Today is called "Kohanae Sunday". On this day the faithful remember and pray for all the departed priests who had conducted Holy Qurbono as well as baptism, marriages, confessions, anointing the sick, conducting funerals, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and other community services for them.
As we prepare ourselves for the Great Lent in two weeks and the three day's lent for purifying ourselves through repentance, and making us prepared to participate in the passions of Christ and the joy of resurrection, the traditions of our Church exhorts us to remember and pray for all our departed priests and honor them for their services to the church members. This Sunday is set aside for that purpose. It's a great privilege to stand in the place of Jesus Christ and repeat the words that changed bread and wine into His Body and Blood in service for the faithful. Remembering and praying for them is an appropriate thing to do.
Gospel reading is from Mathew 24:42-51.
Subject: "The son of man will come at an hour when we do not expect him, so be ready."
Gospel Reading: (Mathew 24:42-51)
"42 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.
44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45 Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?
46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.
47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, My master is staying away a long time,
49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.
50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.
51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Many of us often experience difficulty in making important decisions. Some decisions are more difficult to make than others. Some may be life altering decisions.
One of the greatest abilities that separates us from other creatures is our ability to weigh factors, to ponder over differrent options and then make decisions and implement an action plan toward accomplishing those decisions.
As we look back, we find several important decisions we have already made: where to be educated, what major to select, where to be employed, whom to marry, where to live, what kind of dwelling we want, whom, where to send our children to school, what type of investments to make and so on. Many of these decisions were difficult to make and some were more difficult than others. Yes, there are effects that will flow from the choice that will be made and sometimes the effects can be incredibly great and sometimes unbelievably devastating. Ability to choose is central to human nature an conditioning. It is an important activity in our everyday life. When we make a choice, it ends the potential of other choices in that particular area. Whenever we say "Yes" to something, we are saying "No" to other possible choices.
Jesus tells us that if we start wrong in the first place, the rest of our lives will be in jeopardy. Jesus told his disciples about the kingdom of heaven and staying out of hell very clearly in the following parables.
1. This is the message Jesus tells of the wise and foolish servants in Mathew 24:44-51. The wise was ready for the return of the master. The foolish was not.
2. The message Jesus talks about the ten bridesmaids in Mathew 25:1-13. The wise ones were ready when the groom arrived and the foolish ones were not.
3. The message about the three servants and the bags of gold in Mathew 25:14-18. The two servants put the money to work and made more money for the master. The third had his in a hole in the ground. The first two were rewarded when the master returned. The third was unprepared and punished. Their choices were not equally good.
The fact about the second coming is the theme of Jesus' last sermon. Jesus did not tell when that day will be but described what the day would be like. It's a day no one will miss. Every person who has ever lived will be present at that final gathering. Every heart that has ever beat, every mouth that has ever spoken will be there on that day and everyone will be surrounded by a sea of people, rich poor, famous, unknown, kings, bums, brilliant, demented, all will be present. All will be looking at Jesus. Every human being.
Jesus describes this day with certainty. On his return, everyone will be judged. So, let's be ready for that day of judgment.
As we approach the celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection, this is the choice we have to make. Yes, we have the right to choose at will. But let's all make that choice very diligently so that we will live with it without tumbling our lives for ever.
by Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil