By V.Rev.Thomas P.Mundukuzhy Cor Episcopa
(A Renowned Writer And Publisher. Author of many Christian Devotional Books. Sunday School Director of American Diocese, Malankara Orthodox Church.)



  1. New Beginning: CHURCH Calendar begins today: the First Sunday of the Liturgical Year (Falls on the Last Sunday of October or the First Sunday of November). Hanuka of Jews.

  2. Misuse and Abuse: Antiochus Epipanus defiled Jerusalem temple. Judah Maccabee recaptured, consecrated and dedicated. Nehemiah came from Babylon, built the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days and returned. When he came back, found the temple unholy...instead of incense in the cells, found things of Thobiah, non-Jew who lead the opposition to rebuild. Power and authority misused. So sanctification needed.

  3. God's Qualities: God is holy (Holy art, Thou O, God). God is immortal (Holy art Thou, Immortal). Holiness leads to immortality. God created man in His own image with reasoning (to know what is good or evil) and will power.

  4. God sanctifies the Church. Church is the extension of the Incarnation. So it is holy. Church is also of the redeemed society...sinners' group. So it is unholy. Thus sanctification needed. Sanctification is essential to see and to be with the holy God (Exodus 29:44-45).

  5. Holy and Unholy: Tabernacle was very beautiful inwardly (Exodus 26:1ff), but the covering was of ram skins (26:14). Even though we are holy, we are unholy too.

  6. Sanctification and dedication of individuals and families. Should know who Jesus is. Not of intelligence, knowledge, or wisdom, but of personal experience. We have to love our Lord (John 21:15-22). We have to understand personally who He is (Matthew 16:13-23; Mark 8:27-33).

  7. Sanctification: To set apart from the ordinary to make holy as radiate, emanate, illuminate or transform. It is renewal and purification. The temple of God is holy. We are the temples. We must be the indwelling place of God...the state of holiness given through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It happens after justification. It is a process. It happens through personal faith and submission to the will of God. No more sinning (1 John 3:6). Sin is subdued through Incarnation. Only those with oil in the vessels will be selected. Church is holy. Holy Spirit works in it. God works in holy hearts. We have to eradicate all the evil and unrighteous thoughts and actvities from our hearts (Ephesians 5:26-27). We have to wash away all the dirt and dust. "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean" (Psalms 51:7). We attain blessedness through baptism to grow with holiness in Him. We have to continue that. Church has the responsibility to attract the world to Almighty God. Spiritual enlightenment is needed to attain this. We should be purified day by day. The first step to sanctification is confession that Jesus is Lord and God and also of our sins. Jesus praised Peter at the first confession; but he was scolded for the second. When the dirt is removed from something, it becomes clean. We pray and sanctify for spirituality. We are created with love. We become sinners due to our selfishness. When our sins are forgiven through repentance and confession, we are cleansed and sanctified (Ephesians 4:24). The love and unity in Trinity is sanctity (John 17:21). We have to try to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). The result is heavenly bliss and happiness (Psalm 32:1). Do the will of God (John 4:34). Rejoice at the success of others. Sanctification of the members of the Church: (Ephesians 5:25-27). The goal of Incarnation and Crucifixion was for the sanctification of the Church: John 17:19-20. Sanctification is based on the heart: Matthew 5:8; 12:34; 15:18-20. Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7; Luke 6:45. Serve Him (Deuteronomy 11:13) and obey Him (13:14) wholeheartedly. No peace for the wicked (Isaiah 48:22). Humble before God (James 4:8). Man was created in God's image. God is love. We should be liberated from sin and be in love in everything. Then we enjoy forgiveness (Psalm 32:1-5) and be happy (Galatians 5:22). Positional sanctification: cleansed of past sins (1 Corinthians 6:11) and become a "new creation" in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) Progressive sanctification: Being made holy by the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1). Become holy day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16) Permanent sanctification: Becoming holy in all aspects of life (1 Peter 1:15-16) by making all effort (Hebrews 12:14). We have to work out our salvation (Philippians 2: 12-13) by loving righteousness and hating wickedness (Hebrews 1:9). Renew the mind (Romans 12:2) and have "holy and godly conduct" (2 Peter 3:11). It is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Cleansed everythinmg (Nehemiah 13:30).

  8. Prepare the Church for the Incarnation. It is the beginning of the preparations for the birth of Jesus Christ. Here on, all Scripture readings touch on the same topic. Sanctification is necessary at the beginning. We sanctify the church and the house before we start using them. This day all members enter into the new year with sanctification for the preparation of the birth of Jesus Christ into our hearts...: sanctification through the Holy God (none is holy, except the one Holy Father, the one Holy Son, and the one Holy Spirit), through tears of repentance, confession and holy communion. All were sanctified before receiving the Ten Commandments.

  9. No intermarriages

  10. First fruits to help.


  1. Peter (Greek): Stone or Rock (Cephas is Aramaic)

  2. The question was asked at Caeceria Philippi, geographically and historically a notable place.

  3. Jesus is the Savior: Peter proclaimed during their meeting that Jesus is the Savior (Daniel in his dream saw as Son of God: 7:13)

  4. Jesus was rejoiced to know that at least some knew that He is Messiah.

  5. What do we think of Jesus Christ? Jesus enquired how ordinary people consider Him. God knows everything and doesn't need anybody's testimony (John 2:25). But God likes to know our views and impressions. What others think of us? Neighbors, friends. What our own people think of us? wife/husband, children, parents, brothers, sister, in-laws?

  6. Incomplete information: Do not know the facts: Some think as John the Baptist, His fore-runner; others, Elijah (Malachi 4:5: fiery prophet), or Jeremiah (1:10; Maccabees 15:14). Incomplete information leads to inconsistency.

  7. Make use of the opportunity: The disciples got a chance to testify who Jesus is. We should make use of the opportunity to witness and preach the Lord.

  8. No individual greatness: Peter's declaration of faith came from God. The declaration of faith is the foundation of the Church.

  9. Jesus is the Rock: Pointing upon Himself, Jesus said that the Church will be built; also that of the faith Peter proclaimed. Church is not based on any human being. Jesus is the corner stone; Prophets and Apostles are foundation stones; faithful are the building stones (1 Corithians 3:16; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6). The Lord is the builder (Zechariah 6:11-13; Isaiah 44:28) and the Church is built on the faith of the Apostles.

  10. The Builder: Jesus is the builder so that the powers of evil will not be able to step on it.

  11. Forgiveness of sins given to the Church: The key to forgive sin helps enter to the kingdom of God.

  12. To all disciples: Keys for the kingdom of heaven were given to all disciples after the resurrection (Luke 22:14-30; John 20:21-23; Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 4:8)

  13. God is the authority: Only God can give this authority to enter into the kingdom.

  14. The Keys: The truths of the Gospel, the keys, are given to St. Peter as well as to all the disciples.

  15. Need Faith: We have to have faith to testify ours (1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:5)

  16. Rock/Stumbling Stone: When Peter confessed Jesus as Christ, he was a rock; when he encouraged Jesus to avoid suffering, he became a stumbling block.

  17. Troubles and oppositions: There will be troubles and oppositions for the spreading of the Gospel, but will triumph at the end (2 Corinthians 4:9; 6:9; Revelations 12:14). Face such troubles courageously.

  18. Tell only at the right time: To prepare for the kingdom of God, asked not to tell until His resurrection. Preaching only after.


  1. Search Around: Search around to see who or what we are.

  2. Find out from close Relatives who we are.

  3. Affirm our faith: "You are the Christ": St. Peter declared

  4. Wait till the time come: Jesus refused to tell any one (1:44; 5:43; 7:36; 8:26, 30) until the right time (9:9). Only at His Trial, Jesus claimed to be the Christ (14:62).

  5. Face the consequences: Jesus rebuked Peter. We will be too, if we "are not mindful of the things of God."


  1. Breakfast with the risen Lord: The first meal of the first day of the week shall be the Lord's meal, Holy Communion. If Sunday is a fun day, week days shall be weak days.

  2. Jesus' third appearance: In the second, Thomas was convinced and here Peter was commissioned.

  3. Sincere and serious conversation: After the meal, spent some time together for a serious business. Not joking or making funs: pious and sincere.

  4. Jesus healed his disciple's wounds: Peter was ashamed of denying Jesus. In the garden, Peter struck the ear of the servant. Thereafter he followed Jesus, but denied Jesus three times. Jesus looked at him (Luke 22:61) to signify that He still loved him. Peter repented. "Love is the positive side of penitence, while sorrow is the negative." (Remorse or atrition is self-love. Contrition is love of God).

  5. "Do you love me more than these?" The game we play with children using hand signals: "How much do you love me? This much" and finally asking: "Do you love Jesus this much?"


    More than fishing (Mark 1:16-17.


    More than these people (Mark 14:25-35): All human beings or more than other disciples (Mark 14:27-31)


    Pierced into the heart of Peter


    Same question toward us: Do we love Him?

  6. Peter says that he does: Can we say with the same sinceriety?

  7. Feed the lamb: Importance of training and entertaining our children.

  8. Questioning 2nd time: Affirmative answer: "I love you"

  9. Tend my sheep: "Shepherd my people" (Matthew 2:6). "All the flock" (Acts 20:28). Lord is the great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20. Astrayed sheep to return (1 Peter 2:25). Shepherd the flock of God (1 Peter 5:2,4). Sheep of the pasture: Psalms 79:13; Sheep in the midst of wolves: Matthew 10:16; Lost sheep: Matthew 15:24. Divide sheep and goats: sheep on the right hand: Matthew 25:32-33. Scattered sheep: Matthew 26:31.

  10. Asked third time: Peter was grieved for asking again and again.

  11. Why repetition?: To make sure; to strengthen the faith and love.

  12. Complete submission and dedication: Lord, you know all things: You know all of my activities, dealings and everything. Jesus knows everyone and every-thing (John 2:24; 16:30).

  13. Feed my sheep (goat): Not only children and women, but also men.

  14. Where are our lambs, sheep and goats? Do we feed and tender them properly?

  15. Reinstated: Earlier Peter said: Even though they all fall away, I will not" (Mark 14:29). Then he denied Jesus three times (Luke 22:54-62). Jesus foretold this (Luke 22:34). Here Peter was reinstated.

  16. When young: Walk anywhere we want (Sometimes, we should not go anywhere we want). Moses to lead Israel, St. Thomas to India, St. Paul for all his works. Christ gives us the courage to go.

  17. When old: Others direct us. Have to depend upon some one else.

  18. Suffering helps for goodness: Peter was warned about suffering and persecution.

  19. Glorify death: Peter did.

  20. Keep His word: If we love Him, we have to keep His word: John 14:23. God loves everyone. No discrimination.

  21. Follow Him: When Peter was reinstated, called to follow Him.

  22. What do we love most? Money? (the root of all evil). Health? still get sick. Food? Diet; Clothes? For selfishness and prestige? When we have everything, forget God. Happened to Solomon that led to immoral life.

  23. Love Jesus: Calvary and His love towards us. God blesses us daily. Live our best. Children follow the footsteps of parents. God want us to follow His will and be saved. Went out to look for the lost sheep. Also said to lay one's life for the sheep. We have to attract people to save by preaching the Gospel (Mark 16:16) and by teaching Christ's precepts (Matthew 28:20). We are ordained to and appointed to lead in faith, in Christ's knowledge, and to grow to the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13). The responsibility of the Church lies in individuals, families and parishes.


  1. Lay aside all our bad traits and habits

  2. Grow in God's grace

  3. The foundation stone of the Church, the spiritual house, is Jesus. We are the stones built upon Him.

  4. We are a chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation and His special people (Exodus 19:5-6)

  5. We should be model. Others should glorify God by seeing our good works.


  1. Be careful: We are the temple of God: The Church

  2. Think and act according to God's will: John 17:22-23

  3. Flee away from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11): Homosexuals could repent and come to grace (Matthew 11:23-24). It would be easy for them to come to judgement than any others (Revelations 20:11-12). We have to hate sin and love sinners who repent (Matthew 5:44-46; John 13:34-35). We have to forgive the trespasses of others (Matthew 6:14-15). We also need forgiveness (Romans 6:23). Some willingly and willfully choose this sinful life-style. Some are victims. Unhappy and broken marriages and dyfunctional family life are the root causes. They still have hope in the kingdom of God.

  4. We are bought with a price: Death of Christ on the cross.

  5. Have complete surrender: Romans 12:1-2

EXODUS 33:7-11; 40:17-38: GOD'S GLORY

  1. Moses prayed to God for His presence and God talked to him as a friend.

  2. All the people worshipped God.

  3. Young Joshua stayed at the tabernacle

  4. The tabernacle was completed as God commanded.

  5. They experienced God's presence in their activities.


  1. Isaiah saw God in a vision: John 12:41; Revelations 4:2-3; 20:11. Isaiah was desperate and disappointed. King Uziah died. Went to temple in search of God to lay down all his sorrows before Him. Repented and confessed. Forgiveness and challenge. Do we get such experiences through our worship services?

  2. Isaiah saw angels praising the Lord God: We see the glory of Jesus when we begin our prayer. Jesus is God, holy, mighty and immortal crucified for us. We declare this faith. We realize our sinfulness and like Isaiah, we pray: "Lord, have mercy upon us". Need complete dedication, submission and commitment.

  3. Isaiah felt that he is unclean. We have to realize our sins and transgressions.

  4. Holy Communion: The live coal touched his lips to take away the iniquity and to purge the sin.

  5. Trinitarian: "US": The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

  6. Who will go for Him? Big challenge! Big call! "I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." (John 4:35). Thousands of people have been evangelized throuhout the past twenty centuries all over the world. There are hundreds of villages still in India to reach the good news of the Gospel.

  7. Send me; here I am: Are we ready? NOTE: HALLOWEEN: Eve of Hallow (sanctify): "Hallowed be Thy Name" (from the Lord's prayer). From the 4th century onwards, all the dead (ghosts) were allowed to visit...thus HALLOWEEN on the 31st evening of October... the tradition goes on. November 1st is ALL SAINTS' the eve of the sanctification day.



  1. Progressive Accomadationists: Seek peace and harmony in the community; economic prosperity and co-operation (Jesse Jackson)

  2. Prophetic Radicals: Fight for social justice; see God as a liberator and judge (Martin Luther King)

  3. Redemptive Rationalists: Separate themselves from society (Louis Farrakhan). Consider themselves independent and superior to the political structure. Weeknight meetings and personal salvation (Pentecostal)

  4. Prosperity Positivists: To acquire material goods: Health, wealth and success; eat, drink and be merry.

  5. Idealstic Models: St. Gregorios of Parumala. Gregorios: Vigilant (One who is awake). Yes, His Grace is still awake and contineously praying for us, even though the only decalred patron saint of our Church in India passed away in 1902. "The greatest man has shortest life." Jesus: 33 1/2 years; John the baptist was beheaded very young; St. Stephen was stoned to death very young; St. Basil at 49 and St. Gregorios of Parumala at 54. Born in 1848. Mother died very early. Older sister Mariam took care. At the age of 10, in 1858, ordained as deacon. Studied Syriac and hymns for 7 years with uncle Geevarghese Malpan who died of small pox. Young deacon also became ill and was on the verge of death when saw virgin Mother St. Mary in a vision saying that he won't die, but asked to dedicate his life to God (small pox led to dedicated life). After cure, continued education at Pampakuda Seminary. In 1866, at the age of 18, Pulikottil Mar Dionysius Metropolitan ordained as a priest, and at 19, to Cor Episcopa. At 24, in 1872, became Remban and stayed at Vettickal Dayara. In 1876, at the age of 28, became Metropolitan, the youngest and so got the name "Kochu Thirumeni". Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese and lived at Parumala. After 26 years of dedicated works in the Church, including 3 months of Holy Land visist in 1895, passed away in 1902 at the age of 54 and was buried at Parumala which has become a shrine and sanctuary for thousands of pilgrims for intercessions and blessings.


  1. Saint: "Many are called, few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14) to sainthood. Was a living force. Tender in heart ... helped the needy. Humble in words and deeds. Very truthful...told the truth in the case against him. Several were cured even in life time. Sanctity of life. Special personal preparation to celeberate Holy Qurbana; readiness to suffer for doing good (1 Peter 3:17). Mixed feelings of spirituality, enlightenment and sanctity. Declared saint in 1947. Received permanent place in the hearts of millions.

  2. Walked with God: "Can two walk together unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3). Walked not before or after, but with Abraham and Enoch (Genesis 5:22). Close relationship.

  3. Talked with God: Prayerful life. Communion and communication with God. All the canonical prayers at due time...even on the death bed. Daily prayers, meditation and fasting and daily routines very accurate. "MUTTINMEL NILKUNNA CHATHURUTHY"... some one called in teasing. If we miss bed coffee, headache. If Thirumeny missed prayer, irritation. Man of prayer. Prayer is the one that brings truth, religious faith, honesty and respect among the people. "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever" (Daniel 12:3).

  4. Worked with God: Loved God and man. Forgiveness, kindness, eagerness to do the right thing always, discipline. Faith preserver, philanthropic, administrator (Niranam, Thumpamon, Quilon Dioceses), prophet and good shepherd. Complete dedication and submission to God. Looked after the sick and the destitutes. Prayed and removed epidemic diseases like small pox. Healed the sick. Ascetic charity, humility and poverty.

  5. Educator: MGM High School, Thiruvalla. Great students like late Baselius Geevarghese Catholicos, Vattasseril Dionysius Metropolitan, Konattu Mathen Malpan, Mattackal Alexander Malpan. Education for the low caste.

  6. Missionary: 100 or so people became Christians at Chengannoor. In 1889, Alvaris Metropolitan to Goa and Ceylon. In 1892, Mar Thimotheos was consecrated at Ceylon and sent to America. "Commander of the Crown of Thorns". In 1895, Jerusalem Tour for three months with a party of 7 others in the group.

  7. Creative Writer/Man of Letters: Travalogue: The brief and charming description of a three month visit of Jerusalem and the adjacent places of importance: Jesus' birth, ministry, crucifixion, burial, and ascension (Jerusalem Yathra Vivaranam). 50 pastoral epistles, articles and private letters; writings on education, moral integrity, social welfare' justice to the down-trodden, prayers, etc.

  8. Orator: Original thinker and theologian

  9. Peace Maker: In parihes through love, kindness, and Godfearing. With opposing groups through hearty conversations.

  10. Few Recorded experiences: (1) Chathannoor Alexander Muthalali and his wife were cured (2) Mallappally V.T. Abraham was healed from small pox and a son was born to him (3) Son born and escaped from tragic illness in Australia (4) Kottuthala Thoma Ashan (instuctor) became Opadeshi (Preacher) (5) Teasing girl became a laughing stock and was cured by Thirumeny (6) Ayyampally temple procession stopped the percussions at the front of Ayyampally church through the mediation of Thirumeny at the death of a participant (7) P.P. Paulose of Thengelil was cured from artheritis (8) Chirathalackal C.V. Mathai, Kaviyoor found his lost copper pot through the intercession of the saint.

  11. Documentary: The video tape produced on the life and works of the saint gives sme insight of St. Gregorios of Parumala.

  12. Parumala Seminary: In 1872, Korula Mathen of Arikupurathu, gave a small portion of land as a gift to Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan who built a small building there to train the deacons. In 1876, Parumala Thirumeny built a church there and became His Grace's residence and later became Thirumeny's resting place in 1902. Yuyakim Mar Ivanios is also buried there in 1925. Several ordinations, consecrations, conferences, elevations, three Malankara Associations (1878, 1992 and 2002) and hundreds of baptisms and weddings conducted there. Also now there is a 72 room retreat house, 2 dorms, a big hall, 27 housing unit and a hospital adjacent to the seminary. The church has been enlarged with modern architecture format and is one of the biggest church buildings in our Church.


  1. Nick name: St. James had a nick name: Camel Knees: Spent too much time in prayer on knees (Monks, carpet layers: Their knees)

  2. Life without prayer is empty: Like a car with an empty gas tank. Prayer mentioned seven times from 5:13-18. Men of prayers like Parumala Thirumeny.

  3. specific and practical situations:


    When afflicted (in trouble, suffering), pray: Afflicted in mind, spirit, promise of relief, but promises strength.


    When sick...pray... call the elder (clergy)...anoint with oil.


    When corrupted by sin: when violate the commandments and disciplines. .. when claiming rights without rites or paying dues without doing.


    When specific needs occur: Effective like medicine. Elijah prayed.

  4. Prayer is to be contineous, not for emergencies only. Prayer is not for the perfect, but for the imperfect....Have some quiet times every day before the Almighty.

  5. Two Groups: (1) People who keep waiting (2) People for whom kept waiting.


  1. Dedication after sanctification: Dedication: Christ in us (1 Corinthians 3:16) Building becomes church only after sanctification and dedication. Sacrifice of incense after sin offering. We are of God. We shall be dedicated to Him so that we will be increased, like the five loaves and two fish and still had left over. When we are filled with love, dedication becomes real. Jesus loved us and lived for us (2 Cori. 5:14-15). Do everything for His glorification (1 Cori. 4:10). In the Eucharist service, we must immerse in it, dedicate and submit.

  2. Dedication and renewal: King Solomon built the Jerusalem temple, but was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Earlier Ezra and Nehemiah took the leadership. In B.C. 170, Antiochus Epiphanus, the Syrian leader, again defeated the Jews and defiled Jerusalem temple. Judah Maccabee regained, rebuilt and rededicated it. They found just enough oil to keep the lamp lit for one day, but it burned for eight days. Jews celebrate this even now:: HANUKKAH, the festival of lights, with songs, games, candle lights, gifts, and delicious foods. Church is God's temple (John 2:19-21; Ephesians 2:22; 1 Peter 2:45) and all faithful are temples of God (1 Cori. 3:16; 6:19). A decorated and beautifully painted and structured building doesn't mean that it is the house of God. Contineous worship and communion with God make it God's temple. Mary Magdaline, Mother Teressa, Father Damian, Parumala Thirumeny, all dedicated their lives to God. Do His will (John 4:34; 5:30; 8:50; 14:10; 17:4). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17) and for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). The love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14) should compel us for our complete dedication.

  3. "Suitcase Parishes": We have such parishes; but still hold full parish status.

  4. Among Critics: Jesus was not in the midst of His supporters, but among His critics who denied Him. They came prepared to question Jesus. They found fault at Him.

  5. Divine Authority: They questioned Jesus' authority. What authority? - of God - not of wealth (widow's offering), but of complete dedication: Authority to serve, not just to rule like Jews. We have to commit before the divine authority, not of the worldly power.

  6. Aptitude/Attitude/Altitude: One's attitude, not aptitude determines his/hers altitude (height of something measured in relation to a reference level: above the earth's surface (sreshtatha).

  7. Listen carefully: Relationship of sheep and the shepherd; listen carefully and follow.


  1. Tricky question: Jesus was asked whether He is Christ to "catch" Him. If Jesus says that He is Christ, He could be labelled as a rebel against the Roman Governor; if not, to say that He is tricking the people.

  2. Nothing Particular: Jesus did not claim anything particular. Jews were just the opposite. Only to Samaritan woman, Jesus revealed that He is Christ (John 4:26).

  3. Accept Him: Jews did not accept the words or works of Jesus. They did not change even though they realized that Jesus was Messiah.

  4. Recognize Jesus: Recognize Him by His sound and knowledge and follow. Good shepherd go after even one lost sheep.

  5. Watch and Believe: Jesus and the Father are One. "A tree is known by its fruits."

  6. Do Good Things: Jews tried to stone Jesus. Why throw at people who do good things? We have to humble ourselves on this day and seek goodness: Psalms 4:6.

  7. Be Mild: Throw roses, not rock: Eph. 4:25-32
    (Lion : "Who is the King?'
    Rabbit: "Ofcourse, you are"
    Monkey: "Certainly, you are the king"
    Elephant: Caught the lion at its trunk and threw him to the ground.
    Lion got back and said: "If you don't know the answer, you don't have to be rough, be nice).

  8. Examine Oneself: Jesus told the Jews to stone the woman who was caught in adultery by one who is without sin (John 8:7). Stick in the eyes, but see speck in others' (Matthew 7:1-5).

  9. Dedication during winter: Cold season. Warm up needed.


  1. Jesus taught daily in the temple

  2. There were great opposition

  3. People listened to Jesus enthusiastically: Lk. 21:38

  4. Jesus' authority challenged

  5. Jesus answered with a question


  1. The widow had little, but she gave all what she had

  2. God expects us to have this kind of attitude

  3. Jesus gave all of His for us.


  1. Stephen's defense

  2. God does not dwell in the temple: 1 Kings 8:27; Acts 17:24

  3. Believers are God's temple: 1 Corinthians 6:19

  4. Obeying the Law is very important.


  1. The Old Testament Day of Atonement Sacrifices (Leveticus 6) could not cleanse the conscience.

  2. Christ's offerings of Himself purges the conscience and gained entrance into the heavenly sanctuary.


  1. Moses pitched meet God

  2. Everyone went to see Moses with hope and expectation

  3. The Lord spoke to Moses face to face

  4. Joshua was a faithful servant


  1. Salvation is offered to all which shall be received with great gratitude.

  2. Everyone shall be drawn to God through faith.

  3. Even the mountains and field share the joy of her salvation.


  1. Everyone donated gold, silver and lots of things to build the temple (1 Chr. 29:1-5)

  2. Everyone offered willingly: 1 Chr. 29:6-9

  3. They were all rejoiced: 29:9

  4. David praised the Lord: 29:10ff

  5. We give God only what comes from Him: 29:14

  6. "For whom and through Him and to Him are all things" (Romans 11:36)

  7. "You would have no power over me, if it were not given to you from above" : John 19:11

  8. Give us this day our daily bread: Lord's Prayer. Kingdom, power and glory are of God's

  9. "God has given me, and taken from me: Job

  10. God loves a cheerful giver

  11. Solomon stood before the altar and prayed

  12. He praised the God and thanked

  13. Called for forgiveness (1 Kings 8:27-30)

  14. Several concerns: sacred oaths (vv. 31-32); military degfeat (33-34); drought (35-36); other natural catastrophies (37-40).

  15. God knows the hearts of all (8:39 cf. Psl.139:1-2)


  1. God's Promise: A son promised to Abraham (Genesis 18: 1-15) just like to Zechariah. (Like Elizabeth, Sarai: Genesis 11:30; Rachel: Genesis 29:31; and Hannah: 1 Samuel 1:1ff were barren, but had children later).

  2. Priestly family: Levites were priestly tribes. Aaron's family was assigned priestly functions. During David's time, priests were divided into 24 groups and assigned to perform services according to turns (1 Chronicle 24:1; 2 Chronicles 23:4; 2 Kings 11:7). Abijah was the eighth (1 Chronicles 24:10). Zachariahs was the oldest in the tribe. Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron. Thus John was from the priestly family in both sides. Aaron's wife was Elizabeth (Exodus 6:21). So also Zachariahs'. End of Old Testament priesthood.

  3. Have faith: History of Israel begins with Abraham and ends with Zechariah. No children till old, but sons because of their deep faith.

  4. Israel's priesthood begins through Elizabeth, wife of Aaron; here the birth of John the Baptist, forerunner of our Lord, through another Elizabeth, wife of Zechariah.

  5. A joint Service: People prayed outside when the priest was doing incense inside the sanctuary.

  6. Work together: Abraham and Melkizedek ; Moses and Aaron; David and Abyathar; Zerubabel and Jeshua and Christ and John the Baptist worked together.

  7. Prayers are answered. They did not have a child. Desparations and sorrow, but did not forsake God (2: 36-37). Even if we lead a good life, that doesn't mean that all our prayers will be answered. Still they didn't forsake God. Job's wife did: Job 2:9. "Blessed is the pure in heart." Good people also have to face problems. When we have problems, remember Zachariahs and Hannah. Years of prayers and waiting. Here the couples were "righteous and blameless." They were faithful (Genesis 11:30; 17:17). Finally Aaron's rod "sprouted and put forth buds" and "produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds" (Numbers 17:8). Children should be born through our prayers. The child became the forerunner. So waiting was blissful.

  8. God's message while serving: Felt His presence. God is a very help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Recite Psalm 23, five times a day for seven days. Here God revealed His glory while in service: Censor (Exodus 30:7-8)

  9. Doubts and punishments: Zechariah should not have doubted, but did. So punished. Abraham had no doubts (Romans 4:20). God's message through Gabriel to Daniel (8) and Ezekiel (3:26) and became speechless. Here different situation. Did not believe. So became mute.

  10. Punishment helped for reflection: Lots of time for prayer and meditation throughout until the child's birth. Time for reflection about God's grace and concern (Psalm 119:7). When we have problems, meditate.

  11. Blessed with a son of greatness: Great in the sight of the Lord. What else parents need? Parents get excited when they see the achievements of their children. Blessed parents dedicate their God-given children and talents. John like Samson (Judges 7:13) - different and like Jeremiah (1:5) - spirit filled. Isaiah's dreams: 47: 1, 5. Like Elijah, John preached of repentance and faith. Became Lord's fore-runner.

  12. Children born as a result of prayer became great: Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, Samson, John the Baptist.

  13. Accept God's revelation: Priests and leaders should accept God's revelations.

  14. Filled with Holy Spirit: Parents lived with the fear of God. So their son became filled with Holy Spirit in her womb as told by the angel. He was a great Nazir. (Anointing with Holy Oil - confirmation - strengthens us).

  15. We may be helpless, but not hopeless.

  16. Praise and thank God for the blessings we receive. Elizabeth did.

MATTHEW 19: 3-12

  1. Divorce is unchristian: Genesis 1:27; 2:24, 41; Matthew 5:31-32.

  2. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 is a concession to human sinfulness.

  3. The celebate can be free of family responsibilities to give themselves to the work of God.


  1. Martha welcomed Jesus but got busy with other things

  2. Mary sat at Jesus' feet and learned.

  3. The needs of the spirit are more important than the comfort of the body.

2 PETER 1:1-5

  1. God gives us power to live holy lives.

  2. We must grow with diligence by cultivating the characteristics of virtue, knowledge, self control, perseverence, kindness and love.

  3. Our lives should produce the fruits of holiness (Galatians 5:22-25)

  4. We must encourage others toward heaven.


  1. Spirit-filled Christians freely submit themselves to one another.

  2. Mutual submission is to be carried out between wives and husbands and between children and parents.

  3. Submission underlines love.

  4. We are all members of Christ's body

  5. The unity of husband and wife (Genesis 2:24) is similar to the unity of Christ and the Church.

  6. Instruct and correct children to serve the Lord rather than unreasonably severe.

GENESIS 2: 18-25; 17:15-22; 37:1-11

  1. Loneliness is not good.

  2. God made a living companion to Adam out of his rib.

  3. Adam and Eve became one flesh.

  4. Sarah became mother of the people of God (Abram became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah...status changed: Revelations 2:17).

  5. God blessed Abraham with a child: Isaac.

  6. Jacob's favoritism along with Joseph's report caused hatred.

  7. Joseph's dreams: The dreamer later became an interpreter of dreams (40:9-19; 41:25-32) and everyone bowed before him (43:26; 44:14).

  8. Brothers envied Joseph.

  9. Father kept the matter in mind. cf. Luke 2:19, 51: Mother of Jesus...Also Daniel 7:28

NUMBERS 8: 13-20

God chose Levites for full time MINISTRY

1 SAMUEL 1: 9-17

  1. Hannah prayed for a son

  2. Hannah did not get mad, but pleaded to Eli.

  3. Hannah was blessed by Eli as well as God.

RUTH 1: 11-18

  1. Naomi pleaded Orpah and Ruth, her daughters-in-laws to return to their mother's.

  2. Orpah returned with relutance.

  3. Ruth stayed with Naomi uttering that only death parts her from Naomi.

PSALMS 133: 1-3

  1. Importance of unity among people

  2. Oil used in the consecration of high priest: Exodus 29:7

  3. Mount Hermon: Site of unusually heavy dew, a great blessing.

ISAIAH 41:8-15

The Lord's servant need not fear. God will not abandon His servant, only strengthen.


LUKE 1: 26-38

  1. Twice a year: We observe the Annunciation twice a year, this time for the continuity of the events and then on March 25th to make nine months December 25th, i.e., Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity born from St. Mary. God sent Him down after sanctification (John 10:36), dedication , and then the annunciation to Zachariahs. Sanctification is needed for Mary, being the generation from Adam. That is why angel Gabriel was sent to her. Holy Spirit dwelt in her and she dedicated herself. We should also.

  2. Joseph was from David's and Mary of Aaron and Elizabeth's ancestry.

  3. Mary, the same name of the sister of Moses and Aaron (Miriam).

  4. Mary was a Galelian (from Nazareth) like Elijah, Elisha, Jonah and all prophets of the gentiles.

  5. Mary's sanctity, humility and patience: Her Godfearing and dedicated life from childhood prepared her for this selection and blessings to be the Mother of God. Her birth was like that of Isaac, Samson, John the Baptist - through God's revelation. Her humility made her to be called for the great position (1 Samuel 15:22 vs. Eve's disobedience). There are only very few references about Mary, only once outside the Gospels (Acts 1:14). She talked very rarely. Her silence. "Speech is silver, silence is golden." Follow God's commandments completely and whole-heartedly. St. Anne's Church at St. Stephen's gate (the place where St. Mary was born to Hanna and Yuyakim).

  6. She is "full of grace". Angel appeared when she was in prayer as Zachariahs was burning incense in the temple (Prarthippan Dhaivathin Munpil Mariam Ninnidum-nnaram....)

  7. Mary's Faith: Mary was selected and anointed. She accepted the challenge. When she was told that she will be conceived by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, she believed and asked no more questions.

  8. Vision made Zachariahs frightened - punished. Message made Mary excited...cleared doubts. Mary took a big "risk." Her complete submission. Zachariahs hesitated.

  9. Angel with the message: To Eve, a fallen angel (sin); To Mary, Arch angel (salvation); To Mary Magdaline, Angel (Good news of resurrection).

  10. Good news: Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32) to be born through her... a virgin. Messianic prophecy (2 samuel 7:2-12) fulfilled in St. Luke 1:31-33.

  11. Special Greetings: Abraham, Jacob, Joshua, Samson's parents, Isaiah, Zachariahs - all saw angels face to face, but no greetings to any one of them.


    To St. Mary: "Hail Mary, full of Grace" (1:30)


    To St. Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you"

  12. The name "Jesus" was chosen even before birth (Numbers 13:16: Joshua, conqueror of Canan / heaven; Ezra 3:8; 5:2: builder of the temple and the high priest). Jesus is the Savior.

  13. The works of the Holy Spirit for the Incarnation and thereafter.

  14. Jesus is the Son of God and St. Mary is the Mother of God.

  15. St. Mary is blessed with full of GRACE (1:28)... not immaculate Romans 5:20 ... where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. She had original sin The presence of God with her and the blessing of God upon her.

  16. Commit to His hands: "Here am I, Thy servant." Obedience, submission and dedication. We are just clay in the hands of the potter. Eve listened to the devil and sinned. Virgin Mary listened to the messanger to overcome that sin. By Christ we receive all Grace: Titus 3:3-5. God is always with us: Matthew 28:20.

  17. Nothing is impossible with God: Through Holy Spirit, Incarnation. We should be ready to do anything for our salvation...need our dedication, cooperation, and faith (Martha was told to do so (John 11:40). Do the will of God. Whatever we have is God's: 1 Corinthians 4:7; Acts 7:28). Submit everything before Him. Holy Spirit upon Mary as on Apostles to preach the Gospel.

  18. Participate: Mary suffered along with Jesus being near the cross, witnessing crucifixion. She was there even while the disciples ran away. She was with the Apostles who met to pray in order to strengthen in Holy Spirit before Ascension. Like St. Paul, we have to participate (Colossians 1:24).

  19. The woman's seed bruise the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15) and the fulfillment in Isaiah 7:14 (the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name IMMANUEL) is completed by the Annunciation and therafter by the Incarnation.

LUKE 1:26-38

  1. Mary was "highly favored" in the eyes of God.

  2. The Lord was with her

  3. She is blessed among women

  4. "Do not be afraid"

  5. Her son will be great--Son of God

  6. Mary clarified by asking sincere questions

  7. The power of the Holy Spirit

  8. Everything is possible with God: Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Romans 4:21.



God to Abraham: Genesis 15:1 Angel to Mary: Luke 1:30 Angel to Joseph: Matthew 1:20 Christ: Luke 5:10; 12:32; 24:36-37; Matthew 14:27; 28: 10


Do not be afraid of God: do not be afraid to say, "Father" - "Our Father" (Matthew 6:9). Do not be afraid of God who became man. He is the Messiah ("Matthew 16:16). Do not fear the truth about ourselves.


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: Psalms 111:10; Proverbs 1:7


Fear the Lord and depart from evil: Proverbs 3:7


"I will not be afraid": Psalms 3:6


If we do evil, be afraid: Romans 13:4

ACTIVE ASPECT: " My Grace is sufficient"... to St. Mary and St. Paul RELATIVE ASPECT: The outcome of His Grace.
LUKE 8:16-21
  1. We have to reveal the light

  2. Those who truly obey will receive greater spiritual understanding and those who refuse will loose it.

  3. Even the close relatives couldn't meet Jesus if there is a big "crowd"

  4. Those who obey are the memmbers of God's family.

MARK 3:31-35

  1. Jesus' family came looking for Him

  2. A great multitude listened Jesus

  3. Whoever does the will of God becomes members of God's family.

1 JOHN 3:2-17

  1. We are children of God

  2. Sinning is disregarding God's will and law

  3. Christ, who has no sin, takes away our sins

  4. We have to repent our sins

  5. As God is righteous, we shall also be righteous

  6. Like Jesus, we must show our love in practical ways

  7. Evil people cannot love.

GALATIANS 4:1-7; HEBREWS 2:14-18

  1. A child is under the supervision of others

  2. By receiving the Holy Spirit, we are all sons and daughters of God who is our Father

  3. We have the full privileges of an heir

  4. Christ saves us from the guilt of sins and from the power of temptations.

GENESIS 28:10-22

  1. Jacob saw in his dreams angels ascending and descending.

  2. God gives Jacob personal promises of protection and care

  3. Jacob recognized God's presence

  4. Bethel: House of God

  5. Jacob's vow to give tithe

JUDGES 13:2-14

  1. Angel appeared to Manoah's wife and announced the birth of a son to a barren (Genesis 17:15-16; Luke 1:13)

  2. She was warned to keep away from unclean things

  3. Her son, Samson, shall be a Nazirite - consecrated to God with a vow: abstain from wine, do not cut hair or beard, no contact with dead bodies and eat no unclean foods (Numbers 6:1-8). Samson, Samuel and John, the Baptist were Nazirites. Parents made the vows. Paul took such a vow: Acts 18:18 cf. 21:23-24

  4. Manoah prayed for direction about the child and got it.

ZECHARIAH 2:10-13; 4:1-7; 8:3

  1. Jerusalem is summoned to exult in the Lord who dwells in the midst of His people

  2. All the people of the earth shall worship at the Jerusdalem temple after its reestablishment

  3. The Holy Spirit shall empower Zerubabel, the governor

  4. Jerusalem shall be the abode of the Lord God.

ISAIAH 63:15-64:5

The feeling of the lack of God's interference and request for His presence and blessings.

LUKE 1:39-56

  1. Meeting of two devouted women with good intentions: service, help, communication, share, fellowship, not for gossip. Elizabeth is old, Mary is young; Elizabeth is priest's wife (prestegious), Mary is just an ordinary woman ; one is rich, the other is poor. Representatives of O.T. and N.T. The young woman's curiosity to see the old one in person.

  2. Mary from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, went with haste.(like the shepherds) in the hilly city of Judea; travelled from Galile to Judeah through hills and valleys...three day's journey. No communication systems (telephone). Hurried her visit to check the welfare of an old pregnant relative... not to check the furniture, curtains, or decorations.

  3. "Mercy and truth" have met together here (Psalm 85:10)

  4. The meeting took place at Hebron (Joshua 21:11) where the tribal fathers were burried ... Machpelah (Genesis 50:13). Jesus and John the Baptist started there life together here.

  5. Rejoice with those who are rejoiced. Elizabeth was barren, but she is going to have a child. "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15).

  6. An example for the necessity of fellowship: Seeing each other and sharing.

  7. Cordial response.Welcomed Mary as "Mother of my Lord" (1:43)

  8. Helped in need (like wedding at Cana). Stayed three months. Happy about another's welfare and shared each other. Exchanged their divine experience. Mutual respect.

  9. Mary's presence thrilled Elizabeth and the baby. How about our presence? The babe leaped in Elizabeth's womb.

  10. Filled with Holy Spirit in the womb (1:45). The power of the Holy Spirit. Importance of child baptism. Objections to abortion.

  11. Their skindeep relationships: The connective tissue - Below the surface and the protective tissue - Outer surface.

  12. Mary is the blessed among women through the child from God. The direct message did not make her proud; but made her humble.

  13. MAGNIFICAT is praising God for blessing her. cf. Matthew 5:3-9. cf. 1 samuel 2:1-10; 1:46-47: Hebrews 3:18.

  14. Cordial conversdation: Enjoyed each other; praises, not goossip. An ideal conversation; not gossip, no gossip.

  15. God's mercy to those who fear Him, rather than the proud; to the lowly rather than the mighty; and to the hungry rather than the rich. God comes to help the poor and simple and not to the rich and powerful.

  16. Mary stayed there three months: to GUIDE each other: GUIDE G: Guidance U: Understand I: Influence D: Discuss E: Express

LUKE 8:1-3; 10:38-42

  1. Jesus' ministry expanded with women who supported the mission.

  2. Martha welcomed Jesus in her house but was distracted with much serving.

  3. Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to Him.

  4. The needs of the spirit are more important than the comfort of the body.

JOHN 20:1-18

  1. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene

  2. She wept for Jesus and her care and concern.

  3. Mary is the first one who preached the risen Lord.

1 PETER 3:1-7

  1. Wives should accept the leadership of their husbands in the family by honoring each other.

  2. Wives should have neat outward appearance and must have beautiful hearts with kindness and cooperation.

  3. Husbands should respect their wives giving high priority to their well-beings.

1 TIMOTHY 2:9-15; 3:11-13

  1. Modesty of dress is appropriate to faithful women.

  2. God looks not outwardly, but inwardly: 1 Peter 3:3-4

  3. Women should learn and act in public befitting to the occasion: 1 Corinthians 11:4-5; 14:34-35; Romans 16:1-15.

  4. Wife has a special responsibility to properly rear her family and manage her home.

  5. Faith, love, and holiness with self-control are requirements for salvation.

GENESIS 1:24-31; 24:15-30

  1. The birds and beasts were formed from materials taken from the earth.

  2. "Let US make man" - plural: Trinity

  3. Man was made in God's image

  4. Man has dominion over all creation

  5. Only after the FLOOD, God allowed man to eat meat: Genesis: 9:23

  6. Rebekah treated Abraham's servant and his camels well which led to choose her for Isaac.

JUDGES 4:4-16

Deborah, a judge and prophetess and Barek defeated Sisera.

1 SAMUEL 25:1-35

  1. Mordecai and Jews mourned with fasting and weeping against the decree of King Ahasuerus, plotted by Haman.

  2. Mordecai persuaded queen Esther to act against the decree.

PROVERBS 14:1; 19:14; 31:10-31

  1. Wise woman builds her house, the foolish destroys

  2. Prudent wife has God's all blessings

  3. A man finds in a good woman security, abundance, and satisfaction

  4. She is trustworthy, industrious, resourceful, compassionate, prudent, and well-spoken.

  5. Stability, harmony, and fruitfulness are the results of a man and a woman living together in loving obedience to God.

LUKE 1: 57-80

  1. Christ's fore-runner: Remember three times: in December, January 7th (Feast of Praises), and Augusr 29th (Beheading). From Levy tribe. Parents were from the priestly family. The last Old Testament prophet and the first Christian missionary.

  2. Born as the result of his parents' prayer and God's grace at their old age. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were born from ol parents. Wonderful blessings to Zachariahs and Elizabeth.

  3. God perfects us in holiness through suffering. Got enough time for prayer, meditation, and reflections during the period when Zachariahs was dumb.

  4. The neighbors rejoiced at the birth of the baby. How about our neighbours? What is our relationship with them?

  5. Circumcised on the 8th day (Luke 1:59 cf. Genesis 17:11-12) as was Jesus (Luke 2:21).

  6. Zachariahs' obedience in naming the child "John" recovered his speech. Many children make parents speechless because of their violent and immoral acts; here, John makes the parent to speak.

  7. Zachariahs praised the Lord upon the birth of his son. Those who don't participate in spiritual activities get involved after the birth of a child.

  8. Spent in the desert till the day of manifestation: No social eating or drinking. Because he spoke the truth, not too many friends. In the desert, spring for Hagar; God for Moses; water for Elijah; God to Isaiah. We all have to pass through the desert.

  9. "What kind of a child will be this?": 1:66


    Bears good witness (God): 1:66 - Many will rejoice - Will be great in the sight of the Lord - Not a drunkard or drug addicted -Filled with the Holy Spirit even from the mother's womb -Will turn many to God - Fore-runner with the spirit of Elijah - Prepared the way to inherit heaven (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6) -No one is greater than John the Baptist (Jesus): 11:11 Prophet of the highest: (Parents): 1:76-77


    One who shows God to others: As fore-runner, pointed out the deterioration of the society (Luke 3:1-20). Called them "brood of wipers" (7).


    One who questions immorality and unrighteousness. Questioned Herod Antipas which brought to his beheading (Matthew 14:3-12)


    One who clears the doubts: Sent disciples to Jesus confirm: Luke 7:19


    Embodiment of humility: Just a shadow of Christ. Ate locusts and wild honey. Conscious of His own imperfection. Preached that one who is coming is mightier whose sandal trap he is not worthy to stoop down and loose (Mark 1:6). He must increase (John 3:30). Prepared the way, preached peace and guided through wisdom.


    One who baptized Jesus: Matthew 3:13-17


    One who bears witness to Christ: John 1:19-36; 3:25-36. "The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world": 1:29


    One who is prophesied about: - Identified with Elijah: Matthew 11:13- 14; 17:12 - Will send Elijah before the coming of the Lord: Malachi 3:1;4:5 - The voice of crying in the wilderness prepares the way of the Lord: Isaiah 40:3-5

  10. Father excited: Zachariahs praised the Lord (1:68). He was blessed with the birth, filled with Holy Spirit and prophesied: the song is called "Benedictus": Blessed. He praised for the coming of Messiah and His salvation (vv. 68-75; 78-79) and for the role of His son in preparing the way for our Lord (vv.76-77)

  11. The child grew (Luke 2:40) and became strong in spirit.

  12. Lived as they believed: Like Jesus, John the baptist wandered in the desert, preached God and His kingdom, criticised the people for the wrong, and both died on account for what they lived. Also tempted like Christ (John 1:19f). Descendants of Aaron and David.

  13. Great intercessor: At the beginning of the Public Celebration of Holy Qurbana.

  14. The question?: John's baptism from heaven or from men?: Matthew 21:25; Luke 20:4

John the Baptist sowed a big storm in Galilee. He preached for repentance and preparation to receive Jesus. Many came to seek his advice (Luke 3:10-14). His disciples got jealous of Jesus. He handled the situation smoothly (John 3:22-30). He taught them:

  1. The one who comes after him is stronger than him. He knew who he was and who Christ was. He was proud of doing his work for God.

  2. One should not assume more than what he has been given by God. If anyone is greater than us, do not be jealous.

  3. Do our duty responsibly. Jesus was the bridegroom and John was His friend - forerunner for preparation. Friends of bridegroom has a big position in the Jewish tradition. He is the communicator. He does what ever is needed for the complete success of the wedding and after he is done disappears. John did it. Now it is our duty to show Christ to others.


    "He to perish, I to perish": Some people want others to perish along with them when desperate and disappointed (Killed fellow doctors, family and himself saying "Life is not worth living." John perished but his cause lived.


    He to perish, I to establish (Philippians 3:18-19): Earthly earnings and establishments


    He to increase, I to increase.


    He to increase, I to decrease: John the Baptist, St. Stephen, many fathers, martyrs.

  4. John was nameless; just a voice: His humility: John 1:20, 23; Luke 3:16.

  5. He was selfless: Luke 3:11

  6. He was fearless: preached against the immoralities of Herod.

The child grew and became strong in spirit: Luke 1:80; cf. 2:40; 2:52

  1. Physical growth: Handsome and good health; learned a trade; strong.

  2. Mental and intellectual growth: Learned from Scriptures, parents, nature and life; Jesus surpassed the wisdom of scribes, Sadduccees, and Pharisees. Everybody surprised at His wisdom (Luke 2:47; Matthew 13:54-55); learned sevral languages.

  3. Spiritual growth: This is true with Jesus: Luke 2:49; adviced with authority (Matthew 7:29); about the temple, Sabbath, etc: Matthew 21:16; 12:6; 5:17; Isaiah 56:17; Jeremiah 7:10; abot Scribes and others: Matthew 5:20; 6:5; 16:6, 11-12.

  4. Social growth: Lived for helping others; travelled to preach and teach; mingled with all people, rich and poor.

MARK 10:13-16; MATTHEW 18:1-5

  1. Children were brought to Jesus (Baptism)

  2. Jesus' touch has special appeal

  3. Disciples rebuked

  4. Jesus noted and wanted them to bring to bless

  5. Just as children receive the necessities from their parents, we receive blessings from God, the father

  6. Jesus set a child in the midst - children at the center

  7. Be humble: Humility is the foundation of greatness.

MATTHEW 11: 11-19

  1. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus and fulfilled the role prophesised of Elijah (Malachi 4:5) so that he is the greatest.

  2. Unbelievers oppose God's kingdom

  3. Those who rejected John the Baptist and Jesus are spoiled children so that they don't deserve kingdom of God.

I JOHN 3:1-3

  1. We are all children of God

  2. We live with the assurance for the future.


  1. Children have to obey their parents: Proverbs 6:20; 23:22; Colossians 3:20

  2. Parents should not be unreasonably severe with children, but shall instruct and correct them to serve the Lord.


  1. As God's promise, Sarah bore a son for Abraham in their old age - Isaac.

  2. Isaac was circumcised when he was eight years old

  3. God made Sarah happy to laugh: Genesis 17:17; 18:12

  4. Abraham upon the persuasion of Sarah and the direction from God sent away Hagar and Ishmael

  5. Hagar wept over her son and God heard her voice

  6. God blessed Hagar and Ishmael.


  1. Moses was born, but his life was threatened as all Israelite male babies. Moses' act of deliverence was started as a helpless child as Jesus.

  2. Amram and Jochebed (6:20) were his parents. Moses' sister was Miriam : Numbers 26:59

  3. Like Noah (with his family), Moses found refuge in an ark.

  4. Moses: He who was drawn out

  5. God provides shelter to those who seek for Him.

I SAMUEL 1:20-28; 2:18-26: BIRTH OF SAMUEL

  1. God answers Hannah's prayer

  2. Hannah dedicated her son to God's service, keeping her vow: Psalm 22:25

  3. Samuel grew in stature: in favor with God and men: Luke 2:52

  4. Eli's sons grew in evil dealings and wickedness. So they were punished: 1 samuel 6:9-10; Hebrews 10:26-31

PSALMS 127:1-5

  1. If God is ignored, efforts to develop a family or community will be fruitless.

  2. Apart from God, even hard work will not pay

  3. Children are a gift from God

ISAIAH 62:1-12

  1. God redeems and sanctifies His people

  2. God blesses those who serve Him

  3. God guarantees strength to those who are righteous

  4. God makes the journey easy for those who truly wants to come to Him.

MATTHEW 1:18-25

  1. "You shall call His name" (1:21): Revelation to Joseph about the birth of jesus Christ; ""You have a name that you are alive, that you are dead" (Revelation 3:1): St. John writing to the Church in Sardis. You are a paralyte, sick; our people in all places and venues, but something is missing; perplexed like Joseph; need some insight and help.

  2. A devout man: Joseph was son of Jacob and husband of Mary (Matthew 1:16). He was a descendant of Abraham and David, 75th generation from Adam (Luke 3:23-38). He was a carpenter, originally from Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth. James, Joseph, Jude and Simon were his sons from his first wife. Joseph was a just man like Job. His simplicity, sinceriety, purity and open heart rebelled his thoughts and feelings - an embodiment of patience and self-control. Not angry against Mary. Joseph was unaware of what was going on as Mary did not reveal her divine revelation to any one. Joseph planned to divorce her in secret . cf. Deuteronomy 22:23-24; 24:1. Not happy about other's misery. Gossip? Wanted to put her away privately. Didn't want to humiliate Mary. No escapism or hatred but only concern. Covered her from stoning (Deuteronomy 22:24). Most people try to cover their own weaknesses and publicize other people's problems. The public "make it or break it."

  3. Are we giving the kind of importance to Joseph, Jesus' "father" (2:48) as he deserves? God opened a new way to Joseph when all were closed. God saves us from trials, troubles and tribulations. Joseph's mental agony. The responsibility of a betrothed man (Deuteronomy 20:7) cluttered in his brain. Suspicion could lead to family breakdown. God's intervention in times of problems. Revealed the reality of God's conception: Jesus: The Lord is our savior. God came in Jesus to deliver us from sins. Thus the prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) was fulfilled. As in the past (Hebrews 1:1), the Lord revealed the special circumstances in a vision. cf. Matthew 2:12, 19; the birth of Samson through angel.

  4. Revelation to Joseph four times: Matthew 1:20; 2:13; 2:19; 2:22..

  5. The call: "Joseph, son of David" (Matthew 1:20): The rod from the stem of Jesse: (Isaiah 11:1)

  6. First record of the work of the Holy Spirit in New Testament times. To Zachariahs and Mary (later to the shepherds), angel appeared. Here just a dream...may be his thoughts of the days. His tentative thoughts submitted before God. He believed the dream fully. The dream of Martin Luther King: "I have a dream" Children's Christmas dreams: "The third day of Christmas daddy sent three golden rings, two diamond necklaces, and a pot full of silver coins." D R E A M S D: Didactic Learning R: Reflections E: Experience A: Accountability M: Modelling S: Spiritual Power

  7. This dream revolutionized the family life of Joseph. Acted upon God's direction (cf. Abraham) as instructed by the angel in the vision, the dream elevated and strengthened his relationship with Mary.

  8. Broad minded Joseph: Extend our activities to various fields (Psalm 139); Enlarge path not to slip (2 samuel 22:37); Extend the field (mission field); Extend giving habits.

  9. Did not decide in haste. "Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).

  10. Solve the situation in private: Matthew 18:15.

  11. Joseph was a devoted husband. Took Mary to Bethlehem, his difficulty to find a place for birth, his departure to Egypt with the mother and the child, return (travelled altogether about 500 miles), trip to Jerusalem with the child at the age of 12 (Luke 2:41-52). Silent worker. Only very few appearances. Died before crucifixion, as mother was entrusted with John, the disciple.

  12. Commitment is important for a successful family (like Joseph). Commitment: Not with any one else/No cheating; Time together: "What do you want?" - No car, money, but would like to do things together. Appreciation: Hugging, encouraging, communic-ation Coping with crisis: Unemployment, family problems (Professor: wife left, brother had cancer, children in drugs - changed the pattern of life)

  13. Joseph was righteous and virteous: took the child and mother to the temple for dedication and worship; took to Egypt for protection.

  14. Spiritual wellness: Honesty, responsibility, charity, and tolerance; Church, confession, communion.

  15. Heavenly vision (Acts 26:19): Revealed religion: "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." God became man. Our goal is to reach Christ.

  16. Many have no revelations or dreams about the future: Judas, Ananias and Saphira. So many still alive.

  17. Where there is no vision, there the people perish: Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah - all had visions.

  18. God calls in vision: Saul was called and became Paul through vision; Elijah's experiences.

  19. Response: St. paul fought good fight.

JOHN 6:30-46

  1. Manna gave only temporary physical strength. The true bread from heaven would give eternal life.

  2. Jesus is the bread of life (First of Jesus' seven "I am"s. Jesus fully satisfies the deepest need of the human heart.

  3. Jesus came to do the will of the Father. jesus doesn't reject anyone who comes to Him. God doesn't want anyone to be lost. Those who believe in Jesus get everlasting life.

  4. Because the Jews knew the family of Jesus, they complained that His claim of a heavenly origin was incredible.

  5. God brings people to Jesus. The road to salvation is open to all.

1 PETER 2:11-17

  1. Nonbelievers shall glorify God by observing our good works.

  2. Disobedience to God. Established social institutions dishonor Christ.

  3. The purpose of the government is to punish evil doers and encourage good.

  4. The believers shall live in love: Matthew 22:37-40

  5. Make His will our will: Luke 22:42


  1. Paul received the Gospel directly from God by revelation

  2. Paul changed completely from persecutor to Christian advocate

  3. When Paul was called to preach among the Gentiles, he readily accepted it

  4. He spent time in Arabia after the conversion

  5. The Churches in Judea praised God on account of Paul and thus recognized the truth of his image.

GENESIS 13:1-11

  1. Abraham became rich, but did not forget to call on God

  2. Strife between the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot

  3. Abraham's solution: Letting Lot to choose whatever he wants

  4. Lot chose the better part: Greed determined choice.

ISAIAH 1:2-9

  1. God's call to repentance

  2. Israel rebelled against God: ox knows its owner and donkey its master, but Israel forgot God

  3. Because of this, spiritual sickness and desolation.

LUKE 3:23-38; MATTHEW 1:1-18

  1. Lord is our dwelling place in all generations (Psalm 90:1-2; Acts 3:25)

  2. Remember our ancestors: Sunday of remembering the generations - geneology of Mary in Luke and that of Joseph in Matthew (1:1-17). Luke starts from Joseph and ends with Adam, thus 56 persons in 77 generations from Jesus back to Adam. Matthew starts with Abraham and ends with Joseph. Joseph as Adam's son and Adam as God's son . From Abraham to David 14, from David to Babylonian exile 14, and from exile to Christ 14 generations are remembered thua 42 persons representing 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus. Researching the roots to prove that Jesus is an actual Jew and their promised Messiah thus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 11:1-2). Christ rules over David's throne for ever. cf. Luke 1:32-33. God's covenant and His grace to Abraham: Luke 1:54, 73 All the families shall be blessed: Genesis 12:3 Woman's seed bruise the serpent:Genesis 3:15-16 We are God's children: 1 John 5:2; 3:1 We have to do His will: Matthew 12:50 Call Him Father: Matthew 6:9 Faithful are sons of God: Romans 4:13; John 1:13. By faith Abraham became heir All generations will be blessed: Acts 3:25. From the beginning he was elected for our salvation: Ephesians 1:4-6. Remember our ancestors. Offer divine liturgy for the departed and pray for the reposed souls.

  3. This also emphasizes that salvation is for the whole world.

  4. Jesus is part of that chain - from Adam to the present. Emperors, kings, prophets, good and bad people all in that group.

  5. Heriditory rites to preserve: 1 Kings 21:3: Ahab and Naboth. Here altogether 42 (14x3) generations.

  6. Traced Aaron's history for priesthood. If no continuation, ousted from priesthood (Ezra 2:62)

  7. Royal heritage: Jesus is from the seed of David: St. Peter (Acts 2:29-36; St. paul (Romans 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:8), multitude (Matthew 12:23), Caananite woman (Matthew 15:22), blind man (Matthew 20:30-31), Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:9). St. Matthew depicts the royal heritage of Jesus, whole St. Luke points out Jesus' general humanity tied with divinity. Bothe narrations deal with the historical continuity.

  8. Importance of women in the Church: five women are mentioned: Tamar (Genesis 38), Rahab (Joshua 2:1-7; Hebrews 11:33), Ruth (1:14), Bath Sheba (2 Samuel 11:3,27), Mary. Today's liberation movement? In Christ, there is no difference between male or female: Galatians 3:28.

  9. Sinners have a place in the Church: Wife of Uriah (Matthew 1:6; 2 Samuel 11:3,27; Bath Sheba) ; Tamar, the adulterous (Genesis 38). Jesus came to save sinners: 1 Timothy 1:15.

  10. There is no barrier between Jews and Gentiles; male and female; saints and sinners.

  11. In Matthew generation begins from Abraham, in Mark from Public Ministry, in Luke from Adam, and in John from eternity.

  12. God's care for us in all ages: Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

  13. God intervened in unusual ways to bring salvation: gentile women: Rahab (Hebrews 11:3: (prostitute); Joshua 2:1-7 (gentile) ; Ruth 1:4: (gentile.)

  14. The generations began with God and ended in God. The first stage began with God and ended with Joseph in Egypt thus men lost his image; the second is rising of David to kingship; in the third lost heritage and became slaves in Babylon in disarray (Psalms 137:1); and in the fourth liberation from slavery and regeneration in Christ (Hebrews 2:14). Christ stands in the center of generations: A.D. and B.C.

  15. The holy family sprouted from the best of the past.

  16. Jesus was born of Mary through Holy Spirit.

  17. Three kinds of people: Those who Make things happen Those who WATCH things happen Those who ASk, what happened? Are you really a MEMBER?

  18. Going after just pleasure is not enough. Technological revolution: radios, televisions, computers, air conditions not for pleasure but for necessity.

  19. Pressure: Jobs, too much responsibilities, lack of time, problems
  20. Leisure: Sundays have become sindays;: pornographies and immoral ties with vacation, holidays, parties, sports, etc.
  21. Treasure: Going after worldly wealth. People forget that our citizenship is in heaven. Solomon prayed for prudence and intelligence. Mother Theresa's slogan was: "ALL FOR JESUS."
  22. Examine the role of sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers. How about our public role?, job and responsibilities. A survey among Orthodox Youth in the United States shows the importance of ethnic identity over religiosity. The Church has been primarily the promoter of cultural heritage - ethnic identity (opportunity for interaction with fellow country men and women) rather than the director of spiritual growth for the witness of the Lord. Both are necessary.

Let us think our life and role for the achievement of the goal during this time when we are getting ready to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

JOHN 1:1-8

  1. Jesus Christ existed in the beginning. He was with God; He was indeed God.

  2. All of creation came into being through Him (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17).

  3. Christ's life constituted light. This light still shines and has never been overcome by darkness.

  4. John the Baptist bear witnesses to Christ that all through Him might believe.

  5. His own people did not accept Christ

  6. Those who believed Him became true children of God.

  7. The divine Christ became a man and dwelt temporarily with us.

  8. We all receive grace from Jesus Christ who is greater than Moses.


  1. The faith in Jesus makes us strong: John 11:40

  2. Repentance helps to blot out sins

ROMANS 4:13-25; GALATIANS 4:18-20

  1. God's promise to Abraham to give many descendants (Genesis 15:5-6) and to bless the world through him (Genesis 12:3; 22:18) was based on faith in God.

  2. Salvation by faith applies both to Abraham and to us.

  3. Christ shall form in us.

GENESIS 46:8-27

  1. "Do not fear" (V 3): Also to Abrahm (15:1) and Isaac (26:24).

  2. Genealogy for 400 years in Egypt: 70 people went to Egypt with Jacob (3:1-43).

1 KINGS 9:3-7

  1. God appeared to Solomon the second time after hearing his prayer.

  2. God consecrated the house Solomon built.

  3. God's promise of a perpetual Davidic line, if Solomon keeps all the commandments and walks with Him.

ISAIAH 7:14-15; 11:1-9

  1. The prophecy of virgin bearing a son: Jesus

  2. The sign shows that God is with Ahaz, whether Ahaz wants God or not.

  3. A shoot from David will be the ideal king who will rule with real discernment growing out of His righteousness.

  4. God's spirit will rest upon Him and the remnant of Israel will be gathered. It is the Messiah's kingdom.


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