Mar Osthathios The Inspirer
- Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Every time we remember HG Geevarghese Mar Osthathios Thirumeni, we get a shot of inspiration. He inspired people throughout his life. That was his special gift from the Holy Spirit.
The word 'in-spiration' means 'breathing in'. It is breathing in the prana vayu , the life-breath from God. Those who are in-spired by this vital breath of the Holy Spirit can inspire others. This is what Mar Osthathios did all his life until his last breath. Anyone who met him any time returned inspired. No one has ever seen him depressed or withdrawn without a word of hope for the world.
He was a teacher and prophet for our times. The Word of God was always like a burning fire shut up within his bones as experienced by prophet Jeremiah (20:9). So he could never remain silent about injustice, insensitivity to the poor, selfish accumulation of wealth and immoral luxury in society. He was all the time bursting forth with divine energy and holy indignation against the social and personal evil in Church and society.
But he was equally compassionate, caring and loving in his personal life. He taught us how to share our resources and care for each other in the spirit of Christian love. Many a movement and institution has come up in our church to defend the cause of the poor and the marginalised purely because of the inspiration Thirumeni gave to his disciples and followers.
While we fondly remember Osthathios Thirumeni and praise God for his life and powerful witness in our generation, let us also fervently pray that God may raise such prophets again in our midst. Let us also do some self-critical soul-searching.
Most of our leaders are pitifully insensitive to the intensity of darkness in which our common people grope for some small ray of light. Our ordinary faithful are so pious. They pray and pay, but never ask where their money goes. They venerate the leaders and take them out in procession, but never ask them inconvenient questions about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The witness to the life-giving Gospel of Christ seems to be our last priority. Look at our agenda, the life- style and the programmes for which we spend enormous amounts of money. To what extent do they contribute
- to the cause of justice in our corrupt society,
- to the improvement of our environmental awareness and projects
- to the upholding of the rights of women and children,
- to the caring of the mentally and physically disabled, the aged and the orphan,
- to a better understanding of love and sharing between religious communities,
- to a bold and critical stand for the Common Good in our politics of sectarian communal vote banks??
If the Christian Church is not a space for truth, justice, peace, reconciliation and compassion, where else should we look for such fundamental gospel qualities and way of life?
Remembering Osthathios Thirumeni brings to mind such disturbing but urgent questions we should never ignore if we call ourselves Christians and the Church of Christ. If we refrain from doing anything about such demands of the Gospel we should be prepared to face the judgment of history very soon.
May the Holy Spirit of God inspire us to choose the path of life rather than death!
Love and Peace in Christ our Lord,
K M George Achen
(Message for the SGOS fellowship)