Devotional Thoughts for Sunday Febraury 2-2003
- Devotional thoughts for Sunday 2nd Feb 03. Mayaltho (Entry of our Lord
into the temple) Memory of St. Simon and St. Hanna.
From: The watchman upon the wall.
Reading: Gospel according to St. Luke 2:22-40.
Read Verse 22: "they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord."
It is to be noted that in the Jewish custom, the mothers used to observe 40
days as the days of purification as soon as a baby was born to them. After
40 days the infant was carried to the Temple to present the new born to the
Lord God. When they used to take the newborn babies, they had to take any of
the animals like goats or oxen or birds like pigeons or so for sacrifice.
The pre-Christian society had a precedence of offering the first born baby
to the service of God. The same system and customs are in our practice from
the very beginning of Christianity in India. When a lady would give birth
to a baby, she would wait for 40 days and would go to Church after 40 days
only. And when she would go with the newborn, she would take candles/incense
(Kunthirikkam) and oil for the lamps, as symbol of gratitude for the
blessings from God. (We used to maintain the days of purification of our
ladies, as the deliveries in the past were taking place in the houses, until
past 40-50 years. In those days facilities and cleanliness as compared to
the present days were not available or adequate too. Having the high
standard of hygiene and cleanliness in the foreign lands, our ladies outside
India do not wait for 40 days to go Church). We are also in the habit of
dedicating our kids (as Adima) in the sense that they are submitted for the
service of God and to release them from Adima, by paying some money to the
Church, if those persons could not serve God for full time. (As the Jews
offered their first born boys to God's services, we continue the system of
submitting our infants to God and we do it generally in the intercession of
saints of our choice).
Now let us see Verse 24: "And to offer a sacrifice according that which is
said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons"
were taken. It is clear that the faithful used to offer differently
according to their financial capacity. It is a fact that God would be
pleased in the offering, whether it is costly or comparatively cheap. But it
is mandatory for every faithful to offer something or the other to God. The
Holy Church also expects the same sort of offering from her children and
exhorts them to submit their offerings according to one's own ability. We
believe that God will specially consider the sincere and whole-hearted
offerings and will be pleased to reward the faithful substantially.
Verse 25 introduces St. Simeon, a representative of thousands of faithful
who had been waiting for Messiah. St. Simeon was engaged in copying the Holy
Scriptures on the animal skins in his young age. It is said that when he was
copying the book of Prophet Isaiah, he came across the portion where it is
mentioned that a virgin would give birth to the Savior. He doubted and
started serious thinking. And finally it was revealed to him by God Almighty
that he would have death only after seeing the savior with his own eyes. So
he spent the rest of his life in the expectation of the Saviour of mankind
with prayer and mediation. We read in verse 30: "For my eyes have seen your
salvation". It is believed that St. Simeon had seen Infant Jesus when he was
280 years old. So also we honour another old aged lady St. Hanna. She is
honoured as the representative of the ladies who were in the expectation of
Our Holy Church honours St. Simeon and St. Hanna on 2nd Feb every year when
we would commemorate the entry of Infant Jesus to the Jerusalem Temple.
Moreover 2nd Feb is considered by the Holy Church as a day of the old aged.
(To pray for all living old aged) Youth Movement, MGOCSM, Sunday School and
Prayer Group activists of the Holy Church must separate this day to visit
the old age homes and the houses in the neighborhood. If so they could spend
a little time with the old aged, and they could distribute presentations
like packets of sweets/cloth etc to the old aged in their own homes or old
age homes, irrespective of caste, creed, color and faith. Otherwise there is
no meaning in keeping a day for the old aged in the church calendar.
For the Indian Orthodox Church Feb 2nd is the Memorial Day of the late H.G.
Pathros Mar Osthathios Metropolitan of blessed memory. He was the founder of
the missionary movement "Servants of the Cross". His Grace could convert
more than 22,000 dalit families to Orthodox Christianity. His Grace did a
lot for the social and spiritual up liftment of the dalits and the
downtrodden, as His Grace's predecessor and role model, St. Gregorios of
Parumala. Let the memory and intercession of His Grace be an encouragement
for the growth and development of evangelical and social activities of our
The main message of the reading under consideration is that "waiting with
preparation" is a must to receive our Lord God. In all the worships there is
the need for the waiting and expectation. We must realize the need and act
accordingly. Then only we could make use of the worships more meaningfully.
May God bless us all.
Watchman upon the wall.