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A thought for Hosanna eve

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  • yesudasan jacob
    A thought for Hosanna eve 1. Having completed 41 days of the Great Lent and reached the Hosanna feast, it is a time for us to look back and review the days we
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 14, 2008
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      A thought for Hosanna eve

      1. Having completed 41 days of the Great Lent and reached the Hosanna feast, it is a time for us to look back and review the days we have just passed. We have left behind 41 steps that leads us to the climax of the orthodox spirituality. The Words of Life that we have been hearing these days were the descriptions that reveal the different visible aspects of the salvafic work of Jesus Christ. Kothne Sunday through the Saturday of Lazarus, Holy church has set apart a series of seven miracles of Jesus Christ for gospel reading and meditation in Holy Qurbana. Having reflected the message of salvation from those, we have now come to Hosanna eve with the prayer of Hosanna � �Save now� - that is the meaning of the word Hosanna

      2. Let us look back the days of lent that we have passed through. How was our lent observance? There have been those who kept the lent from the very first day; there are those who kept from the Mid-Lent; there are those who wait to start the lent, holy and pure, in the Passion week, and yet a large number to observe the lent on Good Friday, to begin and end in one day. I am not trying to castigate or criticize, but only to attempt to point out what is lent and fasting.

      3. The two inseparable factors of any lent is prayer and fasting, the only way to defeat Satan. Jesus, who taught that except by prayer and fast these kinds do not go, has shown it by His own prayer and fasting.

      4. Where did the lent/fast begin? It is appointed and commanded by God to Adam in Eden. �Of any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not, for the day that you eat of it you shall surely die� (Gen. 2: 17)

      5. When the covenant of God was given, there was only one fast in the Old Testament; the Day of Atonement, the only statutory fast as per the covenant. It is called there as �Afflicting the soul� �Aalmathapanam cheyyuka � in Malayalam. (Lev. 16: 29, 30)

      6. Apart from these, there evolved personal, communal and national fasts in various situations. The exilic and post-exilic Israelites observed annual commemorations of the four dreadful events in chapter 25 of the Second Kings, also the Purim fast of the book of Esther.

      7 The post exilic community inquired of God through the prophets and the priests of Jerusalem temple whether to continue or not one of the above four fasts in Zech. 7: 2, 3.
      �Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?� (Zec.7: 3). Even though it was not a statutory/canonical fast, God did not allow them to stop it, instead He said �The fast of the fourth month; the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the tenth shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts� (Zech. 8: 19)

      8. It is a question very relevant for our time today. Standing inthe midst of affluence, influenced by personal taste, appetite and interests; without the proper understanding of the internal meaning of the fasting, many abelievers ask this question and comes to the conclusion in negative. How can one fast now as in the past. There are people to debate and give advice, quotingsome verses out of context, that fasting is not even advised by Jesus Christ.

      9. What is fast? Enthanu upavadsum? It has altogether a different meaning in Malayalam than in English. It means living with. In the context of lent, it means, living with God. So our food habits, our behavior, our daily life style, every thing should have some abstinence to suit our company with God. Even the marriages are not allowed in the Orthodox Church.

      10. 40th. Friday of the lent was to remember the end of the40 days fast of Jesus Christ. He rebuked Satan and taught him and the world three things, �Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God�; �You shall not tempt your God� and �You shall worship the God your Lord and Him only you shall serve�. Are we sure, we have complied with these three during the lent this year?

      11. More than we desire to live with God, it is He who longs to live with us:
      �Behold I stand at the door and nock. If any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.� (Rev.3: 20)

      �If any one loves Me, he will keep My word; And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him� (John 14: 23)

      12. What He says to the rebellious?

      �I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and try him there for the treason which he committed against Me� (Ezek. 17: 20)

      �And I will bring you in to the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face� (Ezek. 20: 35)

      �Therefore, behold I will allure her, Will bring her in to the wilderness, and speak comfort to her� (Hose. 2: 14)

      �Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord� (Is.1: 18)

      Wilderness and Babylon have been the places of trial in the history of Israel. It was there the God Lord taught them repentance of their past sins and brought them under His feet

      13. In our life too, the Lenten period is the time of our trials and purification. Solitude of the wilderness and Babylon is symbolic for us. The time we take for prayer and meditation is the time God wants to speak comfort to us, to plead with us and to reason with us. But, men in this age try to find ways to evade it.

      !4. What we have to benefit out of lent and fasting? It is not mere ritualistic accomplishment and satisfaction we have to achieve by observing the lent and fasting. God wants us to be washed of our sins.

      �Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil.� (Is. 1: 16)
      �Turn to me with all your heart. With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning� (Joel 2: 12)

      15. Fasting, prayer, weeping and mourning all these go together. We cannot agree with those who teach that prayer is sufficient and enough, lent and fasting are not required because the word of God does not agree with that. I shall quote two more verses to substantiate it:

      �And this woman was a widow of about eighty four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day� (Luke 2: 37)

      �Now on the twenty fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth and with dust on their heads. And they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers� (Neh. 9: 1, 2)

      16. It is now Hosanna eve, tomorrow we will lead the great procession with flowers and tender leaves of coconut tree to commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem. What does it mean to us today more than a memory? Yes it means more than a memory to us. Lent also denotes spring and visible sign of spring is the budding of the trees with new leaves and flowers. Our Hosanna worship and celebration with leaves and flowers is the symbol of our renewed spirituality of the Lenten period and we thus pray:

      �HOSANNA! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD�.
      �SAVE NOW, I BESEACH O LORD! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE
      NAME OF THE LORD� (Ps.118: 25, 26); (Matt. 21: 9; Mark 11: 9; Luke 19: 38; John 12: 13)

      Yesudasan Nedumoncave
      Philadelphia

      1. Having completed 41 days of the Great Lent and reached the Hosanna feast, it is a time for us to look back and review the days we have just passed. We have left behind 41 steps that leads us to the climax of the orthodox spirituality. The Words of Life that we have been hearing these days were the descriptions that reveal the different visible aspects of the salvafic work of Jesus Christ. Kothne Sunday through the Saturday of Lazarus, Holy church has set apart a series of seven miracles of Jesus Christ for gospel reading and meditation in Holy Qurbana. Having reflected the message of salvation from those, we have now come to Hosanna eve with the prayer of Hosanna � �Save now� - that is the meaning of the word Hosanna

      2. Let us look back the days of lent that we have passed through. How was our lent observance? There have been those who kept the lent from the very first day; there are those who kept from the Mid-Lent; there are those who wait to start the lent, holy and pure, in the Passion week, and yet a large number to observe the lent on Good Friday, to begin and end in one day. I am not trying to castigate or criticize, but only to attempt to point out what is lent and fasting.

      3. The two inseparable factors of any lent is prayer and fasting, the only way to defeat Satan. Jesus, who taught that except by prayer and fast these kinds do not go, has shown it by His own prayer and fasting.

      4. Where did the lent/fast begin? It is appointed and commanded by God to Adam in Eden. �Of any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not, for the day that you eat of it you shall surely die� (Gen. 2: 17)

      5. When the covenant of God was given, there was only one fast in the Old Testament; the Day of Atonement, the only statutory fast as per the covenant. It is called there as �Afflicting the soul� �Aalmathapanam cheyyuka � in Malayalam. (Lev. 16: 29, 30)

      6. Apart from these, there evolved personal, communal and national fasts in various situations. The exilic and post-exilic Israelites observed annual commemorations of the four dreadful events in chapter 25 of the Second Kings, also the Purim fast of the book of Esther.

      7 The post exilic community inquired of God through the prophets and the priests of Jerusalem temple whether to continue or not one of the above four fasts in Zech. 7: 2, 3.
      �Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?� (Zec.7: 3). Even though it was not a statutory/canonical fast, God did not allow them to stop it, instead He said �The fast of the fourth month; the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the tenth shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts� (Zech. 8: 19)

      8. It is a question very relevant for our time today. Standing inthe midst of affluence, influenced by personal taste, appetite and interests; without the proper understanding of the internal meaning of the fasting, many abelievers ask this question and comes to the conclusion in negative. How can one fast now as in the past. There are people to debate and give advice, quotingsome verses out of context, that fasting is not even advised by Jesus Christ.

      9. What is fast? Enthanu upavadsum? It has altogether a different meaning in Malayalam than in English. It means living with. In the context of lent, it means, living with God. So our food habits, our behavior, our daily life style, every thing should have some abstinence to suit our company with God. Even the marriages are not allowed in the Orthodox Church.

      10. 40th. Friday of the lent was to remember the end of the40 days fast of Jesus Christ. He rebuked Satan and taught him and the world three things, �Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God�; �You shall not tempt your God� and �You shall worship the God your Lord and Him only you shall serve�. Are we sure, we have complied with these three during the lent this year?

      11. More than we desire to live with God, it is He who longs to live with us:
      �Behold I stand at the door and nock. If any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.� (Rev.3: 20)

      �If any one loves Me, he will keep My word; And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him� (John 14: 23)

      12. What He says to the rebellious?

      �I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and try him there for the treason which he committed against Me� (Ezek. 17: 20)

      �And I will bring you in to the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face� (Ezek. 20: 35)

      �Therefore, behold I will allure her, Will bring her in to the wilderness, and speak comfort to her� (Hose. 2: 14)

      �Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord� (Is.1: 18)

      Wilderness and Babylon have been the places of trial in the history of Israel. It was there the God Lord taught them repentance of their past sins and brought them under His feet

      13. In our life too, the Lenten period is the time of our trials and purification. Solitude of the wilderness and Babylon is symbolic for us. The time we take for prayer and meditation is the time God wants to speak comfort to us, to plead with us and to reason with us. But, men in this age try to find ways to evade it.

      !4. What we have to benefit out of lent and fasting? It is not mere ritualistic accomplishment and satisfaction we have to achieve by observing the lent and fasting. God wants us to be washed of our sins.

      �Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil.� (Is. 1: 16)
      �Turn to me with all your heart. With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning� (Joel 2: 12)

      15. Fasting, prayer, weeping and mourning all these go together. We cannot agree with those who teach that prayer is sufficient and enough, lent and fasting are not required because the word of God does not agree with that. I shall quote two more verses to substantiate it:

      �And this woman was a widow of about eighty four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day� (Luke 2: 37)

      �Now on the twenty fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth and with dust on their heads. And they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers� (Neh. 9: 1, 2)

      16. It is now Hosanna eve, tomorrow we will lead the great procession with flowers and tender leaves of coconut tree to commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem. What does it mean to us today more than a memory? Yes it means more than a memory to us. Lent also denotes spring and visible sign of spring is the budding of the trees with new leaves and flowers. Our Hosanna worship and celebration with leaves and flowers is the symbol of our renewed spirituality of the Lenten period and we thus pray:

      �HOSANNA! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD�.
      �SAVE NOW, I BESEACH O LORD! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE
      NAME OF THE LORD� (Ps.118: 25, 26); (Matt. 21: 9; Mark 11: 9; Luke 19: 38; John 12: 13)

      Yesudasan Nedumoncave
      Philadelphia
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