Re:Growing Orthodox Converts
- My first post on this subject had an expired link. Below are other links to
the same newspaper article on the increasing converts to Orthodox Church.
Even at the St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York, a majority of the students
are not born Orthodox but converts.
Here are a few links to the article:
St. Vladimir's Seminary, New York
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Mark 6: 1-6
Dear and Respected Brethren,
We could read the same topic of today�s reading in St. Matthew 13:53-58.
Today�s reading deals with our Lord�s visit to His own country with His
blessed Apostles. We understand our Lord�s teaching and astonishment of the
public who listened our Lord in this portion of the Holy Scriptures. Many
who heard him were astonished saying �From where has this man these things.�
In St. John 6:42 and 7:15 we read about the astonishment of the Jews. The
next question of the Jews who got surprise and astonishment over the
deepness of wisdom of our Lord and the greatness of the miracles performed
by our Lord, is really ridiculing. �They asked is he not the Carpenter, the
son of Mary and brother of Jacob, Jo-ses, Jude and Simon�.
This sort of ridiculing and character assassination were foretold by Prophet
Isaiah. In Isaiah 53: 2-3 we read, �For he shall grow up before him as a
tender plant, and as root out of a dry ground: he has neither form nor
comeliness and when we shall see him, there no beauty that we should desire
him. He is despised and rejected of men, and acquainted with grief, and we
hid as it were our faces from him, he was despised and we esteemed him not�.
Let us listen to St. Paul in this regard. He says: But we preach Christ
crucified unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.
But unto them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God
and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1: 23-24.) We must realize the
brothers of our Lord mentioned in the 3rd verse are the same brothers who
once came in search of our Lord as mentioned in St. Matthew 12: 46. (Where
it is mentioned that His mother and brothers�) Later also, these four
brothers were known and honored in the Holy Church as the brothers of our
Lord. Let us try to realize the statement of our Lord, �A prophet is not
without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin and in his own
house�. How relevant and influencing is this statement during these days
even? Kindly refer Jeremiah 12:6.
In verse 5 we read, And He could there do no mighty work, save that he laid
his hands upon a few sick folk and healed them�. The reason for such a
situation is mentioned there itself. Their unbelief was the only reason.
This portion of the Holy Scripture confesses the truth that this incident
had marveled our Lord even. It would be well and good if we could ascertain
any of the opportunities when and where our Lord could not do a miracle due
to our unbelief. We have to examine our spiritual as well as social lives.
When we were in the dangers and when we were ill, did we not go after
certain powers instead of depending the real Lord God? We all are in the
habit of confessing anywhere and at any time that nothing is impossible to
God, but we often fall victims of ignoring our Lord God.
Let us confess our sins with real repentance. Let us retreat and approach
our Lord God. Our redeemer will receive us without fail and hesitation.
May God bless us all/
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
Member Id # 905