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The Significance of the Nineveh Nombu for us today

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  • H.E Mor Koorilose
    Dear all in Christ Although the least in terms of the number of days of fast, the Nineveh Nombu is one of the most important fasts in the Syrian Orthodox
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 1, 2009
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      Dear all in Christ

      Although the least in terms of the number of days of fast,
      the "Nineveh Nombu" is one of the most important fasts in the Syrian
      Orthodox Church tradition.

      Fasting is meant to be a sign of our giving up of our ego
      or `selves' for the sake of others. They are, in other words,
      occasions of self-emptying or `kenosis' of which the supreme example
      is Jesus Christ himself (Phil.2).

      Prayer and fasting are two cardinal corner stones of a Christian
      life. The what , the why and the how of prayer and fasting are
      clearly explicated in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt.6). Prophet Isaiah
      brings home to us the concrete manifestation of a genuine spiritual
      life, itself rooted in prayer and fasting.

      Exposing the hypocrisy and the pseudo-spirituality of the people of
      his time, the prophet challenges them to observe lent and fasting
      the way God wants them to observe it:

      Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
      And to strike with a wicked fist
      Such fasting as you do today
      Will not make your voice heard on High
      Is such the fast that I choose
      A day to humble oneself?
      Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush
      And to lie down in sackcloth and ashes?
      Will you call this a fast
      A day acceptable to the LORD?

      Is not this the fast that I choose
      To loose the bonds of injustice
      To undo the thongs of yoke
      Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
      And bring the homeless to your house
      ���(Is.58:4-7)

      Fasting is an occasion for us to live through the pain of poverty and
      starvation. For most of us, fasting has become an easy option
      of `dieting', which many of us do need to shed the extra kilos that
      gain, given that we all live in a consumerist society such as
      today's. As my own spiritual guru, the late lamented Yakoob Mar
      Themotheose thirumeni, taught me, fasting should enable us to feel
      the pain of hunger, which, in turn, will make us compassionate to
      the poor and the hungry. Unfortunately, we have lost this dimension
      of serving the poor some where along the lines. May this time
      of "Moonu Nombu" be a time for us to reclaim and recover this lost
      sense of charity and compassion towards the less privileged and the
      needy among us.

      The story of Jonah has many lessons for us. Let me highlight just
      one of them here. All human beings have some sense of pride and ego
      within themselves- a false sense of prestige. Prophets were no
      exception to this rule- Jonah certainly wasn't one. He knew that his
      obeying God's commandment to preach in Nineveh had some risks
      involved with it. He knew quite well that his God was a
      compassionate God. He was asked to bring the message of God's anger
      and wrath onto the people of Nineveh. He knew that when people would
      regret their ways of living and return to the LORD, they would be
      forgiven and redeemed. It happened exactly the way he `feared'. For
      Jonah it was a matter of great disappointment.

      His ego was hurt, his `name' affected and pride shaken. He wanted
      God to punish the people as he had prophesied so that `his' words
      would come true. But God thinks and acts beyond our perceptions and
      calculations. Jonah was much more concerned about his prophecy being
      fulfilled than God's compassion towards the people and their
      welfare. It is a clear case where even prophets get their priorities
      wrong. This, in fact, is a grave temptation for all of us,
      especially for those who work in the vineyard of the LORD- a desire
      to keep our `selves' in tact, to get our predictions right, even at
      the cost of the ruin of others around us. We should always strive
      for the wellbeing of others even if it comes at the expense of our
      pride and name.

      This is the challenge of all feasts, especially the Nineveh Nombu,
      to risk ourselves for the sake of the gospel and Christ,
      particularly for the poor and the downtrodden in whom Christ can be
      encountered in our daily lives.

      May God have mercy upon us, be gracious to us, and accept the fast of the Holy Church, as HE accepted the fast of the people of Nineveh and spared them.

      Koorilose Thirumeni
    • Anoop Mani
      It is very appreciable that nowadays our Bishops are writing in the forum. When spiritual doubts rises among our faithful if our Bishops are coming forward to
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 3, 2009
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        It is very appreciable that nowadays our Bishops are writing in the forum. When spiritual doubts rises among our faithful if our Bishops are coming forward to clear it, that will influence the faithful to a great extent. The note given by H E Mor Deevannasios was authoritative. The message of H E Mor Koorilos regarding Ninuve lent is also very informatiive. We are really thanks to our Bishops.
         
        Anoop
        #4037
      • H.E. Geevaghese Mor Coorilose
        Dear all in Christ Although the least in terms of the number of days of fast, the Nineveh Nombu is one of the most important fasts in the Syrian Orthodox
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 24, 2010
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          Dear all in Christ

          Although the least in terms of the number of days of fast,
          the "Nineveh Nombu" is one of the most important fasts in the Syrian
          Orthodox Church tradition.

          Fasting is meant to be a sign of our giving up of our ego
          or `selves' for the sake of others. They are, in other words,
          occasions of self-emptying or `kenosis' of which the supreme example
          is Jesus Christ himself (Phil.2).

          Prayer and fasting are two cardinal corner stones of a Christian
          life. The what , the why and the how of prayer and fasting are
          clearly explicated in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt.6). Prophet Isaiah
          brings home to us the concrete manifestation of a genuine spiritual
          life, itself rooted in prayer and fasting.

          Exposing the hypocrisy and the pseudo-spirituality of the people of
          his time, the prophet challenges them to observe lent and fasting
          the way God wants them to observe it:

          Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
          And to strike with a wicked fist
          Such fasting as you do today
          Will not make your voice heard on High
          Is such the fast that I choose
          A day to humble oneself?
          Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush
          And to lie down in sackcloth and ashes?
          Will you call this a fast
          A day acceptable to the LORD?

          Is not this the fast that I choose
          To loose the bonds of injustice
          To undo the thongs of yoke
          Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
          And bring the homeless to your house
          ………(Is.58:4-7)

          Fasting is an occasion for us to live through the pain of poverty and
          starvation. For most of us, fasting has become an easy option
          of `dieting', which many of us do need to shed the extra kilos that
          gain, given that we all live in a consumerist society such as
          today's. As my own spiritual guru, the late lamented Yakoob Mar
          Themotheose thirumeni, taught me, fasting should enable us to feel
          the pain of hunger, which, in turn, will make us compassionate to
          the poor and the hungry. Unfortunately, we have lost this dimension
          of serving the poor some where along the lines. May this time
          of "Moonu Nombu" be a time for us to reclaim and recover this lost
          sense of charity and compassion towards the less privileged and the
          needy among us.

          The story of Jonah has many lessons for us. Let me highlight just
          one of them here. All human beings have some sense of pride and ego
          within themselves- a false sense of prestige. Prophets were no
          exception to this rule- Jonah certainly wasn't one. He knew that his
          obeying God's commandment to preach in Nineveh had some risks
          involved with it. He knew quite well that his God was a
          compassionate God. He was asked to bring the message of God's anger
          and wrath onto the people of Nineveh. He knew that when people would
          regret their ways of living and return to the LORD, they would be
          forgiven and redeemed. It happened exactly the way he `feared'. For
          Jonah it was a matter of great disappointment.

          His ego was hurt, his `name' affected and pride shaken. He wanted
          God to punish the people as he had prophesied so that `his' words
          would come true. But God thinks and acts beyond our perceptions and
          calculations. Jonah was much more concerned about his prophecy being
          fulfilled than God's compassion towards the people and their
          welfare. It is a clear case where even prophets get their priorities
          wrong. This, in fact, is a grave temptation for all of us,
          especially for those who work in the vineyard of the LORD- a desire
          to keep our `selves' in tact, to get our predictions right, even at
          the cost of the ruin of others around us. We should always strive
          for the wellbeing of others even if it comes at the expense of our
          pride and name.

          This is the challenge of all feasts, especially the Nineveh Nombu,
          to risk ourselves for the sake of the gospel and Christ,
          particularly for the poor and the downtrodden in whom Christ can be
          encountered in our daily lives.

          May God have mercy upon us, be gracious to us, and accept the fast of the Holy Church, as HE accepted the fast of the people of Nineveh and spared them.

          Koorilose Thirumeni
          http://www.niranamdiocese.org
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