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Devotional thoughts for the Sunday of all departed Clergy – 23rd Jan 05

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  • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
    Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Matthew 24; 42-51 Dear and Respected Brethren, We are considering the 18 days from the three days fasting till the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 20, 2005
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      Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Matthew 24; 42-51

      Dear and Respected Brethren,

      We are considering the 18 days from the three days fasting till the
      beginning of the great Lent as the days of great preparation. The Christian
      faithful are always compared to soldiers, as we have to fight with the Satan
      and his evil powers. �For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
      against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
      this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places�. (Ephesians 6:12).
      For the preparation of the warfare, we make all sorts of arrangements,
      including taking the favor of the entire departed clergy and laymen. The
      church Fathers have arranged one Sunday for the departed clergy and another
      Sunday for all the departed faithful. Why the Holy Church is strictly
      following these two Sundays every year prior to the entry into the great
      Lent? We are intended to meditate on the spiritual lives of our departed
      ones so as we could copy down the attractive lines in our lives and also to
      seek their intercession in our mission of fighting with the evil. It is
      believed that all the departed ones will also join us and help us in the
      fight against the evil forces during our great Lent.

      Today�s reading starts with the warning to wait. In verse 42 we read, �Watch
      therefore: for you do not know what hour your Lord does come�. We the
      faithful are the selected and separated ones to wait for our Lord�s coming.
      Our Lord has expressed the uncertainty of the time. We do not know the time
      and hence we are supposed to wait for it. The psalmist says lavishly about
      the waiting for the Lord. See Psalms 25:3, 69:6, 27:14, 37:34, 33:20, 40:1,
      62:1, 130:6, 65:1. 104:27, 145:15, 123:2. In Lamentations 3:26 we read,
      �good that a man hope and quietly wait�. Prophet Hosea advises to wait on
      your God continually. (Hosea 12:6) In Micah 7:7 we read, �I will wait for
      God of my salvation�. There is no other way other than wait for our Lord. If
      we do not wait with patience, we will have the same effect of the unwise
      virgins. In St. Luke 12:35 to 40 we could read the instructions of our Lord
      Jesus regarding the waiting. While our Lord asks us to �sell that you have,
      and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in
      heavens that fail not, where no thief approaches nor moth corrupts� (St.
      Luke 12:33) He is teaching us a great lesson, a basic need of waiting. We
      have to reserve some treasure in heaven, then only our hearts will remain
      there in heaven. If we wait without our heart, what is the use? Kindly read
      and meditate St. Luke 12: 34, where we read, �For where your treasure is,
      there will your heart be also�. Our Lord makes it clear that we have to make
      some or other savings in heaven through our acts and deeds of alms giving.
      Then we could wait for the Lord God as God wishes. The ones who are earning
      treasures in heaven are the wise faithful referred in verse 45. Again in
      verse 46 we read, �Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he comes
      shall find so doing�. At last all will not be considered as blessed
      servants. Our Lord has made it clear in St. Matthew 7:21, where we read �Not
      every one that says unto me �Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
      heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven�. What is
      our average understanding about the will of God? All of us might have our
      own definitions or explanations and we must be satisfied in our doings
      saying that we are doing the will of God. The Holy Scriptures instructs us
      to love God and man. This is the base of our spirituality. If we do love God
      and love our fellowmen, it is the will of God. If one loves God really, he
      or she will not be and cannot be selfish. Selfishness forbids us from loving
      our fellowmen as God wishes. We might be happy in praying for long time for
      the poor, needy and downtrodden. We must be happy in donating splendidly
      where we would get good news coverage, including in the visual medias. We
      should not forget that charity must begin at home. We all forget this fact
      conveniently. The Churches in the present day are also in the forefront to
      get maximum publicity when a need faces the society. The Churches must do
      positively when calamities and hazards might come among the society. But we
      should not forget that there are so many needy poor guys among us. The
      Churches must take the responsibility about caring its own poor and needy.
      The initiative must come up from the root level. May God strengthen us and
      guide us to do His will in our daily Church as well as private lives.

      The verses from 47 to 51 say about the experiences of the ones who disobey
      God�s instructions especially the final order to wait for Him. Let us
      examine whether our lives are in lines with the teachings of our Lord. Let
      us make sure that we are doing the will of God in our lives daily. If not
      let us rectify our style of lives. Many of us have observed the 3 days
      fasting, listened to the devotional talks and must have desired to live with
      our Lord, doing His will. We must hate sin as and when we decide not to do
      sins in our lives. We all desire to have a virtuous life always, especially
      after a good fasting or after listening a good sermon/convention speech. But
      we could not leave away the companionship with our sins. So again we fall
      into the grip of sins. To avoid such a condition, we must train up our minds
      to hate the sins forever and ever. Then only we could attain a permanent
      freedom from certain sins that forbid our life in our Lord. Let us try to
      live in Him, who has kindly offered a co-existence. Let us make use of the
      facilities available in the Holy Church for the purpose.
      Let us pray for all our departed clergy and seek their continued

      May God bless us all.

      Jose Kurian Puliyeril
      St. George Orthodox Church
      Abu Dhabi
      Member ID # 0905
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