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Devotional thoughts for Sunday 2nd Feb 04 (4th Sunday after Denaha/Epipany)

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  • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
    Devotional thoughts for Sunday, 1st Feb 04. (4th Sunday after Denaha/Epiphany), Entrance of our Lord to the temple and the three days Lent. Reading: Gospel
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2004
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      Devotional thoughts for Sunday, 1st Feb 04. (4th Sunday after
      Denaha/Epiphany), Entrance of our Lord to the temple and the three days
      Lent.

      Reading: Gospel according to St. Mark 6: 1-6, St. Luke 2: 22-40, 12: 54- 13:
      9

      Dear and Respected Brethren,

      In the prescribed reading of the day, we come across the humiliation of the
      people who have seen our Lord from the very childhood. They were so sure of
      our Lord�s identity and details. But they were blind enough to see our Lord
      as He was. They were sure about our Lord�s mother and they did not bother
      who his father was. As we could read in the prophecy of Isaiah 53:2-3, He
      had neither form nor comeliness. And he was without beauty in him so that we
      might desire him. We often claim that we are part and parcel of the body of
      Christ our Lord. But in fact are we different from the people of Nazareth?
      In reality we are not much different from them as we also are far behind in
      accepting Him as our Lord and God. One who has accepted Jesus, as his/her
      Lord and God will never try to live away from him, where as his/her
      intention will be to live with him and like him. See the first verse of the
      reading. �And he went out from there, and came into his own country; and his
      disciples follow him�. We could find similar events in St. Matthew 13:54,
      and St. Luke 4:16. Lord God is among us always and if he would have a
      special appearance in which we could see him face to face with our naked
      eyes, would we be ready to accept him as our Lord God. We must think about
      it. Or would we be talking and thinking about the normal Church politics,
      which forces us to be away from God. Kindly think where we are and what is
      our normal concern about our Lord God. In verse 3, we read, �Is not this the
      Carpenter, the son of Mary�? That is why St. Paul is telling in I
      Corinthians 1:23 that the name of our Lord was a stumbling block to the Jews
      and foolishness to the Greeks. Here we should not forget the fact that the
      Jews were God�s own people, the selected people of Jehovah. Still the name
      of Jesus was a stumbling block to them. The Greeks of those days were
      considered as the wisest men of the time. Still the name of Jesus was
      foolishness to them. We must be grateful to God for the mercy of generating
      us as children of Christian parents. In fact that is the only reason for us
      to remain as members of the Holy Church. We must long and desire for the
      privilege of being members of the Church and we must be cautious of our high
      position. Let us try to leave away the war of words and try to be more close
      to the call for which we all are blessed. In Verse 6 we read, �he marveled
      because of their unbelief�. Being the members of the Holy church we must
      have true and real faith in our Savior and we should not be unlike the Jews
      of those days. While meditating this portion, we should not forget the
      message of Prophet Isaiah in his book, chapter 59: 1-2. �Behold the Lord�s
      hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, neither his ear is heavy, that
      it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
      and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear�. So let us
      examine our own lives and make sure whether we are near him or far away from
      him. If one makes sure that he or she is away from God, let him or her have
      the real repentance and the Holy confession.

      When we commemorate the entry of infant Jesus to the temple for the first
      time, we remember all the aged and weak. We have separated this day as �the
      day of the old aged�. We must love and express our love to our aged ones. We
      must pray for all the aged around the world. On this day we remember Simeon
      and Hanna, the representatives of thousands who waited throughout their
      lives for the savior. We should not forget that in our personal lives also,
      we must have a desire to meet our Lord and to adore him. We must have a
      special preparation from one Sunday till the next when and where we could
      see our Lord God face to face. We see our Lord Jesus, we taste him, and have
      the abide ness with him though the Holy Eucharist. So all the faithful are
      hereby earnestly solicited to make it a point to receive the Holy Eucharist
      whenever possible.

      The three days lent of this year will be from 2nd to 4th Feb. From the end
      of the three days lent to the beginning of the great Lent , there is a gap
      of 18 days. One of the Sundays of this 18 days is dedicated to all the
      departed clergy and another Sunday is dedicated to all departed souls. The
      great Lent is a battle with Satan and the evil powers. These 18 days are
      meant for our spiritual preparation to enter the great lent which ends with
      the Passion Week. While remembering all the departed souls and the clergy,
      we are seeking their assistance, company and support for our battle with the
      evil spirits. The three days lent (where we remember the message of Jonah to
      the natives of Ninevah and their immediate response to the prophet�s
      caution) is known as the lent of repentance. It is high time for us also to
      cry aloud as the natives of Ninevah. During the Sunday prayers we sing
      �Ninuvayarodundaya Kopam,
      Niaviliyaal Nee Neekiyallo� May God strengthen us to observe these days as
      they should be. May God grant us good spiritual strength and stamina. May
      God bless us all.

      Jose Kurian Puliyeril
      St. George Orthodox Church
      Abu Dhabi
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