Sunday Devotional Thoughts for February 10, 2002
- Bible Reading St. John 2:1-11
Meditation is an essential element of Christian life and the
season of lent affords a natural opportunity for it. Yet one may
question whether there is enough meditaion practiced in our church
today. As we enter the great lent, let us be reminded that this
should a period of dedication not only to prayer, but also to self -
examination, penitence and self-purification through unceasing
reflection on the life and mission of Christ Jesus, our redeemer, the
redeemer of mankind. The great lent has been observed by the church
from the fourth century onwards and the Ecumenical Synod of Nicaea
is known to have made mention of this lent. It is believed that
initially, during the earlier centuries, this lenten period was the
time when the Catacumens were prepared for baptism on Easter day. At
the same time, this lent offered the opportunity for the faithful to
re-live the passion of Christ, identifying themselves with Christ and
thereby enjoying spiritual happiness and fulfillment, culminating in
celebration of the Easter festival.
We are called upon today to meditate on the marriage at Cana
where we see the commencement of the miracles of Jesus Christ.
Jesus and his disciples as well as his family were among the guests
at the marriage. Wine and food were served in abundance and the best
wine was served first while the guests were yet sober. According to
the Jewish custom, the marriage feast lasted for seven days. At some
point in time during the marriage at Cana, the mother of Jesus
noticed that the wine had run out and that the hosts were worried.
She empathized with the host and approached Jesus with the confidence
that He can help and reported to Him, " They have no wine" (John
2:3). His Mother then turned to the servants with full confidence in
her son, Christ Jesus, and said unto the servants, "Whatsoever he
saith unto you do it" (John2:5). Though Jesus questions his
mother's concern over the matter and why she would involve Him in it
when His time had not yet come, it could be interpreted that He
responded like a dutiful son to His mother and also as the Son of
God, using His divine power to help the family in a time of despair.
That instinctive appeal of His Mother reveals the deep abiding
confidence and faith that she had in Him, not only as the son of man
but also as the Son of God. This is also an instance which shows how
our Lord enters into people's lives and intervenes especially in
times of trouble; how incredibly He suffices in adverse
circumstances and above all how He enriches life for us. What water
is to wine, what that embarassing insufficiency was to the relief
wrought for his host, so is the ordinary life compared to the
fullness, the adventure, the achievement of the life that Christ
Jesus Christ who was present at the marriage of Cana, the
Christ who blessed them with new wine has assured us that he will
certainly be present always with us to redeem us from trials,
tribulations, and frustrations. What we need is faith and obedience
to His will. Like the servants of Cana, are we prepared to have
obedience to the will of God? Just as Jesus transformed the common
and ordinary water into ambrosial wine, may He continually transform
us to become efficient Christian witnesses.
Fr. Eapen, Mysore
- "I consider those fallen mourners more blessed than those who have not fallen
and are not mourning over themselves; because as a result of their fall, they
have risen by a sure resurrection."
St. John of the Ladder.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them
eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them
out of My hand." John 10:27-28
- HERE IS A REPORT OF THE DALLAS DISTRICT SUNDAY SCHOOL
ONE DAY CONFERENCE SUBMITTED BY MR. ABRAHAM THOMAS,
THE AREA INSPECTOR.
SUNDAY SCHOOL DIRECTOR
A conference of Malankara Orthodox Sunday School
students and teachers in Dallas District was held on
Saturday, January 19 at St. Mary�s Church, Farmers�
Branch. The teachers� conference attended by about 30
teachers from St. George, St. Thomas, St. Mary�s and
St. Gregorios churches started around 1.30 p.m.
Teachers raised their concerns, issues and suggestions
and Abraham Thomas, District Inspector, assured them
issues which can be addressed at District level will
be discussed and measures to solve these will be
adopted at District Committee meetings. Other issues
and concerns will be forwarded to the American Diocese
for appropriate action, he assured. Leslie Thomas
gave a model Sunday School class. Baby Chacko, who
was presented a special teacher award by Rev. Fr. John
Kunnathusseril, vicar, St. Mary�s Church. Vicars from
the four churches, Rev. Frs. C. G. Thomas, Raju M.
Daniel, Cherian Kunnel and John Kunnathusseril,
actively participated in the discussions and gave
their suggestions. Paul Pathrose, Regional
Coordinator welcomed the participants and Abraham
Thomas, District Inspector, proposed a vote of thanks.
Teachers� conference was followed by students� get
together which started at 3 p.m. Students presented
devotional group dances, group songs, skit and
messages by one student each in junior and senior
sections from each church. Rev. Frs. Raju Daniel and
C. G. Thomas gave messages to junior students and Rev.
Frs. John Kunnathusseril and Cherian Kunnel addressed
the senior students. Indoor games were organized by
Alex Alexander. About two hundred students from the
four Sunday Schools had a whale of a time. Paul
Pathrose extended welcome and Abraham Thomas thanked
all those who participated. The programs ended with
an �ice cream social�.
- HERE IS A REPORT OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL SUNDAY
OBSERVATION AT ST. THOMAS, SYRACUSE, NY.
St. Thomas Sunday School, Syracuse, NY observed the Sunday School Sunday on February 3, 2002 with a variety of activities. A meeting comprising students, staff and parents was one of the highlights. Ashley Thomas and Betsy Varghese spoke on the topic 'Sunday School Education for Spiritual Growth'. Oommen Kappil led a Study-Class on 'Prayer for the Departed: Our Faith and Reasoning'. Anil Thomas coordinated a Quiz Competition based on 'Old Testament Stories' (Junior Level) and 'Holy Communion' (Senior Level). A Procession
and Special Prayers for children were some of the other highlights of the day. Headmaster Mr. Koshy T. Verghese coordinated the events.