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Devotional thoughts for 9th Sunday after Pentecost -1st Aug 2004

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  • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
    Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Luke 14: 7-11. Dear and Respected Brethren, In this small portion of devotion, St. Luke is narrating our Lord�����s
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2004
      Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Luke 14: 7-11.

      Dear and Respected Brethren,

      In this small portion of devotion, St. Luke is narrating our Lord�s attempt
      to teach a great lesson through a parable, as He saw how others were
      selecting the chief rooms on the basis that they were invited for the
      function. We have to evaluate the incident in the light of our devotional
      thought of last week, rather than in the light of a social custom. Last week
      we have seen that our Lord�s offer of His own flesh and blood, were real
      invitations to the heavenly feast, organized and arranged by the Heavenly
      Father. Our Lord God invites us all to attend the heavenly feast to develop
      and to bind us together in the love of God. When a faithful accepts the
      invitation, he or she is being united with God the Father as well as with
      the entire flock of faithful. Suppose we are getting ready to attend the
      heavenly feast. Most of us attend all weekly Holy Eucharist. Do we keep a
      feeling that we are attending the Holy Eucharist as our Father in Heaven
      invites us? When we go to church every week, what is our thought? Most of us
      are keeping one aim of seeing others and being seen by others. Our Lord
      Jesus taught us that the Holy Eucharist is the heavenly and spiritual feast
      arranged by our Father in Heaven. The bread from heaven gives life to the
      faithful. (St John 6: 32-33)

      The parable taught by our Lord is to be meditated by us all. See the
      teaching of Lord Jesus. �When you are bidden, go and sit down in the lowest
      room� (Verses 10) Our Lord wants us to have humility as a sign of our lives.
      �The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom and before honor is
      humility� (Proverbs 15:33) In our mother tongue there was a famous saying
      �one must have either fear of God or of man�. The modern man is not afraid
      of God or of his own fellowmen. Solomon the wise again says �before
      destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility�
      (Proverbs 18:12). The modern man is not sure that he is standing on the edge
      of destruction and hence he keeps his heart at the top level of haughtiness.
      He has no time to listen to the teaching of our Lord regarding the eternal
      life. We could find so many small groups of intellectuals under the shades
      of the trees in the Church compound when the heavenly feast is going on in
      the Church. What would be their interests and aims? In almost all our
      Churches, there was a small door on the main entrance on the western side
      and entrance to the church was meant through it only, even if the wide doors
      on sides were kept open. It was to show our humbleness, by bowing a little
      before God Almighty. At the moment this type of door are out of sight. Even
      if we are entering through the wide doors, we must humble ourselves and say
      the prayer before entering the Church by making the sign of cross. While
      entering the Church, a faithful is accepting the invitation to partake the
      royal, heavenly and highly spiritual feast. After entering the Church our
      attention must be to the prayers, hymns and sayings of the celebrant and the
      team assisting him. While attending the Holy Eucharist there is no question
      of chief seats or lowest seats. The high and low or chief or lowest etc are
      in hearts only. By controlling our hearts and thoughts we could do justice
      to the teaching of our Lord. During the service we could listen to many
      exhortations like �at this moment our thoughts, minds and hearts must be on
      the right side of our Father in heaven, where our Lord Jesus is seated�. We
      have to reply such exhortations meaningfully and must do as we confess. One
      who keeps the humbleness only do it meaningfully.

      In Verse 11, we read, �For whosoever exalts himself shall be abased and he
      that humbles himself shall be exalted�. Kindly read Job 22:29, Psalms
      18:27, Proverbs 29:23, St. Matthew 23:12, St. Luke 18:14, St. James 4:6, and
      I St. Peter 5:5

      Let us try to adopt humbleness as an unavoidable virtue of our lives. During
      these days we meditate more on the life of St. Mary, mother of God. She is
      the noblest example of being a perfect devotee who could be a prefect
      humble. Let the prayers and intercessions of St. Mary mother of God and the
      blessed Apostles help us to achieve more and more humbleness in our lives,
      in the real word, deed and thought.

      May God bless us all.
      Jose Kurian Puliyeril
      St. George Orthodox Church
      Abu Dhabi
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