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Devotional thoughts for Sunday 14th Dec 03

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  • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
    Devotional thoughts for Sunday, 14th Dec 03 (Annunciation to St. Joseph) Reading: Gospel according to St. Matthew 1: 18-25 Dear and Respected Brethren, It is
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2003
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      Devotional thoughts for Sunday, 14th Dec 03
      (Annunciation to St. Joseph)

      Reading: Gospel according to St. Matthew 1: 18-25

      Dear and Respected Brethren,

      It is needless to explain the story of the Priests�
      selection of St. Joseph as the bridegroom of young
      St. Mary, who was brought up in the house of God
      till that day. We must bear in mind that St. Joseph
      had reached there to attend the meeting convened by
      the priests to select the bridegroom, not because
      of his eagerness to have a second married life, but
      only not to dishonor the instruction of the priests.
      It is said in the traditional faith that St. Joseph
      was reluctant to take St. Mary to his home even when
      the priests asked him to do so. Finally he was
      agreeing to take her with the determination to be her
      caretaker. According to the systems prevailed among
      the Jews in those days, if the bride was espoused to
      the groom, they were considered as husband and wife
      by others. In fact St. Joseph was a caretaker for not
      only St. Mary, but also for infant Jesus. St. Joseph
      had to overcome so many hardships, miseries and mental
      tortures for the sake of infant Jesus. He was so
      trustworthy in providing utmost care and protection
      for the young mother and infant Jesus. Considering his
      noble services and sacrifices, the Orthodox Church as
      a whole provides a high position for him and honor him
      with the title �Father of all unknown saints�.

      We read in St. Matthew 1: 19, �Then Joseph her husband,
      being a just man, and not willing to make her a pubic
      example, was minded to put her away privately.� While
      learning that she was carrying, he could have brought
      her before the hard and harsh rules of the religion.
      And as a result she could have been handed over for
      stoning till death. But he withdrew himself from such
      a thought and decision, as he longed not to make her
      a public example. He decided to put her away secretly.
      There was a backing of the law of the religion for
      such a decision. In Deuteronomy 24:1 we read, �when
      a man has taken a wife, and married her, and come to
      pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he
      has found some uncleanness in her; then let him write
      her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand,
      and send her out of his house�.

      In our lives, we all are interested in giving publicity
      for the bad deeds, thoughts or words of others. Those
      who are following such a system of life must get rid
      of it. Another important lesson from this portion is
      that we should not expect the act of God, prior to our
      own initiative. It is true that nothing is impossible
      to God and what all graces we get, we get them from
      God only. We should not forget the pre-condition to
      accept God�s abundant blessings. Remember the proverb
      in Malayalam �Than paathi, Daivam paathi�. Till I started
      the preparation of this portion, I also had a feeing
      that this proverb is not true. But now it is clear that
      the individual longing for the grace of God has to perform
      his own or her own responsibility. So there is no meaning
      in sitting idle saying that God would look after everything.
      Nothing would substitute God that is true. Our effort
      is to be exerted first and it should be strictly in
      accordance to the will of God. Then only we would receive
      the power and care of God Almighty. So for every good
      result our effort in the form of word, deed, or thought
      is a must, prior to God�s miraculous act. When Angel
      Gabriel convinced the reality of the pregnancy of St. Mary,
      when he did not doubt it. We all are very slow in accepting
      the words of others. Even when our prayers and petitions
      are there, if we hear about the good deeds, we would try
      to keep the memories in our minds. But we will not believe
      it. We would immediately think whether these things could
      be possible scientifically. We all are equally good in
      admitting that we all believe in God and his magnificent
      guidance But we must change our attitude that �we are not
      fools to believe such an event�. Faith has no link with
      wisdom. Faith could be achieved by anybody irrespective
      of the volume of wisdom. When we would invest faith in
      God, it must be cent per cent pure and holy. Many of us
      go after the future tellers like prophecy tellers
      Horoscope columnists etc. We must have a thorough
      knowledge about this type of worship.In verses 21, we
      read, �And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall
      call him JESUS, for he shall save his people from their
      sins�. Who is he to save his people from their sins? To
      find the answer kindly refer Genesis 49:10, Jeremiah 3:16,
      Daniel 9;24, acts 5:31.Jesus incarnated in this world to
      be with us. He only created us to live with Him. Are we
      willing to live with Him? Are we not interested to say
      that we are true Christians and whenever we want to do
      something for our selfish interests, are we not getting
      away from our Lord God. Jesus incarnated in this world
      and the world is celebrating the day of incarnation with
      the loving name �Christmas� Do any one think that the
      name of our savior Lord (Emmanuel) means �God is with
      us� as mentioned in verse 23. The world as a whole is
      anxiously looking forward for the joyous occasion Of
      happy Christmas and arrangements are underway for the
      celebrations. The purpose and intentions of the people
      waiting for Christmas are also vivid and varied like
      their dissimilarities of many aspects. Some business
      oriented, irrespective of religion and nationality are
      waiting to add fortunes to their savings. Some innocent,
      all over the world, irrespective of their faith and
      religion, consider the season as a real festive one for
      enjoyment. But the intention of a real Christian is to
      worship our Lord God and to renew the acceptance of Him
      as the Lord and savior. It is more important and necessary
      to honor the day of blessed incarnation than the worldly
      celebrations. We cannot ignore the question of our Lord
      to each faithful on earth, "What is your plan in
      celebrating this year's Christmas".

      May God bless us all.

      Jose Kurian Puliyeril
      St. George Orthodox Church
      Abu Dhabi
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