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"Ettu Nombu" in the Jacobite Syrian Church

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  • Fr. George Mathew Nalunnakkal
    The Eight Days-Lent, although not a canonical lent in the Syrian Orthodox church, enjoys a distinctive place in the life of our church today. The Roman
    Message 1 of 69 , Aug 30, 2003
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      The Eight Days-Lent, although not a canonical lent in the
      Syrian Orthodox church, enjoys a distinctive place in the
      life of our church today. The Roman Catholic Church also
      observes this lent with much enthusiasm and devotion. This
      lent is a celebration of the role of St. Mary in the divine
      economy of salvation, through God's incarnation in Christ,
      and thereby her part in our salvation history as well.

      As there had been some excellent and enlightening postings on
      the Syrian Orthodox teaching on Mariology in the forum, I have
      no intent to go into those details all over again here. I shall,
      instead, focus on a couple of aspects of Mariology that are
      relevant for us today.

      Rev. 12:2 reads as follows:

      "Now a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the
      sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of
      twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and
      in pain to give birth"

      This vision of John is a vision that we all need to see in our
      church life. Church Fathers have interpreted this vision from a
      Mariological perspective. According to them, the woman clothed
      with the Sun here is none other than "Our Lady" and the Sun is
      Jesus Christ himself. The twelve stars in the garland represent
      the twelve apostles. In other words, it is a beautiful vision
      of the Church where Jesus is with the Mother and the Apostles.

      The Mother here is in absolute pain. In fact, she bears the pain
      and sufferings of the entire humanity. But beyond, she has also
      been instrumental in offering the solution for this affliction
      of humanity-Jesus Christ. Mary has an amazing propensity to
      carry forward our sufferings and needs to her son, our savior
      and Lord. The miracle at Cana is a great example of the efficacy
      of Mary's intercessions. Mary always showed a unique sensitivity
      to the needs and concerns of the poor and the weak, as her song,
      the Magnificat (Lk:1) so lucidly portrays.

      As we read in Rev.12: 13-17, the serpent has been trying to
      persecute her. But the earth was there to look after her.
      We see contemporary incarnations of such serpents around us
      that are trying to degrade the name and significance of St. Mary.
      But for us, the believers of the Syrian Church, St. Mary is our
      pride and fortress.

      One of the most striking features of `Ettu Nombu', as I look at
      it, has been the increasing participation of non-Syrians and
      non-Christians in this Lent. I see this as a very positive and
      equally encouraging sign. Most of us tend to be very exclusive
      in our attitudes towards people from the so-called `lower castes'
      and other non-Syrian sections of people. (Forgive me if I sounded
      somewhat judgmental here) At least during `Ettu Nombu' season,
      non-Syrians and other caste people are allowed to come to our
      churches and offer prayers. (May be we are only interested in
      their offerings (money). I think, it's time we broke some of
      these narrow and exclusive mind sets and prejudices, and opened
      the doors of our churches to all those who have a spiritual thirst
      within them for the divine. Jesus Christ and his Mother certainly
      exemplified this inclusive openness in their words and deeds. May
      the `Ettu Nombu' this year be a time of transformation in our lives
      and a blessing for all. I join all of you in the intercessions of
      the Mother of God. May God bless all of us through her
      intercessions.

      Fr. George Mathew Nalunnakkal
    • Malankara Voice
      1. www.catholicose.org -- biography of the Shresta Catholicose H.B. Mor Baselios Paulose II Bava thirumeni. 2. 129th Dhukrono of Yuyakkim Mor Koorilose Bava
      Message 69 of 69 , Aug 31, 2003
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        1. www.catholicose.org -- biography of the Shresta Catholicose
        H.B. Mor Baselios Paulose II Bava thirumeni.

        2. 129th Dhukrono of Yuyakkim Mor Koorilose Bava on September 1st
        [Chingam 20 perunnal of Mulanthuruthy)
        http://www.geocities.com/malankarav5/DhukronoYuyakkimMor.htm

        For more Links, visit:
        http://www.geocities.com/malankarav5/news_section.htm
        http://malankara.cjb.net/
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