They use English language. Are they ready to receive the yoke of Britain? They have also used Old Testament of Hebrew people. The Apostles were Jews. The Christian (either Syrian or other) worship and liturgy has been developed from the Old Testament temple worship, from the Synagogue worship and from the Last Supper of our Lord. Are they ready to accept the supremacy of Jews and Israel? They use the scientific theories and modern technologies of Western countries for their survival. Are they ready to accept the supremacy of Westerners?

                          Presently, as you know, five Church Hierarchs claim the title of Patriarch of Antioch and the succession of St. Peter. (In fact, six Patriarchates were existed until 1964). They are
                          1. H. H Ignatius Zakka Iwas I
                          2. H B Ignatius IV (Hazim)
                          3. H B Ignace Pierre VIII Abdel-Ahad
                          4. H B Nasrallah Pierre Cardinal Sfeir
                          5. H B Gregory III Laham

                          WHO IS H. H. IGNATIUS ZAKKA IWAS I?
                          All Oriental Orthodox Churches are the adherents of Alexandrian Christology – “one incarnate nature of God the Word” (mia phusis tou logou sesarkomenee). But, in the early periods, the Syrian Patriarchs of Antioch and their bishops were against the Alexandrian teachings. We can see their hostility, especially in the attitude of John of Antioch towards St. Cyril of Alexandria during the time of Ephesus Council (431) and in the attitude of Syrians towards Dioscorus of Alexandria during the Council of Chalcedon (451). The Antiochenes joined with Rome in the condemnation of Dioscorus of Alexandria without any justification. Antioch was the strong center of Chalcedonians and they accepted the Chalcedonian formula that “ Christ……, being made known in two natures”. They officially accepted the Council of Chalcedon.

                          However, Antioch had also adherents of the Alexandrian theology of “one incarnate nature of God the Word.” Maximus was the Patriarch during the time of Chalcedon council. He died in 455 and his successors, Basil (456-459), Acacius (459-461) and Martyrius (461-471) were Chalcedonians.

                          While Martyrius was away in Constantinople in the year 468, the non-Chalcedonian fraction raised Peter the Fuller as the Patriarch. This Peter the Fuller, according to St. Severius of Antioch (Homily 125), was the promulgator of the “Trisagion”. However Peter the Fuller had been sent in exile by the State. After Martyrius, Calendion became the Patriarch of Antioch. But Calendion refused to sign the “Henotikon” of Emperor Zeno. Consequently he was expelled and the see was given to Peter the Fuller in 484, who accepted the “Henotikon” of Zeno. Peter the Fuller had died in 488. His successor was Palladius, whom Flavian II succeeded.

                          Emperor Zeno died in 491 AD, and the successor was Anastasius. He followed the religious policy of Zeno and tried to unify the Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians on the basis of the Henotikon. Flavian II was an adherent of the Chalcedonian position who had signed the Henotikon. He was opposed by the non-Chalcedonians under the leadership of Bishop Philoxenos of Mahbug, who was consecrated by Peter the Fuller in AD 485. In 512, a council was held at Laodicea, with imperial orders, and deposed Flavian II. Then Philoxenos came to Antioch with his supporters and, in the midst of a scene of violence, Flavian II was overthrown from the see. Flavian II was exiled to Petra in Arabia. Then twelve Syrian bishops consecrated Severius in AD 512 as the Patriarch of Antioch by the support of Philoxenos of Mahbug and the support Emperor.

                          Anastasius died in July 518 and Justin I became the Emperor. The accession of Justin I to the throne affected Severius of Antioch very badly. So he left to Alexandria and spent the rest of his life in Egypt. All this time Severius kept in touch with his section of the Church in Syria through letters and continued to defend the theological position of the non-Chalcedonian body as a whole.

                          The place of Severius was given by State nomination to Paul nicknamed “the Jew”, who was a civil officer in Constantinople. He persecuted the non-Chalcedonians in Syria; however, he was forced to resign in 521. His successor Euphrasius, who held the see till 526, died in an earthquake. Count Ephraim, a state officer, occupied that position till 545 and did everything in his power to establish Chalcedon in the Syrian province.

                          Severius died on 8 February 538, and Sergius was appointed to succeed him in 544. Jacob nicknamed Baradaeus, who was consecrated as bishop in 542, had an important role in raising Sergius as the Patriarch. During an episcopate lasting for over thirty-five years Jacob Baradaeus dedicated himself steadfastly to the service of the persecuted non-Chalcedon body in opposition to the mighty Roman Empire.

                          Sergius died after three years. No successor could be consecrated for him till 564. Then Paul the Black was made Patriarch of Antioch with the approval of Jacob Baradaeus and other bishops in the East. In 571, Paul was arrested by imperial orders; then the help of bishop Stephen released him. Gradually, unfriendliness developed in between Jacob Baradaeus and Paul the Black. The result was a split in the Church in Syria into two camps, one favouring Jacob Baradaeus and the other following Paul the Black. The two parties denounced each other in a very pitiable way. (In fact, the nickname “Jacobites” was given to the adherents of Jacob Baradeaus by the party loyal to Paul the Black and not the Chalcedonians) The party loyal to Jacob consecrated Peter of Callinicus as Patriarch of Antioch in 581, while Paul the Black still alive. Consequently, Paul himself retired into a cave near Constantinople, and that he died there. Peter died in 591, and was succeeded by Julian who left his life after three years. Then Athanasius, nicknamed Gamolo, was made the Syrian Patriarch in 594.

                          During these periods the Chalcedonian party existed in Syria as a large community with their own Patriarch at Antioch. The non-Chalcedonian body of the Church suffered severe persecution from the Roman officials and their Patriarchs could not stay in Antioch more than ten years. It was in this time that the Arab invasion took place, and the non-Chalcedonians welcomed it with open arms. The Arabs permitted each groups to keep church buildings and other institutions, which had been in its possession at the time of the conquest. In AD 721 Patriarch Elias, a Syrian Patriarch, for the first time, that is, about 200 years after Severius entered in Antioch. Then successive Patriarchs were made in the line of Severious; and we entered into a relationship with them through Mor Gregorios of Jerusalem in 1665. The Present Syrian Patriarch H. H Ignatius Zakka Iwas I
                          is the successor of St. Severios

                          THE PRESENT SITUATION
                          Whether the Syrian Patriarch H.H. Ignatius Zakka Iwas I has entered into communion with the Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Churches is not our business, I think. It is their internal affairs. If they have committed such a mistake, they have to give answer to the holy Fathers of the Church. It is their ignorance. Indeed, they deviated from the Orthodoxy taught by St. Cyril of Alexandria and St. Severios of Antioch. May God forgive them.

                          Today, we can think the possibilities for the communion with Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Churches. But there are many obstacles for the union, viz, Biblical, Theological and Christological, Ecclesiological and Canonical.

                          The main issues:
                          1. Both Roman Catholic Church and Greek (Byzantine) Orthodox Churches have accepted the Chalcedon formula of faith. But Oriental (non-Chalcedonians) Orthodox Churches do not accept it.
                          2. Chalcedonians condemned Dioscorus of Alexandria and Severios of Antioch. The non-Chalcedonians condemned Pope Leo of Rome. How can the anathema pronounced on Dioscorus, Severios and Leo be removed? Are they ready to accept Dioscorus of Alexandria and Severios of Antioch as their Church Fathers?
                          3. Who will responsible for the persecution upon the non-Chalcedonians? Many of the non-Chalcedonians received Islam due to the persecution. What is the remedy for the case of these apostates?
                          4. Roman Catholic Church washed out the Christian community in the Middle East through Crusaders. Does it has any solution?
                          5. Number of Universal Councils: Oriental Churches accept three as Universal Councils. But, for Greeks, the numbers of the Universal Councils are seven and Roman Catholic Church claims 21 as Universal. What about the decisions of these Councils?
                          6. Supremacy of Pope: Biblically, Canonically and Ecclesiologicaly it is not acceptable.
                          7. “Filioque” clause: Roman Catholic Church added the “filioque” clause to the Nicene Creed. Biblically, Theologically and Canonically it is wrong and unacceptable.
                          8. Doctrine of Original Sin in the Roman Catholic Church
                          9. Ecclesiology of the Roman Catholic Church
                          10. Doctrine of Purgatory in the Roman Catholic Church
                          11. Division of Sacraments and Sacramentals and its explanations of the Roman Catholic Church
                          12. Teachings about Marriage and Confession in the Roman Catholic Church
                          13. Teachings about Bible and Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church
                          14. Sacramental theology and doctrine about the Holy Eucharist of the Roman Catholic Church
                          15. Teachings about hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church
                          16. Concept about faith and reason of the Roman Catholic Church
                          17. Doctrine of Holy Trinity of the Roman Catholic Church
                          18. Christology of the Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Churches
                          19. Mariology of the Roman Catholic Church
                          20. Sacrament of Confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church
                          21. Sacrament of Extreme Unction in the Roman Catholic Church
                          22. Veneration of Statues in the Roman Catholic Church

                          These are the main issues between Oriental Orthodox Churches and Chalcedonians (Byzantine and Latins). However, the dialogues like Pro-Oriente, may help to understand each other and lend the hand to minimize the issues.

                          Church is a worshipping community. Holy Eucharist is the center and life of the Church. How can the Churches come together for the Holy Communion with out unity in faith?


                          Fr Jose Thomas Poovathumkal
                          St Frumentius Theological College
                          Post Box 1444, Makalle, Tigray, Ethiopia.
                        • Mark Sadek
                          In addition to its own efforts to nourish itself spiritually, the mind also attempts as much as possible to bring back the senses toward the mind so that they
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jan 31, 2007
                            "In addition to its own efforts to nourish itself spiritually, the mind also attempts as much as possible to bring back the senses toward the mind so that they too may enjoy with it spiritual pleasures and thus become accustomed gradually to prefer them. This is how it happened before with the mind when it became accustomed through the senses to prefer physical pleasures. At first, generally speaking, the body attempted through the senses and the physical pleasures to make the mind and the spirit of man into flesh. On the contrary now, the mind seeks purposely through the enjoyment of the immaterial and spiritual realities to uplift the body also from its physical heaviness, and in a sense to make it into spirit..."

                            St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain.

                            --------------------------------------------------------------

                            "Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper! You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness." Psalms 30:10-11

                            ---------------------------------------------------------------
                          • Dr.GeorgeK John, Sharjah
                            Respected Achan, Many thanks for your blessed words. I am not supporting drinking for addiction. But there are thousands who use alocohol in their daily life
                            Message 13 of 21 , Feb 1, 2007
                              Respected Achan,
                              Many thanks for your blessed words. I am not
                              supporting drinking for addiction. But there are
                              thousands who use alocohol in their daily life with
                              out its abuse. In the name of alcohol how many
                              calmities have been created in this earth.

                              Why only alcohol with all humility I like to draw the
                              attention to wards the church fued which is destroying
                              families, church buildings and the church itself.
                              Because of this church fight I lost my parents and
                              became an orphan in childhood. Because of my father's
                              prayer and the alter where he served his Lord The Lord
                              Jesus nurtured me. In malayalam there is a saying
                              'those who dined look for matress while others look
                              for leaf.' when we are in the happiness of life we
                              discuss the abuses and blames the society when we are
                              in agony we forget.

                              I remeber the word of our Lord ' vidhikkapetathirippan
                              vidhikkaruthu'. I fear more comments.
                              Please pray for me.

                              with humble prayers

                              Dr.George K John, Sharjah
                            • Abraham Mathew
                              Dear moderators and members, It is very proud movement to all Orthodox christians in India that one of our members, Dr. TK Alex is announced to be deccorated
                              Message 14 of 21 , Feb 1, 2007
                                Dear moderators and members,

                                It is very proud movement to all Orthodox christians in India that one
                                of our members, Dr. TK Alex is announced to be deccorated by Padmasree
                                award. He is one of the senior directors in ISRO and member of St.
                                Mary's Orthodox church Jalahalli, Bangalore, and his parent parish is
                                St. Stephans Orthodox church Makkamkunnu. Let us congtatulate Dr.
                                Alex.

                                Abraham Mathew


                                From the Desk of Moderators:

                                Please sign with place information.
                              • Susan Eapen, Bangalore
                                Dear Achen Thank you for the kind words. I was not questioning authority, I was just saying that when doctrine differs from actual parctice, it is easy for the
                                Message 15 of 21 , Feb 1, 2007
                                  Dear Achen
                                  Thank you for the kind words. I was not questioning authority, I was
                                  just saying that when doctrine differs from actual parctice, it is
                                  easy for the groups to lead our women and young away. Enough said
                                  about that topic.

                                  Achens who are my friends have always been a source of blessing to me
                                  and I have always been aware of their role as my spiritual fathers. It
                                  i s to such that I can go for help in dark hours. More than my own
                                  family, they have the strength and experience to guide. I really love
                                  and respect them as those who know me well would vouchsafe.

                                  We all know each other only through this forum and it is easy to
                                  misjudge each other because the written word might carry nuances that
                                  was not meant by the author.I am but an ordinary housewife. I would
                                  like to share something I read in one of Rev. Henry Nouwen's books
                                  which speaks better than I ever could.

                                  The Call to Community: By ceasing to make our individual differences a
                                  basis of competition and by recognising these differences as potential
                                  contribution to a rich life together, we begin to hear the call to
                                  community. In and through Christ, people of different ages and
                                  lifestyles, from different races and classes, with different languages
                                  and education, can join together and witness to God's compassionate
                                  presence in our world. There are many common-interest groups, and most
                                  of them seem to exist in order to defend or protect something.
                                  Although these groups often fulfill important tasks in our society,
                                  the Christian community is of a different nature. When we form a
                                  Christian community, we come together not because of similar
                                  experiences, knowledge, problems, colour or sex, but because we are
                                  called together by the same Lord. Only God enables us to cross the
                                  many bridges that separate us; only God allows us to recognize each
                                  other as members of the same human family and only God frees us to
                                  pay careful attention to each other. This is why those who are
                                  gathered together in community (as the ICON) are witnesses to the
                                  compassionate Lord.By the way they are able to carry each other's
                                  burdens and share each other's joys, they testify to God's presence in our world.
                                  ----------------------------------------------
                                  Let ICON be more and more' a fellowship of people who together make
                                  God visible in the world'.
                                  Thank you achen for your generosity
                                  Susan
                                • Jose Kurian Puliyeril, Abu Dhabi
                                  Dear and Respected Brethren, It is a very happy news that Dr. T. K. Alex, a blessed son of Indian Orthodox Church has been awarded with the prestigious Padma
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Feb 1, 2007
                                    Dear and Respected Brethren,



                                    It is a very happy news that Dr. T. K. Alex, a blessed son of Indian
                                    Orthodox Church has been awarded with the prestigious Padma Sree, by the
                                    Government of India. For and on behalf of all the Moderators and Members of
                                    ICON, may I offer our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Alex and thanks to
                                    Mr. Abraham Mathew, for informing the news. The praise worthy and remarkable
                                    services of Dr. Alex was noticed by the concerned officials several times
                                    and honors from the Government agencies had reached in search of him several
                                    times. There were Government notifications and statements in the News Papers
                                    regarding the victorious achievements of this young Scientist, who is
                                    honored as one of the decision making Scientists of ISRO. May God Almighty
                                    bless him more and more to render more services to the nation in particular
                                    and Universe in general. From the very childhood, Dr. Alex takes active
                                    interest in the Church matters, for which I am a witness. May God bless
                                    everyone.



                                    Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
                                  • Fr. Mathew C. Chacko
                                    John 8:31 - To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Matthew 28:19 - Therefore go and make
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Feb 1, 2007
                                      John 8:31 - To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold
                                      to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

                                      Matthew 28:19 - Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
                                      baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
                                      Holy Spirit.

                                      I was supposed to submit my column to ICON yesterday. I could not
                                      meet the deadline. In the mean time, I happened to see Ronnie's
                                      passionate plea -Disciples Vs. Bible Workers - a plea to priests and
                                      bishops to feed their people with the Word of God rather than seeking
                                      to expand their kingdoms. I am sure there are other sincere souls who have experienced painful situations have cried and are still crying about injustice and carelessness from some of us.
                                      So, I have taken the verses he took for his presentation and trying to make a self-examination.


                                      As part of my discipline for the season, yesterday I took the time to
                                      pray for all men, women and children, by name, everyone the Lord has
                                      given me to care for. I thank the Lord for them and presented their
                                      needs- physical, emotional, social and spiritual - before the Throne
                                      of Grace. I always take the time during Sunday worship privately and
                                      aloud, giving the opportunity to join me in praying for each other. I
                                      am sure most clergy do this and similar things in the discharge of
                                      their duties.


                                      Ronnie's retelling of the Mar Thoma Bishop's story of transferring a
                                      priest to Idukki when he asked to be sent to the US for medical
                                      treatment and him receiving the desired blessing is an amazing
                                      example of how things can be done. Perhaps, a thing or two we can
                                      learn from those our "separated brothers." Our God is a God who gives
                                      second chances as we have learned in Jonah's story. Let us continue
                                      to pray that wrong things happening in our Church be rectified by
                                      appropriate actions of our leadership in all levels and categories.

                                      "Hold on to the teaching of the Lord Jesus, and make disciples of
                                      all nations" is a call we need to remind ourselves as we celebrate
                                      the memories of our priests and bishops, who had served the Lord and
                                      His Church from the time of the preaching of St. Thomas, the disciple
                                      of our Lord to this day.

                                      Matthew 24:45-51

                                      45-47"Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A
                                      person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day.
                                      Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him
                                      doing his job.A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won't be
                                      long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole
                                      operation.

                                      48-51"But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute
                                      the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing
                                      drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when
                                      he least expects it and make hash of him. He'll end up in the dump
                                      withthe hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering."

                                      [Quoted from MESSAGE version of the Bible]

                                      This is the day that we who are serving God's people as priests and
                                      bishops to examine our way of serving.

                                      In the backdrop of the story of Jonah, recalling of the repentance of
                                      the people of Nineveh, which we are completing today, I dare say that
                                      most of us including clergy in the US or any part of the world can
                                      simply acknowledge that we are like Jonah.

                                      Are we feeding ourselves or feeding the people?

                                      Can we put ourselves in their shoes and experience where it pinches?
                                      Are we not still their brothers, though we have been given the title
                                      "Father' etc. We are in the positions in which we are because we
                                      are their brothers. Let us not forget that. Any one that we dispise or
                                      cannot understand could have been in our place if they chose it. We
                                      don't always get the right people in the right place. Very often we
                                      have the wrong people in the right place in all levels and ranks.
                                      Perhaps this is the human condition.

                                      How can we worthily serve?

                                      This is a question that we need to bring to the Throne of grace every
                                      time we stand there or kneel down.

                                      I simply apologize for our proud, revengeful and uncharitable words
                                      and actions that we throw at you in Church and outside Church.

                                      Perhaps your painful words may help us to come to a realization of
                                      the fact that we are where we are because of you and only because of
                                      you.As we pay homage to the faithful clergy who served the Lord and
                                      his people worthily and have gone on to be with the Lord, let us pray
                                      for the serving clergy of all ranks be kept in God's mercy that they
                                      may receive abundant grace to serve the Lord in His Church worthily.
                                      Amen.


                                      Fr. Mathew C. Chacko

                                      www.njorthodoxchurch.org <http://www.njorthodoxchurch.org/>

                                      February 1, 2007
                                    • Nigel Kuriakose, Sultanate of Oman
                                      Dear Mr.George Joseph, We, on behalf of our Orthodox community in Bhairahawa wld be more than happy to welcome students from other colleges to attend such
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Feb 1, 2007
                                        Dear Mr.George Joseph,

                                        We, on behalf of our Orthodox community in Bhairahawa wld be more than happy to welcome students from other colleges to attend such meetings and Qurbanas in the future.If you could pass us their contact details in Nepal it would really benefit us manyfold.I am presently on vacation and on reaching back, we will make the necessary arrangements to contact these students.Thirumeni's visit this time was on a short notice so there was not much of preparation that we could do.Anyway it is a positive sign to see people encouraging us in our small but humble venture.Plz do remember all our students in your daily prayers


                                        Thanking you,
                                        Nigel Kuriakose
                                        Sultanate of Oman
                                      • George Abraham, Abu Dhabi
                                        ... Read Indian Orthodox Herald Latest Edition http://www.orthodoxherald.com/2day/2day.pdf
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Aug 10, 2007
                                          --- In IOMF@yahoogroups.com, "George Abraham"

                                          Read Indian Orthodox Herald Latest Edition
                                          http://www.orthodoxherald.com/2day/2day.pdf

                                          --- End forwarded message ---
                                        • ICON Moderators
                                          http://www.orthodoxherald.com/2day/2day.pdf
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Nov 11, 2007
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