Malankara World Journal No: 32 (Sept. 29, 2011) is now online
- The Malankara World Journal Issue 32 (dated September 29, 2011) is now available online at:
We are pleased to inform all our readers that, with the grace of God, Malankara World is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. The website, in the last census, has more than 7,500 pages out of which about 3,000 articles are indexed on Google!!
This week, we introduce another feature: An Infocenter on Trinity. This will complement our infocenters for St. Mary, Great Lent, Holy Spirit, etc. unveiled earlier. We will be adding more material to these sections so that, with time, it will grow to be important reference sources for our readers. The New Trinity Infocenter can be accessed here.
In this issue of MW Journal, Dr. Jack Graham writes about what we Christians should be doing in a world of crisis. Are we reflecting the light of Jesus or are we sitting on the sidelines to be politically correct?
Priest David Moser, in his article, tries to unravel some of the mysteries of Holy Trinity. Our liturgy, sacraments and worship are designed around the Holy Trinity. Our lives are transformed by the Holy Trinity. "In the Holy Church, our true nature as a corporate body, a single entity made up of many persons, is made manifest. When we gather together to worship in the public services of the Church, we express this godlike nature. In this we can begin to see the importance of participating in the services of the Church." We also have an absolutely beautiful prayer by Saint Catherine of Siena to meditate on the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
Lesson 6 from the book, 'With Christ in the School of Prayer' by Andrew Murray included in this week's Journal is titled, 'How Much More' Or 'The Infinite Fatherliness of God'. It shows the importance of developing a relationship with God through prayer and being 'childlike' in His presence and surrender fully to His will. In a companion article, 'Answers for Unanswered Prayer' Gary E. Yates explains what happens when we pray and it appears that God is not answering our prayers. Using the example of how God used Moses to liberate Israelites from the clutches of Egypt, Yates says that sometimes God is working on our prayers even before we pray!
"You don't have to use a magic formula to get God's attention. You don't have to build up enough faith to earn his answer. You don't have to weary God into giving in. God is concerned at the very moment we come to him with our needs and requests because we belong to him," he says. God does answer all prayers; sometimes, the answer is 'wait'.
Rubel Shelly has a heartwarming true story of how the dreams of a boy crippled by Down Syndrome was fulfilled and how everyone in attendance learned a valuable lesson from it.
We congratulate the dedicated members of our church who are leading the efforts to make the dream of our Holy Father to provide much needed medical services to those in need a reality by opening a new chapter of St. Ephrem Universal Syriac Orthodox Medical Mission in UK this weekend. Let us all pray for the success of this worthwhile venture.
Table of Contents: Malankara World Journal Issue 32
Bible Readings for This Sunday (Oct 2)
Sermons for This Sunday (Oct 2)
Inspiration for Today: How to Change a World in Chaos
Featured This Week: The Holy Trinity - A Mystery
Prayer: The Trinity as Mystery
Learn More About Trinity in Malankara World
Book Excerpt: Lesson: 6 How Much More Or The Infinite Fatherliness of God
Answers for Unanswered Prayer by Gary E. Yates
St. Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Medical Mission to Open a Chapter in UK on October 2, 2011
"We Want Ike!": The Gift of Being Included by Rubel Shelly
'Catholicism' - An Epic Series on Christianity and Catholic Church Airs in Early October on PBS
Humor: More Bloopers from Church Bulletins
About Malankara World
Sermons for This Sunday (Oct 2)
This Sunday's (3rd Sunday following Sleebo) Gospel reading is from St. Mark 2:23-28. It is one of the encounters with Pharisees. We had one last week when Jesus warned the disciples to look out for the false yeast of the Pharisees. This time, the Pharisees find fault with the disciples for plucking and eating grain on Sabbath and breaking the rule regarding Sabbath.
Several issues arise from this encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees:
1. Was Jesus telling them to ignore Sabbath and it does not apply anymore by declaring that he is the "Lord of the Sabbath?" Jesus himself said that he is here not to break any Mosaic laws but to fulfill them. So, what is the discrepancy?
2. Did St. Mark make a mistake in referring the encounter of King David and his men described in 1 Samuel 21:1-6 when he referred the chief priest's name as Abiathar when, in fact, the chief priest at that time was Alimelech (1 Sam. 21:6)? Or can there be a simple explanation?
These are some of the issues you will find answers to when you read today's sermons and bible commentaries/analyses in Malankara World:
How to Change a World in Chaos
by Dr. Jack Graham
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."
Our way of life is under unbelievable attack today. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the Western world is becoming increasingly secular and humanistic. And as we watch the news and see so much turmoil and unrest in the streets of some of the largest cities around the globe, we see firsthand the cold hard truth that life apart from God will always devolve into chaos.
Too many Christians today are playing it safe. They're standing in the shadows and keeping their mouths shut rather than courageously standing for Christ. And of all times, of all places, of all people, now is the time for men and women of faith to stand boldly.
I truly believe that our world today is not beyond hope. But, as a believer in Christ, you must firmly declare that any real hope is only found in Jesus Christ. You must get past the world's way of thinking that to claim truth is 'narrow-minded' or 'intolerant.'
If you had a magic pill that could cure any disease, would you bury it in your backyard? Jesus is the only answer for the world's ills. So stand firmly for Jesus and allow His light to shine through you and give hope to a world searching for hope!
WHILE THE WORLD SPINS IN CHAOS, REMEMBER THAT THE ONLY HOPE IS JESUS AND ALLOW HIS LIGHT TO SHINE THROUGH YOU!
The Holy Trinity - A Mystery
by Priest David Moser
The Holy Trinity is one of the great mysteries of the Orthodox Faith. With our finite and limited minds, we are unable to comprehend the Holy Trinity at all, and yet with our hearts, we can believe in the truth of the this mystery. We confess our belief each time we say the Creed , "I believe in One God, the Father almighty,...and in one Lord Jesus Christ...and in the Holy Spirit..." And so, even though it is incomprehensible, the mystery of the Holy Trinity is intertwined throughout the most basic confession of our faith.
The worship of the Trinity is the key element of the Orthodox Faith. If you were to ask a group of people, "What is the essence of true religious belief?" you would get a number of different answers, depending on who you asked. If you were to narrow your questioning down to only those who confessed Christianity, it is most likely that you would get an answer which expressed in some way "to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ". But if you were to ask an Orthodox Christian who was familiar with the services of the Church, "What is the true faith?" he could immediately answer with the words of the Church. At the end of the Divine Liturgy when we sing "We have found the true faith..." we describe what this "true faith" is "...worshipping the undivided Trinity." Orthodox Christians have known even from the very beginning that in order to truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is necessary to believe in the Holy Trinity and that in order to worship God "in spirit and in truth," we must worship the Holy Trinity.
What is it that makes this mystery of the Holy Trinity so vital to our Christian belief? In order to answer this question, we must first understand a little about the Holy Trinity. The mystery of the Trinity is that there is One God in three Persons and that each of these Persons is distinct and separate from the others while at the same time all three Persons are indivisibly united. How can something be three separate and distinct things and yet at the same time be only one? This is the mystery of the Trinity.
But the nature of the Trinity is not just an abstract idea, a belief that has no impact on us as Orthodox Christians. St Athanasius said about the incarnation, "God became man so that man might become god." And indeed this is true - when we "put on Christ" at Holy Baptism and as we begin to work out our salvation, we become like God, that is we take on His nature. We give up our own fallen human nature, and in exchange we receive the nature of the God-man Jesus Christ. In order to be saved we must exhibit the mystery of the Holy Trinity in our own lives.
How is such a thing possible? How can we, who are created beings, who are limited, mortal and finite, become like the Holy Trinity - three persons in one essence? Again the Holy Fathers teach us what we must know. We know that there is no salvation outside the Church. In order to be transformed and enter into the life of Christ, we must do so within His Church. The Church is the ark of salvation and we are all gathered into that ark. But there is more to this than just membership in an earthly organization. The Church is much more than that. The Church is the union of all Orthodox Christians into the one mystical Body of Christ. It is in the Church that our true nature as Christians is made manifest. We, who are many, are united into one body (and yet we remain many persons, distinct from one another). This unity of diversity that we find in the mystery of the Church is exactly the same mystery of the unity in diversity of the Holy Trinity. By being members of the Holy Church, we are transformed so that our nature becomes like that of the Holy Trinity.
In the Holy Church, our true nature as a corporate body, a single entity made up of many persons, is made manifest. When we gather together to worship in the public services of the Church, we express this godlike nature. In this we can begin to see the importance of participating in the services of the Church. These services are not just a social gathering, a ritual that we share with those of like mind and belief. The services of the Church are the necessary expression of our godlike nature. By participating in the public worship of the Church we act like God, we confess our belief in the Holy Trinity and we confess our likeness to the Holy Trinity. If we shun the services of the Church, if we do not participate, then we are in effect turning our back on Christ, turning away from the salvation that He provides, denying that we are like Him. It is in the public services of the Church that God does the work of making our nature to be like His. It is only in the Church and in her public and corporate worship that we become like the Holy Trinity.
Learn More About Holy Trinity in Malankara World
The concept of Trinity is difficult to grasp as it is a mystery. But it is central to our Christian faith. Malankara World has an Infocenter on Trinity that will take you from Trinity 101 to more advanced concepts. Read about classical and contemporary articles, read sermons on Trinity, meditations, prayers, hymns (including a St. Ephrem classic). Once you progress more, you can start tackling more difficult theological concepts such as Filioque where we differ from Roman Catholic Church. All in Trinity Infocenter in Malankara World:
Medical Mission to Open a Chapter in UK on October 2, 2011
St. Ephrem Universal Syriac Orthodox Medical Mission (SEUSOMM) will be opening a chapter at Bristol, England on October 2, 2011. HH Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the Universal Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church approved the chapter in a Patriarch bull (No: E262/11 dated Sept 14, 2011.
The medical mission is the official social ministry of the Holy Church. It has the following objectives:
1. Provide financial, social, and medical assistance to the members of our church who are displaced by war, famine and other calamities in different parts of the world, including immediate attention to those who are in Iraq and those who are left for neighboring countries.
2. Establish a Medical Core for immediate deployment to places of need.
3. Establish Patriarchal University including a Medical branch at least in places which are now under-served.
Read the rest of the articles in Malankara World:
Thank you for your support.
In HIS Service
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World Journal
ID No: 956