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Issue 17 (August 5) of Malankara World Journal is available online

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  • Dr. Jacob Mathew
    The Malankara World Journal Issue 17 (dated August 5, 2011) is now available online at: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWNews_17-August-5-2011.htm
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2011
      The Malankara World Journal Issue 17 (dated August 5, 2011) is now
      available online at:


      This issue of Malankara World Journal is a special edition to
      commemorate the feast of Transfiguration, one of the important feasts
      observed by Orthodox Church. The Lectionary specifies Luke 9:27-36 as
      the gospel reading, although all 3 synoptic gospels mentions this feast.

      All three Synoptic Gospels place Transfiguration immediately after
      Peter's confession about Jesus and his subsequent teaching to the
      disciples about his impending death, as well as an emphasis on
      discipleship ("If any want to become my followers, let them deny
      themselves and take up take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke
      9:23). Transfiguration is intricately related to the looming crucifixion
      of Jesus Christ.

      The experience of the three disciples seeing Jesus transfigured changed
      their way of looking at Jesus. It also changed the way they saw God as
      well as how they saw the fellow human beings.

      "With Moses standing right there, the parallel was hard to miss. Jesus,
      like Moses before him, was about to set God's people free, only it was
      not bondage to pharaoh they needed freeing from this time. It was
      bondage to their own fear of sin and death, which crippled them far
      worse than leg chains ever had.

      Elijah's presence was the divine seal of approval on this plan. He was
      the one whose reappearance meant the Messiah was due. To see him
      standing there with Moses and Jesus was like seeing the Mount Rushmore
      of heaven -- the Lawgiver, the Prophet, the Messiah -- wrapped in such
      glory it is a wonder the other three could see them at all. But they did
      see that epiphany, and then they could not see anything anymore, because
      the cloud swallowed them up. It was still God's glory, only it was
      dazzling darkness this time, not dazzling light. For us, they are
      opposites. For God, they are the same." - Barbara Brown Taylor

      "Luke understands that both the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah),
      the entire witness to God throughout Israel's history from Sinai onward,
      confirms Jesus in that path of suffering and death (v. 30; cf. 24:25-27,
      44-49). The power that comes from the Holy Spirit to carry out the
      mission to the world is not the power to rule a Kingdom; it is the power
      to participate in a Kingdom whose goal is to transform the world, even
      if it takes death to do it. The power is the power to be faithful unto
      death. As the disciples continue their journey beyond Jerusalem, they
      will finally understand (note 2 Peter 1:16-19)." - Dennis Bratcher

      We had been suggesting in several previous issues about reflecting the
      light of Jesus in our face as well as in our lives. Jesus was not
      reflecting the light of God in Mt. Tabor. He is the God. He was shining
      with the Shekinah glory of God. He's not reflecting God's glory. God's
      glory is radiating from Jesus.

      In transfiguration scene, we see Moses and Elijah, in presence of Jesus,
      reflecting God's glory. This tells us that if Moses and Elijah can
      reflect God's glory as they stand by Jesus then we, too, can reflect
      God's glory as we stand up for Jesus.

      "Simon Peter, James and John saw things in a whole new light. Jesus is
      God. God is involved in human life. Human life is precious in God's
      sight. What a momentous vision! Oh, that God's glory, radiating in the
      Risen Jesus, may be so reflected in me and you that people everywhere
      may see clearly in that light that Jesus is Lord; that God cares about
      every human being; and that we humans are invited to share God's glory!"
      Rev. Charles F. Duvall

      We have an interesting article by Sr. Joan Chittister titled, 'The Role
      of Religion in Today's Society' in this issue of the MW Journal. Sr.
      Joan says that Transfiguration provides us to a window to how real
      religion should operate. Peter's reaction during transfiguration was
      typical, according to Sr. Joan.

      "Let's settle down here, Jesus, and build three booths (tents or

      Was Peter suggesting to build a seminary, a cathedral or a college like
      we do these days, Sr. Joan wonders. Was Peter opting for a religion of
      temples, institutions and shrines? Peter was opting for a religion that
      transcends the world, but the scripture reads that before he could even
      finish speaking, God interrupted and said, "Listen." Sr. Joan's
      following words are very poignant and powerful:

      "At the very moment, when it would seem that Jesus is emphasizing the
      mystical and transcendent dimension of religion, Jesus himself takes the
      apostles away from visions, away from privatized religion, to meet the
      ones who needed them most in the town.

      Jesus takes them to the man whose son was possessed by a demon. Jesus
      himself leads them down to the bottom of that mountain to the hurting
      people, unbelieving officials, the ineffective institutions and the
      demons below.

      Real religion is not about building temples and keeping shrines. Real
      religion is about healing hurts, speaking for and being with the poor,
      the helpless, the voiceless and the forgotten who are at the silent
      bottom of every pinnacle, every hierarchy and every system in both state
      and church, church and state.

      Real religion, the scripture insists, is not about transcending life;
      real religion is about our transforming life. The gospel of the
      transfiguration calls us to Sabbath; calls us to become enlightened;
      calls us to change our attitudes about the role of religion; calls us to
      understand the nature of religion itself; because the so-called rational
      has failed."

      That is the power of transfiguration. Jesus changed everything. It is
      not about amassing riches; it is all about serving. It is not about
      thrones; it is about washing the feet of fellow humans. It is all about
      unconditional love.

      Read all the commentaries and sermons given in Malankara World to gain a
      new perspective on the Transfiguration experience.

      This Sunday, the lectionary reading is about the Parable of the two
      sons. (Matthew 21: 28-32.)

      "The stories in Matthew 21 center on controversies that occur days
      before Jesus goes to the cross. They draw our attention to issues of
      authority and obedience. Jesus is confronted by the chief priests and
      elders who want to know by what authority he has been doing "these
      things." We assume "these things" to be the events recorded earlier in
      this chapter: the entry into Jerusalem, the cleansing of the temple and
      now his teaching in the temple. In good rabbinic style, Jesus answers
      their question by posing a question. His question involves their
      understanding of the authority of John the Baptist. If they answer that
      John the Baptist was divinely inspired, then they open themselves to the
      charge of ignoring God's will and of being unrepentant. If they say that
      John's authority was from human beings, then they risk offending the
      crowd that believed John was a prophet. Either way, they are condemned.
      And so they plead ignorance.

      Jesus then tells a parable about two sons which offers an interpretation
      of the previous confrontation. The first son tells his father that he
      will not go and work in the vineyard, but then changes his mind and goes
      to work. The second son tells his father that he will work in the
      vineyard, but doesn't. "Who has been obedient to the father?" Jesus asks
      the chief priests and elders.

      It is clear to all who have "ears to hear" that the disobedient son
      represents the chief priests and elders. It is small wonder that on
      Friday of that same week they took counsel against Jesus to put him to
      death. And on the night before, in the Garden of Gethsemane, this
      somewhat reluctant son had to decide whether to be obedient to his
      Father's will. Matthew records that three times he had prayed: 'Father,
      if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Yet, like the son in the
      parable who hesitated at first and in the end did as his father had
      asked, Jesus affirms three times: "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as
      thou wilt." It is this response of radical obedience that takes Jesus to
      the cross." - Susan Pendelton Jones

      Again we provide different viewpoints about this week's gospel reading
      in the variety of commentaries and sermons provided.

      *Table of Contents:*

      * Editor's Note
      * Bible Readings for The Feast of Transfiguration
      * Sermons for The Feast of Transfiguration
      * Bible Readings for This Sunday (August 7)
      * Sermons for This Sunday (August 7)
      * Inspiration for Today
      * Featured This Week: The Role of Religion in Today's Society
      * In the Dark about the Transfiguration - Armenian Orthodox Church
      * How to Know the Will of God (Part 2)
      * Transfigured (Poem)
      * Humor
      * Health: When Infertility Becomes a 'Guy Thing' - How Men Can Combat
      Declining Fertility Trends
      * Marriage and Family: A Communion of Love
      * About Malankara World

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      you for your support and help.


      In HIS Service

      Dr. Jacob Mathew
      Malankara World
      Malankara World Journal
      Hudson, Ohio
      ID No: 956
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