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Spiritual Words.

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  • Mark Sadek
    CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! Therefore He said elsewhere also, `Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up: and, `The days will come
    Message 1 of 17 , May 25, 2006
      CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!

      "Therefore He said elsewhere also, `Destroy this temple, and in three days I
      will raise it up:' and, `The days will come when the Bridegroom shall be
      taken away from them:' and here, `There shall no sign be given it, but the
      sign of Jonas the prophet:' declaring both that He should die for them, and
      that they would profit nothing; for this He afterwards declared.
      Nevertheless, even with this knowledge He died: so great was His tender
      care. For to hinder thy supposing that the result would be such with the
      Jews as with the Ninevites; that they would be converted, and that as in
      thier case He established the tottering city, and converted the barbarians,
      so these too should turn unto Him after His resurrection."

      St. John Chrysostom.

      --------------------------------------------------------------

      "I cry out with my whole heart; Hear me, O Lord! I will keep Your statutes.
      I cry out to You; Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies." Psalms
      119:145-146

      ---------------------------------------------------------------
    • SOCM News Bureau
      Raipur (AsiaNews/CBCI) ����� The government of the central state of Chattisgarh, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party ����� BJP, India s largest political party
      Message 2 of 17 , May 27, 2006
        Raipur (AsiaNews/CBCI) � The government of the central state of
        Chattisgarh, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party � BJP, India's largest
        political party with national-fundamentalist leanings � has declared
        its intention to approve a law "penalizing those who change their
        faith without informing the authorities".

        According to the bill, people wishing to change religion must inform
        the district magistrate a month in advance. The penalty for those
        violating the law, including those who convert people forcibly, could
        be between 50,000 and a 100,000 rupees and imprisonment up to five
        years. The bill is set to be passed into law during the State
        Assembly's monsoon session (June � July).

        Freedom of religion, which allows people to profess and propagate
        their religion, has been enshrined in Article 25 of the Indian
        Constitution. The Chattisgarh government said the law "is not against
        the provisions laid down in the Constitution".

        The introduction of this "anti-conversion law" was explicitly
        requested by the national BJP chief, Rajnath Singh, who ordered all
        governments where his party has a majority to bring in "legislation
        forcefully punishing conversions".

        During a political meeting on 11 April, Singh said: "I have asked all
        leaders to ensure anti-conversion laws are adopted in all our states,
        to destroy the plans of Christian missionaries. The government of
        Jharkhand is ready with such a resolution and I invited Raman Singh,
        prime minister of Chhattisgarh, to go down this road."

        Right now, seven states of the Union have anti-conversion laws:
        however, in the last two weeks, the governor of Rajasthan sent a
        similar bill back the State Assembly without signing it, and the new
        government of Tamil Nadu has announced its intention of scrapping its
        anti-conversion law.
      • Madhu Chandra
        Hi Friends, Present agitation against OBC quota sparkled by Medicos has mounted up leaving tough situation for UPA. If any Christian India having thinking
        Message 3 of 17 , May 27, 2006
          Hi Friends,

          Present agitation against OBC quota sparkled by Medicos has mounted
          up leaving tough situation for UPA.

          If any Christian India having thinking about Christian Dalit
          reservation of which a case is pending in Supreme Court of India with
          next hearing on July 12, will have some connection with present OBC
          27% quota proposed by Union HRD Minister - Mr. Arjun Singh.

          There can be some sequences of quota ladder. Wining or loosing 27%
          OBC Quota will affect the prevailing SC/ST Reservation. I say this
          because upper caste present campaign is not only against 27% OBC
          quota but whole aspect of quota system in India is to be debated to
          seek possibility of scraping.

          Wining or loosing 27% OBC Quota will affect the demand of SC/ST
          reservation in private sectors. Private sector owners are deathly
          against in considering giving reservation to SC/ST in their private
          sectors.

          Winning or loosing 27% OBC Quota will affect the demand of Christian
          Dalits and Muslim Dalits status of Scheduled Caste for those who come
          from same background.

          Therefore, we as Christian leaders, where does our stand lay for
          those believing brothers and sisters who come from SC and OBC
          background?

          Please find the article below by Subodh Ghildiyal addressing of
          Christian and Muslim Dalits reservation. Thank you.

          Madhu Chandra
          Member ID 0865
          -----------------------------------------------------------

          Quota for Dalit Christians/Muslims?

          Subodh Ghildiyal

          [ Saturday, May 27, 2006 01:59:34 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

          NEW DELHI: In the middle of the bitter quota war, a contentious
          debate for granting Scheduled Caste status - and, therefore,
          reservation benefits - to Hindu converts to Islam and Christianity
          will be out in public domain as the national commission entrusted
          with the task begins to explore the expert view.

          Top academicians and activists will brainstorm during a seminar at
          the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai) to bring out different
          viewpoints that divide sociologists from religious doctrinaires.

          With the matter pending before Supreme Court, government handed over
          the issue of Dalit Christians to the National Commission on Religious
          and Linguistic Minorities, which in turn asked TISS to hold the
          seminar.

          Likely to come out of the tight academic fold are views on caste
          prevailing among two religions which do not recognise a system
          exclusive to Hinduism. Only this time, as an official says, academic
          views will have implications for an eventual decision on the fate of
          those known as Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims.

          At stake for the proponents and opponents of the campaign is facility
          of job reservation to Dalits and tribals. And the opinion among
          Dalits is divided. A section feels that a wider SC segment with the
          inclusion of those from two religions will strengthen their political
          voice. They also feel the ground situation is different from the
          textbook position that Islam and Christianity do not have caste
          system and the latter do suffer from caste prejudices. But another
          line of thought says that new entrants will encroach upon their
          welfare pie. The fear is that well-placed Dalits among Christians
          will eat into the 15% job and educational quota available to SCs and
          the entry of Muslims, not as threatening as Christians, will increase
          competition for the already deprived beneficiaries.

          Those fighting for the SC claim are, however, pushing the argument
          that how could Christian and Muslim Dalits be barred from reservation
          benefits when those among Buddhists and Sikhs were enjoying the same,
          as ordered by a 1950 order.

          They are harping on untouchability, the cornerstone of SC status.
          Vincent Manoharan of National Council for Dalit Human Rights says the
          belief that Christianity doesn't accept caste is removed from
          reality.

          The third pressure group constitutes Hindutva activists who are
          against the move of extending reservations to Dalits outside the
          existing fold of Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism. They argue such a
          move will encourage conversions.

          Government, on its part, has shown a preference for status quo.
          Treating the issue as sensitive, it felt that accepting
          discriminatory untouchability in global and non-casteist religions
          like Islam and Christianity could lead to objections from overseas.
          The issue of giving SC status among Muslims is already pending before
          five different high courts. The Cabinet Committee on Political
          Affairs had discussed the issue in detail in August 2005.
        • Mark Sadek
          CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! Once again Psalm Eighty-Nine describes the impermanence of our human nature in order to win over God s mercy. It clearly
          Message 4 of 17 , May 28, 2006
            CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!

            "Once again Psalm Eighty-Nine describes the impermanence of our human nature
            in order to win over God's mercy. It clearly teaches us by examples to be
            mindful of the afflictions of our nature both in the morning and evening,
            that is to say, in our youth and old age. Grass and flowers which are alive
            in the morning have passed away [by evening]. Next, the plant's moisture
            which exists at the prime of life dries up and looses its blossom once its
            innate beauty has evaporated while the rest of the plant dries up and
            withers away. The psalm thus describes our human nature by saying, 'In the
            morning let is flower and pass away; in the evening let it droop; let it be
            withered and dried up.' Such is our human nature."

            St. Gregory of Nyssa.

            --------------------------------------------------------------

            "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he
            will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap
            corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap
            everlasting life." Galatians 6:7-8

            ---------------------------------------------------------------
          • Fr. Mathew Thomas Edathara
            Dearly Beloved Moderators and Friends: By the Grace of God almighty, the faithful members of St. George Syrian Orthodox Church of Charlotte, NC cordially
            Message 5 of 17 , May 29, 2006
              Dearly Beloved Moderators and Friends:

              By the Grace of God almighty, the faithful members of St. George Syrian Orthodox Church of Charlotte, NC cordially invite you, your family and church members to attend the consecration of our church. Our Lord blesses each and everyone of us in various ways, our personal blessing was received on January 28, 2006 when our first Holy Qurbano was conducted here in Charlotte, by His Eminence, Mor Titus Yeldho. It was then that we received the name of St. George Syrian Orthodox Church. Our next big blessing came as we were able to buy a place of our own, a place to call our own church. Our Lord has continued to bless us immensely as we have worked to renovate the building into Our Lord's home.

              We Personally request your presence at the consecration of our church, to be held on Saturday, June 17th, and Sunday June 18th, 2006, and officiated by His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldo. We request your prayers and support on this momentous occasion for our parish. May God Continue to bless all of us through the intercessory prayers of our patron Saint, St. George.

              To view program notice, please visit
              http://socmnet.org/notice_StGeorge_charlotte.jpg

              Sincerely
              Your Servant In Christ Our Lord,

              Fr. Mathew Thomas Edathara ( Vicar)
              Fr. Bijo Mathew (Assistant Vicar)
              Member # 2305
            • Mark Sadek
              CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! It is impossible for the mind to remain undisturbed by thoughts, but anyone serious about the matter can certainly permit
              Message 6 of 17 , May 30, 2006
                CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!

                "It is impossible for the mind to remain undisturbed by thoughts, but anyone
                serious about the matter can certainly permit them entry or drive them away,
                and although their origin does not lie entirely under our control we can
                choose to approve of them and so adopt them."

                St. John Cassian.

                --------------------------------------------------------------

                "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to
                those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10

                ---------------------------------------------------------------
              • H.B Catholicose Basalious Thomas 1st
                Our most beloved moderators of SOCM Forum and all members of the Forum - the Holy Benediction in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to you all Our Dear
                Message 7 of 17 , May 31, 2006
                  Our most beloved moderators of SOCM Forum and all members of the Forum - the Holy Benediction in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to you all

                  Our Dear Children,

                  Our prayers are with the SOCM-Forum which has through the internet promoted knowledge of the rites, traditions, and faith of the Universal Syriac Church exploiting technologies of this modern age, while owing full allegience to the Holy Church. Those who have worked for this good endeavor are to be congratulated; may God bless them with good reward for their efforts. It gives us much joy that, through this enterprise, future generations will receive spiritual encouragement, nurture their faith, and rooted in the traditions of the Holy Church in this modern era they will become witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ

                  From 2006 May 25 to June 4, the Holy Church commemorates the ascension and like the 120 or so faithful who congregated at the house in Zehyon, awaits the coming of the promised Holy Spirit. Those days marked the beginning of the Holy Church, as our early fathers showed us in those days, may we and the Holy Church renew ourselves spiritually through prayer and meditation.

                  May GOD bless you all

                  Basalious Thomas 1st Catholicose

                  Patriarchal center
                  Puthenkurizu
                  19 May 2006

                  To view the message in Malayalam (Original), please visit our homepage http://www.socmnet.org
                • Malankara Voice
                  Jacobite Church plea to government [The New Indian Express, Wednesday May 31 2006] ALUVA: The new government should take the initiative to restore peace
                  Message 8 of 17 , May 31, 2006
                    Jacobite Church plea to government

                    [The New Indian Express, Wednesday May 31 2006]

                    ALUVA: The new government should take the initiative to restore peace between Jacobite and Orthodox Churches and also accept the existence of two Churches namely Jacobite and Orthodox, the managing committee meeting of the Jacobite Church has said.

                    At its meeting at Puthencruz on Monday, the committee urged the reopening of closed churches for conducting worship and demanded that status quo be maintained in churches where worship is being held. The government should appoint a commission to determine the majority decision of members in the disputed churches.

                    The managing committee extended its full support to the new LDF Government and hailed the Jacobite members who were elected MLAs. Fr Varghese Kallapara presented the political resolution.

                    The managing committee said that the members of Jacobite Church be given deserving positions and representation in the appointments to government posts. Presiding over the meeting, Catholicos Mar Thomas I Bava urged that various churches to emphasise Christian thoughts and vision and avoid the path of confrontation and litigations.

                    A new metropolitan would soon be consecrated for Thrissur diocese. The committee decided to launch a Law College in Paravoor, Ayurveda College in Adimali and St Athanasius Church, the first church in the name of the saint, in Puthencruz.
                     
                    http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID==IER20060531002549&Page==R&Title==Kerala&Topic==0&
                  • Malankara Voice
                    The Parish assembly of Thrissur diocese elected Fr. Kuriakose George as their Metropolitan-designate. Fr. Kuriakose is the present vicar of Mumbai Byculla St.
                    Message 9 of 17 , May 31, 2006
                      The Parish assembly of Thrissur diocese elected Fr. Kuriakose George as their Metropolitan-designate. Fr. Kuriakose is the present vicar of Mumbai Byculla St. Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church.
                      http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice11/20060531ThrisrMathr.htm

                      Malankara Voice links:
                      http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice11/news_section.htm
                      http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice11
                    • Mark Sadek
                      ...many have endured great ascetic labors, much hardship and toil for God s sake; but because they relied on their own judgment, lacked discrimination, and
                      Message 10 of 17 , May 31, 2006
                        "...many have endured great ascetic labors, much hardship and toil for God's
                        sake; but because they relied on their own judgment, lacked discrimination,
                        and failed to accept help from their neighbor, their many efforts proved
                        useless and vain."

                        St. Mark the Ascetic.

                        --------------------------------------------------------------

                        "Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the
                        King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts,
                        He is the King of glory." Psalms 24:9-10
                      • Varugese C J
                        Dear All, It is heartening even to think about Judas, one of the 12 selected by our LORD to be his disciples. We think about with contempt, curse him on his
                        Message 11 of 17 , May 31, 2006
                          Dear All,

                          It is heartening even to think about Judas, one of the 12 selected by our LORD to be his disciples. We think about with contempt, curse him on his action, later the Apostles themselves find a replacement in his place as the 12th Apostle. All the twelve were common people, not known for any of their outstanding achievements, and hailed from the lower strata of the then Isralites.

                          If we try to analyze the attitude of Judas, in very few places he was in the lime light during the three and half years of our LORD's public ministry. But towards the end this name became prominent. Was it not true that while selecting the disciples, our Lord haven't any idea about each of these individuals? It is evident from the later actions of each of them that they have been destined to act upon the wish of their Master. Then how the Judas has been left out to throw the Son of God in the hands of the perpetuators, who was looking for His blood. If we look indepth to his (Judas) behaviour, we will be astonished to see that he was closer to both to his Master and also to the then High Priest, From his (Judas) own remarks on the wastage due to washing the legs of our Lord by a lady. He shows his concern for the poor, wanted to distribute the value among the poor and needy. Through his final action only we will be able to notice his proximity to the high priest. Possible
                          it may not have happened like that. Judas was the purse bearer among the disciplies, it is believed. He was one of the beautiful men among the disciples. Though there hasn't any mention about his background, we can assume that a common man among the Isralites would have the privileges of keeping a close-knit connection with the high priest. The then high priest and his coterie around him was the most corrupted priests among the priestlings of Israel ever had. Their hench men made the House of God to a commercial establishment, whom our lord once thrown out all their belonging from inside the Jerusalem Church. The strategist Judas kept his connection with these people, which is not known to his peers, but only to his Master. May be because of this our Lord might have declared that "None can step in two boats, if one try to do it, he will be drowned". It was clearly mentioned few places in the Holy Bible, all the twelve never accompanies their Master always. Sometimes their
                          Master himself choose three out of twelve to accompany him to lonely places, and higher mountains. May be it was because he wanted to impart indepth knowledge to these three, thereby the foundation for a New Israle can be laid only through these three. The day He celebrated the Last Super (the Pesha), and the same day became the day for institution of the Holy Qurbana, to be carried out till his second coming, our Lord also mentioned about the disintegration of the then Israel, and the birth of a New Israle.

                          By then Judas, the cursed, understood that he will not be able to find any favour from our Lord, but decided to take maximum advantage of his connection with his Master. He might have thought about different ways to make it a profitable venture out of his association with the Nazraen, the redeemer. So he conspired with his old friends, who occupy the highest position as high priest of the Israelites. His eagerness to make money overruled his conscience and fear of God. Making a profit out from any deed was his inherent attitude. His association with the sinless didn't change his attitude, but in an opportune time he played it very safely, and made a profit out of this connection. He has forgotten everything, his only motive was to make money, and finally after eating from the hands of his Master, he went away to execute his plan of action. He might not have dreamed of it as a suicidal action, but finally this strategist met with his tragic end, before which he realized
                          the sin he had committed and had thrown away the profit he made out of the deal.

                          Right now, few among the faithfuls (as we think) are wandering in Malankara to make profit out of the connection we have with the Mother of All Churches. The originator of this rebellion was considered to be the most knowledgeable amongst the Malankara Syrian Church, but his motive behind making profit out of his knowledge and respect he was carrying with him is deplorable. His love for temporal authority is still driving his followers currently. His strategic manipulation of the truth only made birth of a new order of faith (which was unheard till then). The current followers of him are really playing with a strategy, and follow the steps of Judas. They know very well how to make profit, how to make people fool, and how people can be misled to believe them. They are succeeding in handling the rulers of this country, misled the highest judicial system merely based on technical grounds and the truth has been sidelined. Few among these modern Judas are very intelligent,
                          looking for a chance to redicule the faithfuls with false strategic propagandas. Their only motto is to malign the Mother Church and its Head, with sweetened phrases and create a make belief situation among the poor faithfuls. Like in the case of only three out of the remaining eleven disciplies were fortunate enough to see the original face of the betrayer Judas and witnessed the arrest of their Master and later the humiliation he suffered from the perpetuators. Like that there are a ramnent in Malankara with purity of faith, belief in Almighty, even after facing whole lot of assaults, humiliation and loss of property and life still resist to these evil designers who follow the footsteps of Judas and advocates of the devil, who always look for a chance to destroy the faithfuls in the history of human kind.

                          Let the ramnent rejoice that they stand for the truth, and ever be lured with profit making endeavours of the modern Judas of Malankara.

                          With regards,
                          CJ Varughese
                          Member id # 1012
                        • SOCM News Bureau
                          The Centre of Oriental Studies & Research of the Syriac Patrimony (Lebanon) in cooperation with the Council of Churches in Aleppo, held the XIth Syriac
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jun 1, 2006
                            The Centre of Oriental Studies & Research of the Syriac Patrimony (Lebanon)
                            in cooperation with the Council of Churches in Aleppo, held the XIth Syriac
                            Patrimony Conference in Aleppo, Syria, from May 11 to 14, 2006. The
                            Conference theme was "St Ephrem the Syriac, a Poet of our Times� in
                            remembrance of the 1700 year of the poet�s birth (306 � 2006). It was
                            organized within the celebrations of Aleppo as a Capital of Islamic Culture
                            2006.

                            The opening session on Thursday 11th May was marked by the presence of high
                            level church and government officials, including H. E. the Syrian Minister
                            of Culture, H. H. Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syrian Orthodox
                            Universal Church, a representative of the Lebanese Minister of Culture, the
                            Mayor of Aleppo, MECC General Secretary, the President of the Centre of
                            Oriental Study & Research from Lebanon.

                            In his opening speech, H.H. Patriarch Zakka Iwas mentioned that: "St Ephrem
                            the Syriac � the Syrian is not confined to one country nor to one nation,
                            neither to one confession of faith; rather he is confined to all humanity".
                            In turn, the Syrian Minister of Culture underlined that "Aleppo today is a
                            unique example of cultural diversity, interaction and dialogue between
                            cultures and civilizations". The Islamic culture, he said, is not a religion
                            but rather a common awareness and adoption of all other cultures". An
                            address sent by Lebanese President General Emile Lahoud, welcomed the idea
                            of the conference stressing that "religions and cultures can interact and
                            dialogue for the sake and happiness of humanity".

                            Throughout the two and half working days, several eminent scholars from
                            Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, UK, Germany and Belgium contributed to panels. They
                            spoke about St Ephrem's poetry and his impact on the spiritual life of the
                            different churches as well as on cultures all over the world.

                            In the closing session, the Grand Mufti of Syria Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun
                            praised the poetry of St Ephrem saying that, "after 1700 years, St Ephrem is
                            still alive among us in a land which is blessed by heaven", emphasizing the
                            universal nature of his poetry that touches all peoples� God, and its
                            spirituality which will last forever. He ended saying, "today is the
                            incarnation of heaven on all of us".

                            The conference ended with follow up recommendations to be carried out by the
                            Centre of Oriental Study & Research of the Syriac Patrimony.

                            The MECC staff in Aleppo was asked to undertake the documentation and
                            secretariat work of the conference, together with other members of the
                            Aleppo Ecumenical Committee. For further information, kindly contact Mr.
                            Razek Siriani at: rsiriani@... or visit the CERO Website at:
                            www.moncero.org <http://www.moncero.org/>


                            Middle East Council of Churches
                            Office of International Ecumenical Relations P.O. Box 5376, Beirut, Lebanon

                            Guirgis Ibrahim Saleh, General Secretary mecc@... or
                            guirgissaleh@...

                            +961-1-353-938
                            http://www.mec-churches.org/
                          • Malankara Voice
                            1. Parishes and Individuals must curtail expenses and spend more for the poor: The Holy Episcopal Synod.
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jun 1, 2006
                              1. Parishes and Individuals must curtail expenses and spend more for the poor: The Holy Episcopal Synod.
                              http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice12/20060602SyndMang.htm

                              2. Malankara Episcopal Synod approves the names of 4 bishop-designates elected by the respective dioceses.
                              http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice12/20060602NewBisMan.htm

                              3. The Church is ready to cooperate with the Govt. to find a justifiable solution to end the Church disputes: Catholica Bava
                              http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice12/20060601BavaMang.htm


                              Malankara Voice links:
                              http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice12/news_section.htm
                              http://www.geocities.com/malankaravoice12
                            • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
                              Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 15:1-14 Dear and Respected Brethren, As far as the children of Abraham, the Father of all the faithful,
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jun 2, 2006
                                Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 15:1-14

                                Dear and Respected Brethren,

                                As far as the children of Abraham, the Father of all the faithful, Pentecost
                                was a feast, on the fiftieth day after the feast of Pass over. On such a
                                feast day of Pentecost only, the early Christians, including the Apostles as
                                well as Mother of God and other few, were strengthened by God to continue
                                the mission of the Savior of the mankind and the universe. The Apostles and
                                others along with the blessed virgin Mother of God had waited for the Holy
                                Spirit with one accord, as per the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ
                                prior to His blessed Ascension to Heaven. This is what we are learning in
                                the first and second chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. Though all
                                Christians have accepted the Holy Spirit through the Baptism and Holy
                                Mooron, our life in the world necessitates us to renew the Holy Spirit in us
                                and to keep it strong and full. Until recent years our faithful were eager
                                to renew the status of the Holy Spirit in them. But somehow or the other, we
                                are not so serious about the growth of the Holy Spirit in us. It seems that
                                our faith and observation of the traditions and rituals are not at all
                                serious. We all deal with them in a very cold mood. We must have a
                                self-revival and eagerness to follow the footsteps of our ancestors and
                                forefathers.

                                Kindly realize the uniqueness and very sweetness of the language used by our
                                Lord and Savior, while He is explaining about the relation between Him and
                                us. When we hear �I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener� we might
                                feel it as so simple, but in fact how deep are they and their inner
                                meanings? If we could see a healthy vine plant with lots of leaves and
                                fruits in our minds, we could realize a lot. The gardener would desire
                                plenty of fruits on all branches of the plant. In the 2nd verse it is
                                mentioned that what would happen to the branch that might not bear fruits.
                                We should not forget the truth that the faithful cannot do anything until
                                and unless they might stay in our Lord and Savior, like a branch cannot bear
                                fruits unless it�s connection with the main stem is strong and solid.

                                Let us see what Lord Jesus, is offering us in verse 8, who only guaranteed
                                that we could bear more fruits while staying in God the Father. �Herein is
                                my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my
                                disciples.� We all must bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit, then only God
                                the Father�s name will be glorified and we all would be accepted as our
                                Lord�s disciples. Kindly read a similar exhortation in St. Matthew 5:16. and
                                Philippians 1:11. Now let us make sure about the number of fruits we have
                                utilized for the glory of God. Remember that all these fruits and many
                                others were granted to us free of cost. If our score is a big zero, we must
                                pray with a mind of repentance �Merciful God, kindly make use of us for your
                                glory�. We must humble ourselves and dedicate ourselves for His disposal.
                                Let us try to understand the deep meaning of the 9th verse. Let us try to
                                grasp the deep meaning of those words. Kindly separate a few seconds to
                                determine the love we enjoy from our Lord God. Let us try to maintain a
                                proper record of the love we enjoy from Lord God. Can we forget the
                                searching, caring and sharing love of our Savior? He wants us to exchange
                                the same style of love to our fellowmen. Our habitual nature is to say OK
                                for all sorts of exhortations and to forget/ignore them totally later.
                                Aren�t we? So let us take a decision slowly but wisely. Let us try to be
                                grateful to God for all sorts of blessings and graces we do enjoy in every
                                second. Let us take a decision to be good conductors of God�s love, as the
                                electric wires do their assignments. Let us also receive more and more love
                                from God and share them among the needy fellowmen.

                                In the 10th verse our Lord teaches us the way to remain in His love. It is a
                                very light and simple thing to obey our Lord�s commandments. What is our
                                Lord�s commandment? It is to love God and our own fellowmen without
                                reserves. Our Lord explains about it in the 11th and 12th verses.

                                Our Lord says that this is the right means to enjoy the complete joy in our
                                lives. Let us decide to which matter we are giving priority: to God Almighty
                                or something else. Let the Holy Spirit of God guide us in everyday lives.
                                God bless us all

                                Jose Kurian Puliyeril
                              • Rev. Fr. Mathews Poozhikolel
                                Dear beloved in Jesus Christ, We celebrate the feast of the Pentecost this year on the 4th of June. I feel that it is opportune at this time to think about the
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jun 3, 2006
                                  Dear beloved in Jesus Christ,

                                  We celebrate the feast of the Pentecost this year on the 4th of
                                  June. I feel that it is opportune at this time to think about the
                                  Holy Spirit.

                                  We read in the Bible about the day of the Pentecost; "And when the
                                  day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in
                                  one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a
                                  rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were
                                  sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of
                                  fire, and it sat upon each of them." (Acts 2:1-3)

                                  The Holy Spirit is a Dynamic power in Spiritual life. There are
                                  three personalities in God, Father, Son and the Holy Ghost (Spirit).
                                  These three personalities have one essence, one authority, one will,
                                  one nature, one thinking and one power. There is no difference
                                  amongst the three in terms of status, power, size etc. It is
                                  virtually impossible to understand this supernatural mystery of
                                  this "Unity in The Trinity" with our material logic and
                                  understanding. We know that the Light, Heat and Rays are integrated
                                  with the sun and are not separable nor divisible. In the same
                                  manner The Holy Trinity is one such spiritual mystery which needs
                                  divine revelation to comprehend. God cannot be compared to any
                                  other. To understand and know God, we need to experience Him.

                                  Before our Lord Jesus ascended to heaven he promised us the gift of
                                  the Holy Spirit. "And, being assembled together with them, commanded
                                  them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the
                                  promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For
                                  John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the
                                  Holy Ghost not many days hence." (Acts 1:4-5)

                                  The manifestations of the Holy Spirit are manifold:

                                  The Holy Spirit is the Great Comforter and Shield against sin. He is
                                  the champion of Righteousness and Judgment. "Nevertheless I tell you
                                  the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not
                                  away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will
                                  send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of
                                  sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" (John 16:7-8)

                                  The Holy Spirit is the driving force of the Gospel and makes
                                  wondrous things happen."But ye shall receive power, after that the
                                  Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both
                                  in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
                                  uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8) "Through mighty signs and
                                  wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem,
                                  and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of
                                  Christ." (Romans 15:19)

                                  The Holy Spirit is the Source of all knowledge. "But God hath
                                  revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all
                                  things, yea, the deep things of God." (1 Corinthians 2:10) And there
                                  is no way one can escape the power of the Holy Spirit. "Whither
                                  shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy
                                  presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my
                                  bed in hell, behold, thou art there." (Psalm 139:7-8)

                                  And to speak against the Holy Spirit is unpardonable "Wherefore I
                                  say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto
                                  men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven
                                  unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it
                                  shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy
                                  Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither
                                  in the world to come." (Matthew 12:31-32) "And grieve not the holy
                                  Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
                                  (Ephesians 4:30)

                                  Therefore we should strive to know and receive the Holy Spirit. We
                                  should pray for the divine blessing in our lives. "And when he had
                                  said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the
                                  Holy Ghost." (John 20:22)

                                  The Holy Spirit should dwell in our hearts "Who hath also sealed us,
                                  and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." (2 Corinthians
                                  1:22). So that our mortal bodies are strengthened and we live a full
                                  life. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead
                                  dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also
                                  quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
                                  (Romans 8:11) And enjoy the fruits of the Spirit, "But the fruit of
                                  the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
                                  faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
                                  (Galatians 5:22-23)

                                  The days of waiting has come to an end. We wish you all receive the
                                  blessings of Holy Spirit abundantly and the Sprit is renewed in all
                                  of us

                                  May God Bless you all.

                                  Fr. Mathews Poozhikolel
                                  Vicar, St: George Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, Kuwait
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