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Devotional thoughts for Sunday – 11th Jan 04

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  • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
    Reading: Gospel According to St. Matthew 4:12-22. Dear and Respected Brethren, In verse 17 we read, From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, repent:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2004
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      Reading: Gospel According to St. Matthew 4:12-22.

      Dear and Respected Brethren,

      In verse 17 we read, "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to
      say, repent:
      for the kingdom of God is at hand". Let us turn our attention St.
      Matthew 3:3 to
      see from which time our Lord started his sermons/gospel work. For
      this he that
      was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, " The voice of one
      crying in the
      wilderness, you prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths
      straight." It is
      very clear that our Lord had started His function only when his way
      was prepared
      and the paths were made straight. A visitor could come to our homes
      easily when
      paths are clear and straight. If Christ our Lord has to come to our
      hearts, we
      must first prepare the paths and clear them well. The paths must be
      straight
      and attractive.

      The message of our Lord, the first one during His blessed public
      mission was the
      repetition of the message of his forerunner, St. John the Baptist.
      (Refer St.
      Matthew 2: 2 to see what was the message of St. John the Baptist)
      According to
      Eastern Church Fathers, repentance is the freedom from selfishness.
      Selfishness
      is considered as the mother of all sorts of evil thoughts and
      desires. Our Lord
      insisted that one who would like to believe in the Gospel of
      salvation, after a
      good repentance. If we could leave away all sorts of selfishness, we
      could be
      holy. When St. John exhorted to repent, many took baptism of
      repentance. We must
      follow such faithful who had repented.

      Kindly note verse 19-20 and 22. There we find the call of our Lord.
      See how
      Peter and Andrew, as well as James and John They all left their tools,
      equipments of their profession and went after the called. In vs.20 we
      read,
      "they straight away left their nets and followed him. They had no
      sentiments to
      the net and boat, which had fed them and their dependants till
      then. How many
      times our Lord has called us From the first day we are carrying our
      savings and
      occupation alike and trying to follow our Lord. Where as the first
      disciples
      left what all they had with them and even their close relatives and
      went after
      our Lord. Our Lord is expecting a same sort of exodus from us also.
      We must
      forget and forsake what we have, if we want to follow our Lord in
      full sense.
      Otherwise we will also have the future of Lot's wife, who was turned
      as a pillar
      of salt, for disobeying God (and loving the earthly riches) Genesis
      19:26. Our
      Lord exhorts us to remember Lot's wife in St. Luke 17:32 We all are
      called by
      God and He is still calling us by our pet names. He wants to abide in
      us and
      with us. Our Lord is telling each and every one of us, "make haste
      and come
      down, for today I must abide at your house". Just think how many of
      us could
      react positively to our Lord's call. We must have a desire and
      longing to
      declare as Zacchaeus did "Behold Lord, the half of my goods I give to
      the poor,
      and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I
      restore him
      fourfold"

      In Verse 16 we read, "The people which sat in darkness saw great
      light; and to
      them which sat in the region of shadow of death light is sprung up."
      (Please
      refer Isaiah 4:4, Malachi 3:2, Acts 2:3, Titus 3:5) and decide
      whether we are
      still in darkness or in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. We
      have to shine
      ourselves. We are called for shining in darkness and to eradicate
      darkness from
      our surroundings.

      May God bless us all.
      Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
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