Archive

Archive for March, 2012

Importance of Fifth Thursday of Great Lent # Day 32

March 22, 2012 Comments off

Dear All in Jesus Christ,

Preface for Meditation

There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover: that mystery is Christ, and to him be glory for ever and ever. For the sake of suffering humanity he came down from heaven to earth, clothed himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb, and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, he took the pain of fallen man upon himself; he triumphed over the diseases of soul and body that were its cause, and by his Spirit, which was incapable of dying, he dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow.

He was led forth like a lamb; he was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as he had ransomed Israel from the hand of Egypt; he freed us from our slavery to the devil, as he had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. He sealed our souls with his own Spirit, and the members of our body with his own blood.

He is the One who covered death with shame and cast the devil into mourning, as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning . He is the One that smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the One who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new priesthood, a people chosen to be his own for ever. He is the Passover that is our salvation.

It is he who endured every kind of suffering in all those who foreshadowed him. In Abel he was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonored in the prophets.

It is he who was made man of the Virgin, he who was hung on the tree; it is he who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead, and taken up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of his was broken; in the earth his body knew no decay. He is the One who rose from the dead, and who raised man from the depths of the tomb.

 

Fifth Thursday of Great Lent

  • Evening
    • St. Matthew 14: 23 -36 (passage attached)
  • Morning
    • Genesis 50: 14-22
    • Isaiah 42:1-9
    • Acts 19:8-12
    • Colossians 3: 1-17
    • St. Mark 6:47-56

Take this lent as the most rigorous one. Let he forgive us and bless us.

Your Servant In Lord

Lino Abraham

Advertisements

Importance of Fifth Wednesday of Great Lent # Day 31

March 21, 2012 Comments off

Dear All in Jesus Christ,

Preface for Meditation

The way of greatness in God’s kingdom is the way of  servant hood and humility, putting others first in our care and concern.  Jesus willing laid down his life for our sake because he loved us first (John 3:16). He calls us to love as he did, by laying down our lives in sacrificial service for the good of others.  An early church father summed up Jesus’ teaching with the expression: to serve is to reign with Christ. We share in God’s reign by laying down our lives in humble service of one another as Jesus did for our sake.

The passion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the hope of glory and a lesson in patience. ..He loved us so much that, sinless himself, he suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins.  How then can he fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for he is the source of righteousness?  How can he, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints when he bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin himself? Let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory. The way to glory and victory for us is through the cross of Jesus Christ.  We have to be ready to take up our cross and follow Christ in his way of victory.

 

Fifth Wednesday of Great Lent

  • Evening
    • St. Mark 6:30-46
  • Morning
    • Deuteronomy31: 16-23
    • Isaiah41: 8-17
    • Acts 5:1 – 6
    • I Corinthians 10: 1-13
    • St. Matthew 14: 14-23

 

Take this lent as the most rigorous one. Let he forgive us and bless us.

Your Servant In Lord

Lino Abraham

 

Importance of Fifth Tuesday of Great Lent # Day 30

March 20, 2012 Comments off

Dear All in Jesus Christ,

Preface for Meditation

When the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, confused and disoriented, and wishing they were back in their familiar huts at Egypt, God made his presence known to them through a pillar of fire at night and a cloud by day.  This light not only brought them assurance of safety and care, but it literally guided them through a trackless wasteland.  Around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Festival of Lights, Jesus proclaims that he is the “light of the world”.  For eight nights the great candelabras which stood in the Temple courtyard lit the Jerusalem skyline with a blaze of dazzling light. Jesus’ statement very likely came at the end of the Festival when the great lights where extinguished.  In so many words, Jesus says he is the one, true light which no one can extinguish or diminish (John 1:4-5).  He is light not only for God’s chosen people Israel, but for all people and  nations as well.

 

The word light was especially associated with God. The Lord is my light (Psalm 27:1). The Lord will be your everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19). When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me (Micah 7:8). His light both exposes the darkness of sin in us, which is hidden from others, and heals our sinful infirmities as well. Jesus’ light also produces abundant life and fruit in us.  Just as natural life depends on light (without it nothing could live or grow), so the light of heaven produces spiritual life in those who receive it. The light which Jesus gives enables us to walk freely and confidently without stumbling in the darkness of sin and disbelief. His light warms our heart to the truth of God’s love and it opens our vision to the reality of God’s kingdom.

 

 

Fifth Tuesday of Great Lent

  • Evening
    • St. Mark 3:1-12
  • Morning
    • Exodus14: 21-31
    • Isaiah40: 12-24
    • Acts18: 18 -28
    • Romans 1:26-32
    • St. Mark5: 1 -20

 

Take this lent as the most rigorous one. Let he forgive us and bless us.

 

Your Servant In Lord

Lino Abraham

 

Importance of Fourth Thursday of Great Lent # Day 25

March 15, 2012 Comments off

Dear All in Jesus Christ,

Preface for Meditation

We are in Mid-Lent. Having climbed the mountain up to this point, we begin to see the end of our pilgrimage, and the rays of Easter grow in their intensity. Lent is our self-crucifixion, our experience, limited as it is, of Christ’s commandment heard in the Gospel “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). But we cannot take up our cross and follow Christ unless we have His Cross which He took up in order to save us. It is His Cross, not ours, that saves us. It is His Cross that gives not only meaning but also power to others.

As we are in midst of Lent, Christ shall lead us up to the spiritual Jerusalem by His Resurrection…. for the Cross is called the Tree of Life, it is the tree that was planted in Paradise, and for this reason our fathers have planted it in the midst of Holy Lent, remembering both Adams bliss and how he was deprived of it, remembering also that partaking of this Tree we no longer die but are kept alive…. Thus, refreshed and reassured, we begin the second part of Lent…… with a body and mind of purified, repented and spiritually activated……

Bible Reading #  Fourth Thursday of Great Lent

  • Evening
    • St. Luke15 : 11-32
  • Morning
    • Deuteronomy5: 6-22
    • Psalms 41:1-3
    • Proverbs22: 1-12
    • Acts 15:35-40
    • II Corinthians 1: 13-22
    • St. Matthew 19: 16-26

Take this lent as the most rigorous one. Let he forgive us and bless us.

Your Servant In Lord

Lino Abraham

Importance of Fourth Wednesday of Great Lent # Day 24 (Mid Lent)

March 14, 2012 Comments off

Dear All in Jesus Christ,

Preface for Meditation

How precious the gift of the cross, how splendid to contemplate! In the cross there is no mingling of good and evil, as in the tree of paradise: it is wholly beautiful to behold and good to taste. The fruit of this tree is not death but life, not darkness but light. This tree does not cast us out of paradise, but opens the way for our return.

This was the tree on which Christ, like a king on a chariot, destroyed the devil, the lord of death, and freed the human race from his tyranny. This was the tree upon which the Lord like a brave warrior wounded in hands, feet and side, healed the wounds of sin that the evil serpent had inflicted on our nature. A tree once caused our death, but now a tree brings life. Once deceived by a tree, we have now repelled the cunning serpent by a tree. What an astonishing transformation! That death should become life, that decay should become immortality, that shame should become glory!

The wonders accomplished through this tree were foreshadowed clearly even by the mere types and figures that existed in the past. Was it not the wood of a tree that enabled Noah, at God’s command, to escape the destruction of the flood together with his sons, his wife, his sons’ wives and every kind of animal? And surely the rod of Moses prefigured the cross when it changed water into blood, swallowed up the false serpents of Pharaoh’s magicians, divided the sea at one stroke and then restored the waters to their normal course, drowning the enemy and saving God’s own people? Aaron’s rod, which blossomed in one day in proof of his true priesthood, was another figure of the cross, and did not Abraham foreshadow the cross when he bound his son Isaac and placed him on the pile of wood?

By the cross death was slain and Adam was restored to life. The cross is the glory of all the apostles, the crown of the martyrs, the sanctification of the saints. By the cross we put on Christ and cast aside our former self. By the cross we, the sheep of Christ, have been gathered into one flock, destined for the sheepfold of heaven.

Bible Reading # Fourth Wednesday of Great Lent (Mid Lent)

  • Evening
    • St. Matthew 17: 22-27
  • Morning
    • St. John 3:13-21
  • Before Holy Qurbana
    • Numbers21: 4-9
    • Psalms 34:1-9
    • Zechariah12: 6-14
  • Holy Qurbana
    • Acts15: 22 -33
    • II Corinthians 9: 1-15
    • St. John 3:13-21

Take this lent as the most rigorous one. Let he forgive us and bless us.

 

Your Servant In Lord

Lino Abraham

Remembrance of King Abgar of Edessa

March 13, 2012 1 comment

Today the Church remembers King Abgar of Edessa.

Icon of Abgar holding the mandylion, the image of Christ (encaustic, 10th century, Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai)

Edessa (Presently called Urfa/Urahay) is a city in the border of Turkey and Iraq. During the time of Jesus, an Assyrian King named Abgar V ruled Edessa. He was suffering from an incurable disease. Abgar wrote a letter to Jesus, saying that he believed in Jesus as the Son of God, and also he believed in his amazing miracles about which he had only heard about. King Abgar in his letter is asking Jesus to come heal him. Towards the end of his letter, Abgar is says that he has heard that the Jews are persecuting Him, thus, he is suggested Jesus to come and stay in his City.

Jesus replied to his letter as follows: “Happy art thou who hast believed in me, not having seen me, for it is written of me that those who shall see me shall not believe in me, and that those who shall not see me shall believe in me. As to that which thou hast written, that I should come to thee, all that for which I was sent here below is finished, and I ascend again to my Father who sent me, and when I shall have ascended to Him I will send thee one of my disciples, who shall heal all thy sufferings, and shall give health again, and shall convert all who are with thee unto life eternal. And thy city shall be blessed forever, and the enemy shall never overcome it.”

King Abgar illustration in 1898 book «Illustrated Armenia and Armenians>>

After the Ascension of Christ, Addai (also referred to as Thaddai) who was one among the seventy (Luke 10:1) left for Edessa, along with his close friend Mari. Both of them are considered to be disciples of St Thomas. Addai and Mari are considered as the second and third “Catholicose of the East”, respectively following St Thomas, who was the first.  In Edessa they visited King Abgar. Mar Addai placed his hands on Abgar and said. “I place my hand upon thee in the name of Eshoo Msheekha [meaning in Aramaic,Jesus Christ ], and in His name you are healed.” Healing took place immediately. Abgar along with his family and countrymen converted to Christianity and Edessa became the first Christian City.

Church historian Eusebios (4th century) has written about King Abgar. Eusebios say that he has found the letters written by Abgar to Jesus and Jesus’s reply, from the public records of Edessa and translated it from Syriac. The healing of Abgar is also recorded in the Doctrine of Addai.

The service book used by Yeldo Mar Baselius (Kothamangalam Bava) had King Abgar’s name written on it.

In Christ

Kiran

Categories: ARTICLES

Just a Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness…..

March 13, 2012 Comments off

Today the Church celebrates the Mid Lent. One of the Old Testament reading for today is Numbers 21:4-9

It reads

Moses lifting up the bronze serpent

“4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.”

Sleeba

 It is the day of “Sleeba Nattal” (Hoisting of the cross) in remembrance of the above mentioned reading, which is a foretelling of the Crucifixion of Christ. As the Israelites who looked the bronze serpent and were healed, the faithful are healed from their sins on looking the cross which is hoisted in the middle of the Church.

The Sleeba (Cross) is hoisted on top of the Mnortho (The stand on top of which the Cross is instilled). From the mid lent, during which it is hoisted, till before the evening prayer of the Monday of Passion Week the sleeba will be placed in the centre of the church. This symbolizes Christ’s public ministry. After Hosanna Service the sleeba will be placed in the azhikakam (the place where the namaskaramesha is kept). This symbolizes Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Till Good Friday the sleeba will be there. On the Good Friday the sleeba is placed in the chamber behind the altar table. From the day of Easter till Ascension the Sleeba placed on top of the Mnortho, is placed inside the altar. This symbolizes Christ presence in the world after his resurrection till his ascension, but during these days, He was invisible and untouchable (except when He allowed for).

In early Christianity, the Metropolitans used to sit in the middle of the Church and give sermons on the church faith to the new Christians. The cross which is hoisted in the middle of the Church today, also calls the faithful to come to the true faith and teachings of the church and take the remaining of the lent with prayers and repentance.

In Christ

Kiran

Categories: ARTICLES
%d bloggers like this: