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Devotional Thoughts for Aug. 11, 2013/First Sunday After Transfiguration

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  • ICON Moderators
    Gospel Reading- Matthew: 21.28-32 We are continuing our liturgical journey from the celebration of Transfiguration of Christ to that of the Assumption of
    Message 1 of 70 , Jul 31, 2013
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      Gospel Reading- Matthew: 21.28-32

      We are continuing our liturgical journey from the celebration of Transfiguration
      of Christ to that of the Assumption of Mother Mary. In between these two feasts
      we celebrate two Sundays. Today is the first Sunday after the Transfiguration.

      Jesus said this parable in the context where He saw the unbelief of the
      believer. Some Biblical scholars argue that the two kinds of sons represent the
      Gentiles and Jewish people. But some other scholars affirm that the two sons
      represent the Jewish community itself; representing the lay people who were
      associated with the Graeco-Roman world and the law keepers of Judaism.
      Nevertheless, it is notable that this is the only occasion where the phrase �tax
      collectors and prostitutes� is used in apostolic writings.

      Jesus elucidates the paradox of �atheism of the theistic� through this parable
      and reveals the complexity of human nature.

      Three main points from this passage could be meaningful to meditate.

      1. The Power of Positive Rethinking
      The first son�s disrespect through his words was certainly an insult to his
      father. He might have responded so due to the thought of the probable discomfort
      which would arise if he follows the word of his father. However, when he
      rethinks about his instantaneous response he becomes willing to obey his
      father�s words. He repented about his response and found the value of genuine
      repentance.
      Mar Jacob clearly depicts this value in a Bovooso: �The tears of a repentant are
      more valuable than diamonds�. (Tuesday Suthara Sheema Prayer). John the
      Baptist�s message was the same too. �Produce fruit in keeping with repentance
      (St. Mat:.3.8). That�s why the Fathers of the Church say �confession is a
      forgotten medicine.� Each opportunity to rethink and analyze the prior responses
      and decisions in our life could oil the machinery of our relationships with God
      and human. The genuine repentance, and the willingness to change to even a
      diametrically opposite view or to make a complete U-turn, if necessary, will
      help the person to steer his journey towards the right shore.

      2. Nothingness of Peripheral Promises
      Today we live in a world where we hear more promises with the absence of any
      in-depth passion towards the promise. Definitely these kind of promises
      fabricate a kind of contentment to the ears of the audience. However, when they
      see the nothingness of these peripheral promises, it definitely hurts their
      hearts rigorously and they identify the person�s dim-witted personality. He /
      she will lose the basic trust of the immediate people around him / her. This
      indeed applies to our relationship with God: Jesus noticeably stated �Not
      everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but
      only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven" (St. Mt.7.21). In short,
      the real fruit of the peripheral promises is self-deception and nothingness.

      3. The Greatness of Implemented Promises
      Both sons are not true models for a true Christian life. The real Christian
      model is the right response with the willingness to implement the promise. This
      model is perfectly portrayed in the parable of the sower (St. Lk.8.8). Some seed
      fell on good soil; the soil responded pleasantly and nurtured without any delay.
      The quality and depth of the soil facilitated the growth of the seed to a
      fruitful tree. So a promise followed by its implementation inserts the quality
      of trustworthiness into one�s personality. This personality will not be double
      faced. This quality is an essential ingredient to a positive relationship with
      God and human. God himself shows this model in his relationship with the people
      of God. �Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according
      to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which
      he spoke by Moses his servant.� (I Kings: 8.56)

      Without trust, words become the hollow sound of a wooden gong. With trust, words
      become life itself. -- John Harold

      May God bless us to rethink if our words are insulting to anyone and to learn
      the nothingness of peripheral promises, and the greatness of implemented
      promises.

      In Christ�s service,

      Rev. Fr. Varghese M Daniel, PhD
      (Research Fellow, Yale University)
      New Haven, Connecticut

      Moderators' Note:
      This message is a repost from ICON's archives.
    • icon.org
      Respected Members, We have a new web interface for the ICON Matrimonials now, please check the link below. As a member of ICON community you can use this free
      Message 70 of 70 , May 12 8:20 PM
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        Respected Members,

        We have a new web interface for the ICON Matrimonials now, please check the link
        below. As a member of ICON community you can use this free service to advertise
        your matrimonial needs on this page.

        Instead of a weekly refresh of the site, we will place your advertisements as
        and when it is available. By default, the advertisements will stay on this page
        for 180 days then it will automatically drop off from the list.

        There are two sections on this new page one for Groom and another for Bride.
        Please click on the appropriate section to see the ad placed on that section.

        New ICON Matrimonial link http://www.icon.org.in/mm

        Wish you all the best !!

        ~ICON Moderators

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