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Devotional thougts for 4th Sunday after Pentecost - 27th June 04

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  • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
    Reading: Gospel according to St. Luke 10:1-16 Dear and Respected Brethren, Verse 1 says that our Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2004
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      Reading: Gospel according to St. Luke 10:1-16

      Dear and Respected Brethren,

      Verse 1 says that our Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two
      and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would
      come. From the usage 70 also, it is clear that some one else were sent
      before sending the 70. In St. Matthew 10:1 we find that our Lord had sent
      the 12 Apostles to all the cities in search of the lost sheep of Israel. The
      Holy Church still maintains the authority to serve the sacraments with the
      appointed few. Now there are many who question such blessed traditions and
      practices, which were maintained in our midst with much concern. Imitating
      others has become a fashion among the faithful of the Episcopal churches
      also. So they encourage the laymen to lead prayers even in the presence of
      the clergy. The modern clergy also allow the laity to carry out prayers in
      the prayer meetings and all. Such practices, which are against our
      tradition, are to be abolished at the earliest, to maintain the discipline.

      Verse 2 explains the statement of our Lord �The harvest truly is great, but
      the laborers are few: you pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he
      would send forth laborers into his harvest�. Our Lord�s same call could be
      seen in St. Matthew 9:37-38. In St. John 4:35 we read, �say not you there
      are yet four months, and then comes the Harvest. Behold, I say unto you,
      lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to
      harvest.� St. Paul is of the opinion that being a laborer is a right of the
      children of God so he says in his first epistle to Corinthians (Ch. 4 Vs 9)
      that, �For we are laborers together with God, you are God�s husbandry, you
      are God�s building. In Jeremiah 3:15 we could find a promise from the Lord
      God. There we read �And I will give you pastors according to mine heart,
      which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding�. So we should not
      forget that we all have got a duty to ask our Lord for the right
      pastors/clergy. Now a days almost all of us are interested in criticizing
      the clergy without seeking the help of Lord. St. Paul explains God�s
      arrangement of the administrative system in the Holy church. In I
      Corinthians 12: 28 we read, �And God has set some in the church, first
      Apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then
      gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues�.

      In verse 3 our Lord compares the laborers of Gospel as lamb. He says �Behold
      I send you forth as lambs among wolves�. We know well that if a lamb would
      appear before a wolf, immediately the wolf would eat the lamb. The goats and
      sheep are very particular animals. They have so many peculiarities than many
      similar animals. They are generally very humble, obedient and loving. Our
      Lord expected and still expects the good qualities of a lamb from a laborer
      of the gospel. A lamb will be very particular in obeying its
      master/shepherd. It knows the voice of its shepherd. A loving lamb won�t run
      away from its shepherd. So it will be near the presence of its shepherd. The
      shepherd often takes out sheep and goats. So the laborer who is sent forward
      must be bearing in mind that he/she is in the visibility of his or her
      master. If the shepherd is with the sheep, no wolf could attack.
      Verse 4 forbids the laborers from caring the personal belongings even while
      going ahead with the mission. What is the attitude of the present day
      laborers? We all maintain a certain standard for the clergy and if someone
      is not up to that standard will we accept them?

      Verse 5 instructs the laborers to wish the peace of God to the house wherein
      they might enter. Peace is the gift of God. If someone accepts a worker of
      God, he accepts God. So he would get the greatest blessing of peace.

      Verse 6 In all houses prominence wont be there for God. The people of such
      houses might be living, as they like without any sort of principles. In such
      houses God�s peace and blessings wont stay long.

      Verse 7 Our Lord reminds that the laborer is worthy for his food and drink
      and allows him to have from the house of real faithful.

      Verse 8 Our Lord entrust the laborer to stay in the city, which might accept
      him and honor him.

      Verse 9 empowers the laborer to heal the sick and to teach about the kingdom
      of God.

      Let us think in our minds that we have a responsibility regarding the
      harvest. We must try to bring up good laborers from our midst and send them
      forward for the task. We all have a great responsibility of praying for the
      clergy who are serving the Holy Church. Our Holy Eucharist ends with the
      request from the celebrant �pray for us for ever and ever�. We usually hear
      through one ear and leaves out the same through the other ear. The clergy do
      pray for the entire faithful. At the same time we must pray for the clergy.
      Then only the prayers of the clergy would be meaningful and effective. We
      are in the habit of talking in high pitch about the traditions and past
      events, but usually we ignore the worthy things to be remembered. Our clergy
      wear the black colored dress (Karutha Kuppayam) whenever they come for the
      sacrament/common prayer. It is to show that they are representatives of our
      Lord Jesus who carried the sins of the world. The clergy are supposed to
      pray for the entire mankind in general and the congregation in particular.
      Whenever a priest/Bishop is administering a sacrament or leading a prayer,
      the congregation as a whole must support him with our prayers.

      May God be pleased in our prayers and bless us all.

      Jose Kurian Puliyeril
      St. George Orthodox Church
      Abu Dhabi
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