CHRISTIAN NEWS MAGAZINE FOR KERALA MALAYALEE CHRISTIANS FROM INDIA AROUND THE WORLD
SYNOPSIS

SYNOPSIS FOR SERMONS AND MEDITATIONS
SEASON OF RESURRECTION DbnĄøpImew

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.)

RESURRECTION SUNDAY:
MATTHEW 28: 1-20; MARK 16: 1FF;
LUKE 24: 1FF; JOHN 20: 1FF

1. Easter falls between March 22nd and April 26th on the first Sunday after the first full moon following March 21, the vernal equinox (the time in Spring when  the day and night are of equal length). The date of Easter was established by the first ecumenical council of Nicea in 325 A. D.

2. Easter is believed to have taken its English name from the Teutonic festival celebrating the return of Spring each year which was called Easter. The French word for Easter, "pyques", the Italian "pasqua", and the Spanish "pascua", came from the Hebrew word "pesah". This is a Jewish feast celebrated on the night of the first full moon in the Spring. The feast of pesah (passover) marks the freedom of the ancient Israelites from the Egyptians.

3. Easter is a wonder to tell, a mystery - the
resurrection of Christ from the dead. It is the "Feast of Feasts" and "the solemnity of solemnities." It is the celebration of Christ the Victor, Christ the King.

4. On Easter, the churches are filled with
worshippers, the altars are decorated with flowers and lighted candles, and the music of the day proclaims the joy of the season. People wear colorful dress on this holy day to express joy and gladness, and children in many places collect and hunt chocolate
bunnies and Easter eggs.

5. Jesus proclaimed His resurrection (Matthew 20:19; Luke 18:23; Revelation 1:18). "Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). Christ's resurrection proves that He is the Son of God. Resurrection is the crowning proof of His diety.

6. The Empty Tomb: Friday body was placed in the tomb and a huge stone was rolled against the entrance; Roman soldiers watched; yet on the 3rd day, the tomb was empty. "Why do you seek the living among the dead"
(Luke 24:5). Jesus rose again, appeared to several, talked and ate with the disciples. First the women and then the disciples witnessed. Thomas put his finger in the fingernails and cleared his doubts. Jesus dispelled his doubts. Thomas uttered: "My Lord and my God." Later, Saul (Paul) the persecutor also witnessed Jesus' resurrection (1 Corinthians 15: 4-9). Thomas wanted to see before he believes, but Paul had no problem (1 Corinthians 15:3-70). Death happens many
times in our times. Often we must die to our own ego, our own preferences, in order to love others.
7. Christ's resurrection proves that there is life
after death. The astounding news is that life can begin again. It teaches that eternal life becomes a present reality. It is the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). If death is end of all we do, then all what we do is futile. Our end is the beginning of a perfect union. It is victory over sin. Easter egg to teach children that there is life inside and will come out: This is the resurrection from death. Life from lifeless.

8. Assurance to the resurrection of the dead (Matthew 28: 1-20). If Christ is not risen, our faith is empty (1 Corinthians 15:14); we are still in sin (but Christ rose again according to Scriptures: 15:3); and there is no hope for our dead (but Christ is the first fruits of those risen from the dead: 1 Corinthians 15:20).The dead have to rise (Revelation 3: 1-3). Jesus overcame death. That is our hope in our life to rise again. Earthquake at the death as well as at resurrection. Soldiers fell down watching the angels who sang: "Holy art Thou O God." Jesus is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). Jesus on the cross assured the other thief that he shall be with Him in paradise. Rich man's suffering in the hell because he didn't care about other's suffering.

9. Jesus is in our hearts (Romans 6: 3-7): Nine
month's in Mary's womb; hung on few nails for a while; in the sepulcher of Joseph for three days; rose again and ascended into heaven; sitting at the right hand of the father judging the world. He should be in the inner most part of our hearts.

10. Our faith depends upon this great truth (1 Corinthians 15:14). If Jesus was not resurrected, all the preaching and belief are in vain.

11. Resurrection teaches us that we believe in a living God. Jesus Christ conquered death. He has risen (Luke 24: 5-6). Thomas believed it only after checking it out (John 20: 25-28). Jesus' resurrection turned the world around (Acts 17:6). He can change our lives too.

12. Jesus wipes away our weep. "Why are you weeping?" (John 20: 15) to Mary at the empty tomb. She was an adulterous. But Jesus saved her. Jesus wept at the death of her brother Lazarus (John 11: 32-36). When
blind Bartimaeus cried to help, Jesus stopped and cured him (Mark 10: 46-48). When Jesus saw the widow weeping, had compassion on her and raised her son (Luke 7: 13-15). Here the resurrected Lord called her by name (20:16) and she recognized His voice (John
10:3). "Weep not, I shall not die, and as I leave the land of the dying, I trust the blessings of the Lord in the land of the living." (Edward the Confessor, King of England).

13. Mary was the first missionary who told the
disciples about Christ's resurrection (John 20: 18).

14. The message of Christ after resurrection:
a. Rejoice: Matthew 28:9 (:Rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalms 118: 22-23).
b. Do not be afraid: Matthew 28:10: Moral depression or private battle, fear not.
c. Tell the brethren: Matthew 28: 10.
d. Peace to all: John 20: 20-21.
e. Receive Holy Spirit: John 20: 22
f. Forgive sins: John 20: 23.

15. Resurrection is the foundation of the Apostolic faith (Acts 1:22) and the corner stone of Christian life. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. St. Paul's example (1 Corinthians 4:8). Jesus resurrected Himself and raised some. He will raise everyone during His second coming. He can raise even those who died in sin (A murderer in the jail was presented with a Bible by a visiting missionary. The crucifixion story changed his life).

16. Power of resurrection (Philippians 3:10; Acts 3:15; 1 John 1:1). The scattered disciples were brought together. cf. 1 Corinthians 15: 14. Jesus proclaimed His resurrection: Matthew 20:19; Luke 18:23; Revelation 1:18

17. Goodness overcame evil. Love and peace united within us uniting between human beings as well as with God. God newly created the fallen human race: washed away the tears

18. We shall be grateful to God. Are we?

19. Christ's resurrection from the grave is symbolic of emergence from the long dead of winter. It marks the season of renewal, of rebirth. It gives us profound hope, happiness and contentment.

20. The disciples were glad when they saw Jesus (John 20:20). Their despair due to the lost affairs of Jesus' crucifixion; their fear of Jews and Romans (20:19); their shame (ran away: Matthew 26:33; John 11:16 -Thomas -; women stood by but men ran away); their emptiness because of the absence of their master. When they saw the resurrected Christ, they were glad; all lost ness disappeared.

21. Several witnessed the resurrected Jesus including Saul, the persecutor: 1 Corinthians 15:4-9. Truth is higher than anything (John 18: 37). They crucified truth, but truth resurrected; God is greater than evil, Jesus died for the sinners and resurrected; life is stronger than death (1 Corinthians 15: 20-22,55); love is greater than hate. 

NOTES: 1. In the early Church, baptism was conducted on Easter Sundays.
2. Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor, gave one week's vacation after Easter.

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
ST.JOHN 20:19-31

1. Jesus appeared several times to the disciples staying with them 40 days after resurrection: (Acts 1:2-3)

2. This is the first to 10 disciples, empowering them for their ministry.

3. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood in the midst: God is Spirit.

4. Jesus' new message on peace; Love our enemies. Here offered peace three times (Six times in Holy Qurbana: "Peace to you.")

5. Showed His hands (20:20). Son surprisingly asked his mother why one of her hands looks black and weak. She told the story how she saved him from a house fire. Grateful son embraced his mother and looked after even life after death. Jesus showed His hands, the ones pierced in on the cross. We have two hands, legs, feet, ears, eyes, etc., but only one heart. Jesus' hand touched the blind, leper, and performed several miracles.

6. Disciples were glad when they saw the Lord (20:20).

7. Jesus sent to "catch"; to teach and preach: commandment to all of us.

8. Like the Father sent the Son, Jesus sent His discipls with authority to continue His ministry.

9. Breathed and gave them the power to forgive: "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them.... if you retain the sins of any, they are retained (20:23).

10. Thomas was not there. That doesn't mean, he didn't get the Holy Spirit. Cf. (Numbers 11:25-26). (Eldad and Medad who were in the tent also received the Holy Spirit). Also forgiving authority was already given (Matthew 18:18), and St. Thomas was there at Pentecost.

11. Thomas wanted a personal experience of Jesus' resurrection. (Peter and John ran to the tomb to see the resurrected Jesus in person. cf. (John 1:1). Mathias was with them at resurrection: (Acts 1:22).

12. Fulfilled the wishes of Thomas by letting him to feel His print of the nails in His hands because of His love to him. Thomas was overjoyed and thrilled and thus cleared the doubts.

13. Jesus asked Thomas to look at His hands: (John 20:27).

A. The hands of creation: The hands laid the foundation of the earth (Isaiah 48:13; 59:1; 64:8); the hands of the Master Craftsman (Proverbs 8:30); the hands of He who created all things visible and invisible (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16).
B. The hands of Redemption: The pierced hands (Psalm 22:16); the wounded hands (Zechariah 13:6).
C. The hands of sustenance: Everlasting hands (Deuteronomy 33:27); Filled with good (Psalm 104:28); Satisfying hands (Psalm 145:16); Feeding hands (Matthew 6: 26: Birds do not feed or gather).
D. Hands of judgment: Writings of judgment (Daniel 5:24); Judgment of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10): Receive things according to our deeds.

14. Believe by seeing as well as hearing. Believe with or without seeing.

15. Thomas' utterance: "My Lord and my Lord" (John 20:25 cf. Psalm 35:23): Jesus' sovereignty and deity cf. Matthew 16:16: Peter's confession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

16. Remember St. Thomas three times annually; Sunday after Easter, July 3rd, December 21st.

17. Three instances to reveal his character:

(a) Readiness to die with Christ (John 11:6);
(b) His interest to know where Christ is going (14:5);
(c) Desire to see the resurrected Christ in person (21:24).

18. Jesus strengthened the faith: Gave them new enthusiasm.

19. Jesus Christ should be with us all day every day.

 

"PEACE BE WITH YOU": JOHN 20:19,21,26
1. Christ gives us peace: (John 14:27)

2. This peace guards our hearts and our minds: (Philip.4:7)

3. God is the author of peace: (1 Corinthians 14:33)

4. Christ is the prince of peace: (Isaiah 9:6)

5. Peace is a fruit of God's Spirit: (Gal. 5:22)

6. Humility precedes peace

7. We have to depart from evil to have real peace:(Ps.34:14)

8. When we please God, we make peace with our fellow men also: (Proverbs 16:7)

9. We have to follow the Law: (Psalm 119:65)

10. We have to make peace with one another (Mark 9:50) and we will be blessed (Matthew 5:9): Peacemakers are sons of God.

11. God comforts: (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

12. Word of encouragement does wonders: (Prov.12:25)

13. Peace at the birth of Christ: (Luke 2:14)

14. St. Paul begins his epistles with the exhortation of peace: (Romans 1:4) ; (1 Corinthians 1:32) (Corinthians 1:2) ; (Galatians 1:4)

15. Also General Epistles: (1 Peter 1:2) ; (2 Peter 1:2) ; (2 John 1:2) ; (Jude 5.2)

16. He is our peace: (Ephesians 2:1)

17. Jesus preached peace: (Ephesians 2:17)

18. Peace and righteousness inseparable qualities: (Ps.85:10)

19. Pursue the things which make peace: (Rom.14:19)

20. God fills us with peace: (Romans 15:13)

21. Bond of peace: (Ephesians 4:3)

22. Peace of God to rule in our hearts: (Colo.3:15)

23. Pursue peace with all people: (Hebrews 12:14)

24. Fruit of righteousness sown in peace by those who make peace: (James 3:18)

25. Peace to him who is far off and near: (Isaiah 57:19)

26. Worthy homes receive peace: (Matthew 10:13)

27. Son of peace accepts peace: (Luke 10:5-6)

28. Blessed are the peacemakers: (Matthew 5:9)

27. No peace to the wicked: (Isaiah 57:21)

28. Maketh even enemies at peace: (Prov.16:7)

29. Peace with God: (Romans 5:1)

30. Peace through the blood of His Cross: (Col..1:20)

31. God is the author of peace: (1 Corinthians 14:33)

32. Peace of God keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus: (Philippians 4:6-7)

33. Peace of God rules in our hearts: (Colossians 3:15)

34..........and peace there shall be no end: (Isaiah 9:6-7)

35. Actual Holy Eucharist service starts with prayer for peace.

36. PEACE before and after Gospel Reading.

37. "PEACE BE WITH YOU" six times in Holy Eucharist apart from several prayers and exhortations for peace.

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
ST. JOHN 21:1-14

1. Earlier appeared in Jerusalem while the disciples were in prayer. Here while in Galilee when in hard work to earn their food. Earlier appeared to ten disciples, here only seven including Andrew and Philipose, may be at the house of Peter.

2. Sunday is the Lord's day. If Sunday is a fun day, week-days shall be weak days. The first meal of the day shall be the Lord's: the Holy Communion. Here Jesus is there with the breakfast food.

3. The disciples went back to work; rather than being lazy.

4. Peter said: "I am going fishing:" Others said: "We are going with you also." Their united front.

5. They went back to their old job even after seeing the resurrected Christ. They are concerned about their future. They lost their faith. Their thoughts about replacing Herod and ruling Israel faded. They lost their hope and expectations (1 Corinthians 15:19). Should not look back after putting hand to the plow: Luke 9:62.

6. Caught nothing that night: Results of going back from promises and decisions. Their fishing days were gone. They went out without seeking the will of God; they forgot that they could not do anything without their Master. Not possible without God: (Psalm 127:1)

7. Jesus got their to help those who forgot Him. God works with us in our need. God's strength and blessings: Psalm 27:1: God is our light and salvation.

8. Did not recognize Him first: If we go astray sometimes this happens.

9. The one Jesus loved most recognized first.

10. No Christ in the night; but Christ there in the morning and big blessings.

11. Jesus did not get angry for going back to their old job.

12. Fishing at the wrong place, side:

13. Obedience enabled them to fish: Listened to Jesus and caught 153 big ones.

14. Fish was the symbol of Christ and Christians. ICTHUS (Greek) = Fish= Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior: First letters of Greek makes ICTHUS: Code for Christians during persecution. Christians were depicted as fish swimming in the water.

15. 153 Fish stand for converts; BOAT stands for Church (1 Peter 3:20); NET stands for Gospel. The net was cast by the instruction of Jesus and lots of people embraced the Church. The NET was not broken (Christ's robe was not torn: John 19:23-25) shows the unity of the Church. 153 fish stand for all kinds of people, according to Jerome. The kingdom of heaven compared: (Matthew 13:47) ;(Ezekiel 47:9) "The Church of Love" in Hebrew. The value of these letters total 153.

16. His presence with us all the time and helps us in trouble:

(a) "I am with you all always, even to the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20).
(b) His "words will by no means pass away" (Matthew 23:4)
(c) We don't have to fear even when we walk through the valley of death because He is with us, and His rod and staff comfort us: (Psalm 23:4)
(d) He is our strength and present help in trouble: (Psalm 46:1-3)

17. They got more than they wanted: He is "able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20-21). When we do things with His Grace, we get results.

18. Don't' be discouraged for not getting an immediate answer. He never changes: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8)

19. All ate fried fish and bread: Not vegetarian.

20. Jesus gave them bread and fish (John 21:12-14): Symbol of Holy Communion; also at Emmaus (Luke 24:30): Experienced Lord's presence.

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER (SUNDAY BEFORE ASCENSION)
LUKE 9:51-62

1. The time to be received up, for ascension, almost up.

2. Jesus wanted to go to Jerusalem from Galilee, even though He knew that there will be persecution and crucifixion: Last trip.

3. Jesus sent messangers before hand.

4. There are two ways to go to Jerusalem: one is longer; around Jordan and through Jericho to Jerusalem; the other is a shortcut; through Samria: they took the shorter way because the other route is three times longer.

5. Jews usually took the longer route because they hated the Samaritans: mixed tribe.

6. Jesus did not hate the Samaritans: wanted to bring them to the fold......"he who is not against us is on our side" (9:50).

7. Samaritans did not give due honor to Jesus which made the disciples: James and John, angry.

8. Don't overdo: don't disobey: otherwise rejection.

9. The disciples got angry and wanted to punish Samaritans quoting Bible (2 Kings 1:10, 12: Elijah vs Ahas) cf. Job 13:7-8.

10. Lots of us do the same thing even now by quoting:
a. Different denominations about their faith
b. Ethists: "There is no God..": Psalm 54:1
c. "The dead do not praise the Lord..." (Psalm 115: 17-18)....But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for ever more.
d. Drink wine and don't get drunk, means you can drink.

11. The disciples were trying to show their prestige. Selfishness, worldly pleasures or pleasurable lives are not divine.

 

12. Retaliation belongs to God. Destruction is not the spirit of Christianity.

13. Jesus came to save, not to destroy.

14. They went to another village: Avoid enmity and fight.

15. Jesus explains the conditions of discipleship...three people wanted to follow for prestige and positions (like Scribes:Matthew 8:14-20), but did not want to face the challenges and left.

16. Someone wanted to follow Jesus. He approached with day dreams to become great. Some people go anywhere for positions. So Jesus told him that birds have nests, foxes have dens, but Son of God has no place to rest, but only the cross. Total commitment needed for discipleship. Do not expect safety and security all the time. One has to "deny himself and take up the cross" (Luke 9:23-24).

17. Jesus invited another one to follow Him, but he wanted to bury his father first. Family concerns and sentimentals: parents, children, relatives, friends, wealth or such other worldly matters should not alienate us from God or divine activities (Genesis 12:1). Christian discipleship takes precedence to conventional discipleship. Family obligations and self-interest should not barr the responsibilities of discipleship. Spiritually dead are more concerned about worldly things.

18. Another one said he will follow after bidding farewell to those in his household. Calculations and statistics should not be hinders to follow Jesus. Should not look back to defeat the purpose (Sodom and Gomorrah)

MOTHER'S DAY (SECOND SUNDAY OF MAY)

Mother's love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:7). A mother nurtures, sustains, and redeems the family. A woman is nurturer, caregiver, mother and a "fixer."

1. Bears (Porukkunnu): Protects. A mother always looks for something positive in their children. St. Mary's position: Annunciation, birth, presentation, sorrow at the foot of the cross.

MOTHERS: NOT FOR SALE: Son in college sent a letter to his mother asking money to buy a car for his weekend use explaining that he cannot wait until graduat-ion and demanded money for the works he did at home: Moving the lawn for the last four years: $500.00; doing the chores at home: 500.00; Going to the store on his bike:200; thus a total of $1200.00 to buy a used car. Mother wiped her tears while she read the letter and then wrote the following reply: "I could not buy a car for you as I was saving the money for your college; but I bought the bike you loved so much. I am sending you the money I owe you. Here is my bill for some of the things I did for you all these years. I shall continue to pray for you: Carrying you within me foe nine months: No charge
Feeding you all these years: No charge
Sitting at night without sleep when you had nightmares: 0
Taking care of you when you were sick: No charge
Teaching you to read, write: No charge
Taking you places whereever you wanted to go: No charge
Taking you to School, Piano, Sports: No charge
Worrying about you and praying for you daily: No charge
Total : No charge


2. Believes (Vishwasickunnu): Trusts: She helps to understand; she believes in us when we have troubles in believing ourselves; she tells what we wanted to hear; she allows us to dream our dreams; she gives us the room we wanted to grow and the freedom to learn from our own mistakes.

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, a Soviet airforce colonel asked American diplomat Vernon Walters what he would do in the event of a nuclear war. Ambassador replied: "I would pray 'Our Father, who art in Heaven....". Then the Colonel completed that Lord's Prayer. Ambassor asked: "How do yoy know that?' Colonel: "Everyone in Soviet Union knows it." Ambassador: "How?" Colonel: "From Mama."

3. Hopes all things (Prathiashickunnu): Hopes, recognizes and praises. Mother asked Christ for her sons John and James (sons of Zebedees / "sons of thunder") to allow sitting on the right and left side when He establishes His kingdom.

4. Endures (Sahickunnu): Preserves. Gives total forgiveness and reconciliation. She sets the right example. Second grade class has science lesson on the MAGNET. For a test, one question was: "My name starts with M, has six letters and I pick up things. What am I?

Half of the class answered: MOTHER.

Mother is there when we need her: She loves, sacrifices and helps. Mother is not only a care-giver, she is also a housekeeper, peacemaker, zookeeper, and bookeeper.

5. Good mothers produce great men: Mothers of Moses (Jochabed), Samuel (Hannah), Jesus (Mary), John the Baptist (Elizabeth), Timothy (Eunice).

6. Eve disobeyed: Brother (Cain) killed brother (Abel)
Sara was jealous: Ishmael and Hagar: Tug of war in the middle East.

7. Questions to children What do they want to be? 97% said "Like my mother"

8.Love them when they are living. The time is now, not after they are gone. They work hard for us with never a complaint carrying all the burdens. Tell them that we love her and appreciate what she does for us. Thank them from the bottom of our hearts for being there when we needed them.

9. Three significant aspects:
A. Sacred Calling: Biological and spiritual or moral: Molding influence: We learn about love, honesty, integrity, faith in God, etc., from our mothers.
B. Endangered Calling: Because of ungrateful husbands, economic necessity or professional satisfaction.
C. Indispensable Calling: To communicate faith, love, self-worth and moral values.
Mother's love for a sucking child: Isaiah 49:15
Mother's and Grandmother's care: 2 Timothy 1:5 cf. Proverbs 22:6; Samuel's mother Hannah: 1 samuel 1:22.

10. Obstacles to being a better mother:
a. Not having enough time with their kids. A survey reveals that 25% think that they would be better mothers if they didn't have to work.
b. Not having enough money: 39% think having more money would make them better mothers.

11. Value of a typical mother: Edelman Financial Services calculated the market value for the "typical" mom in today's economy as follows:
As elementary school principal: $58,600.00
Computer analyst : 44,000.00 Nutrionist: 41,000.00
Manager: 41,000.00
Chef: 40,000.00
Financial manager: 39,000.00
Nurse: 35,000.00
Bus driver: 32,000.00
Social worker: 30,000.00
Psychologist: 29,000.00
Property manager: 22,600.00
Waitress: 20,000.00
Clerk: 19,000.00
Caretaker for pets: 17,500.00
Recreation worker: 15,500.00
Child care worker: 13,000.00
Housekeeper: 9,000.00
TOTAL : $507,200.00
(Note: Tehse figures are calculated few years back).

12. Mother's good advice and support, her concern for spirituality, her standing behind her children, her good heart, empathy, her teaching and nice things and giving good advice, being there for her children, all are greatly appreciated.

13.Some quotable quotes:
1. God cannot be everywhere, so He made mothers (Arab Proverb)
2. Mothers do not divide their love among their children; they multipy it.
3. As far as understanding is concerbed, mothers usually are more valued than fathers, mainly for emotional reasons" (Marilyn Vos Savant). Mothers are much more law-abiding and nurturing. Women are the kinder, gentler sex. Though men built the modern world, women made it civilized, according to Savant.
4. A mother is a mother still, the holiest thing alive (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
5. The mother is to the child as the king is to the nation (Vietnam Proverb)
6. When the baby wakes, she breaks her sleep; when the baby walks, she runs around him/her.
7. Look at the mother before you take her daughter in marriage (Indian Proverb)
8. Though your mother be poor, she is still your mother (African Proverb)
9. The mother is God's agent to Christianize her family.
10. Behind every great man, there is a great woman (wife, mother or some one else)
11. The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.
12. All that I am, I owe to my mother (Abraham Lincoln)
13. A mother's love preceives no impossibilities (Paddock)
14. When you are small and just a touch away. I covered you with blankets against the cool night air; but now you are tall and out of reach, I fold my hands and cover you with prayer (Dona Cooper)
15. Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible (Marion C. Garretty)
16. As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible and trust God with the impossible (Ruth B. Graham)
17. No language can express the power and the beauty and the heroism of a mother's love (Edwin Chapin)
18. A mother's love is like a circle; it has no beginning and no ending. It keeps going around and around ever expanding, touching everyone who comes in contact with it (Art Urban)
19. Mother is the name of God in the lips and hearts of little children (William Thackery)
20. There is no friendship, no love, like that of the mother for the child (Henry Beecher)
21. All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother (Abraham Lincoln)
22. I'd rather be a mother than anyone on earth. Bring up a child or two of unpretentious birth (Meredith Gray)
23. Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone; but miraculously my own; never forget a single minute; you didn't grow under my heart, but in it (Anonymous)
24. When I stopped seeing my mother with the eyes of a child, I saw the woman who helped me give birth to myself (Nancy Friday)
25. It was when I had my first child that I understood how much my mother loved me ( A Bouquet of Sentiments)
26. If I have amounted to anything, it will be due to my mother (Charles Chaplin)
27. Motherhood "requires the skills of a master mediator, mentor, cook and counselor."

ASCENSION

1. Jesus was taken up: Acts 1:9-11

2. Jesus went up to send the Holy Spirit: John 16:5-9, 13.

3. Jesus rules the universe sitting at the right hand of the Father: Ephesians 1:22-23.

4. Jesus pleads and prays for us: Hebrews 7:25; 14:14.

5. Jesus prepares a place for us: John 14:1-3

6. Jesus will come again: Matthew 24:37-39, 42; 25:31-32; Acts 1:9ff; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 5:1-2.
LUKE 24:36:53; JOHN 20:19-23

1. They went far away from the place of crucifixion; but Jesus went after them.

2. The risen Christ is identified with the earthly Jesus emphasizing the reality of His resurrectd body: showed His hands and feet and ate with them as proof that He was real.

3. Jesus' death and resurrection fulfilled the Scripturs and by that the remission is offered to all nations.

4.Law, prophets and Psalms: the three major divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus rose again the day according to the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:4 cf. Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; John 6:62; 20:17; Acts 1:1-12; Ephesians 1:21; 4:10; Hebrews 4:14; 1 Peter 3:22.

5. Went with the disciples to Bethany and ascended into heaven on the 40th day and mediating for us sitting at the right hand of the Father: Mark 16:19; Romans 8:34; Psalm 110:1.

6.Jesus' promise to be with the disciples till the end of the world: Matthew 28:20.

7. God's promise of the Holy Spirit, the power from above: Joel 2:28:30.

8. Jesus is praying for us: Romans 8:34. esus is with the Father, God Almighty, for mediation (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:11; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7.

9. Jesus ascended int o heaven after descended: Eph. 4:8-10. Ascension was essential for the descending of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7; 7:39).

10. Son of God was sent to be with us all the time. We sent Him back to heaven.

11. We have to live in the power of the resurrected Christ; then we feel heaven at home. We have to seek which are above: Colossians 3:1-2.

12. Holy Spirit came down on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2;1-4); thus the helper was sent: John 16:7;

13. Elisha pleaded to Elijah for "double portion" of his spirit and he got it: 2 Kings 2:9f.
Let us pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit we received along with our Confirmation.

MARK 16:14-20
20.
Jerusalem is the place of God: Isaiah 2:3; Micha 4:2, 8.

1. Jesus' last instructions on earth to His disciples : Matthew 28: 16-20; Luke 24:36-49.

2. VV. 17-18 cf. Acts 5:12, 16; 8:7; 16:18; 19:12; 28:3-6; James 5:4 (Cast out demons, healed the sick, etc.)

3. "Received up into heaven": Acts 1:9-11.

ACTS 1:4-11
1.
The coming of the Holy Spirit was announced by the prophets (Joel 2:28-29; Ezekiel 36:25-27) and also by Jesus (Luke 24:49; John 14:16).

2. John's baptism was in water for the repentant. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is for purity and power.

3. The disciples expected the restoration of a political kingdom like that of David. Jesus told them to leave that to God and to prepare themselves to receive the inner power for witnessing throughout the whole world.

4. Jesus was "taken up" (John 14:5) with the promise of sending "another Helper" (John 14:6).

5. The "two men stood by" may be the same ones at the empty tomb (Luke 24:4). They told that Jesus will return. This promise is our hope.

EPHESIANS 4:1-16
1.
The God's own people, both Jews and Gentiles, reconciled together and to God by Christ, shall live and walk "worthy of the calling."

2. The Church is one in God (vv.1-7), and the members have different qualities and abilities to strengthen the whole body (vv.8-16).

3. Paul wrote this letter from a Roman prison.

4. We have to show consideration for others and make allowance for their short comings. It is love; essential for unity and peace. We have to work together to preserve this.

5. The Christian unity is based on the unity of Trinity: the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The Church has only one body and one Holy Spirit. We have our common faith to one Lord, Jesus Christ. God is the Father of the Christian family. God is one. His true Church is to be one.

6. We are given different gifts and abilities to use in building up the Church.

7. The exalted Christ descended into the grave, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven by conquering sin and death.

8. Apostles: The 12, Paul, and the few who had seen the risen Lord are sent as His special witnesses.

9. Prophets (preachers), evangelists (itinerant preachers who spread the Gospel), pastors and teachers are all equipped with the gifts to do the ministry to build up the Church.

10. The whole Church attains a more perfect unity when God's people minister to others. This unity lifts us above petty disagrements and differing personalities through our faith. We shall reach maturity in Christ so that we must not be confused by false teachings.

11. Motivated by love and by speaking the truth, we shall all grow toward maturity.

12. By various functions, the several parts of the human body contribute to the health and growth of the whole body. Likewise, Christ, "the head", enables us to contribute for the growth and the health of the Church.

DEUTERONOMY 9:26: 10:5
1.
The Israelites did not deserve good things because of their arrogance, but continued to exist only because of God's continued mercy.

2. Moses interceded for them. So the covenant was reinstit-uted, and was placed in the Ark, and the Levites were appointed as mediators between the people and God.

2 KINGS 2:9-15
1.
Elijah, the second Moses, was taken up "by a whirl wind into heaven," like Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24)... did not pass through death.

2. Double portion: Per Old Testament inheritance laws, the first born, "the beginning of his strength", receives two shares of the inheritance: Deuteronomy 21:17.

3. Mantle: Representative of power and personality. Elisha carried on the work like Joshua did: 3:7-8, 14-17.

JEREMIAH 31:31-34
1.
God's covenants and His faithfulness to Judah (Hebrews 8:8-10): God put His laws in the minds and hearts of His people to have intimate fellowship with God which was accomplished by the sanctifying work of the Mediator, Jesus Christ.

2. New Covenant: Matthew 26:28. The restoration from exile was a physical fore-runner of the spiritual restoration through Calvary. God works in the minds and hearts of individuals. Personal relationship is important. The new covenant is internal and real.

ISAIAH 48:20; 49:4
1.
God delivers the Jews, not because they deserve it (Ezekiel 36:22), but for His name's sake (v.9).

2. The promised deliverence from Babylon. The servant Jacob is redeemed, and the wicked Babylon is destructed. This deliverence is through Messiah, the ideal servant.

3. The ministry of Jesus was a failure from an earthly point of view (49:4), but the Almighty Father makes the decisionn and gives the reward.

SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION/ BEFORE PENTECOST :
MARK 10:17-22

1. The dangers, agravations, disappointments, heartbeats of being a richman.

2. He came running: When coming to America, getting married, having a baby, passing the examination, getting a job, etc., what a great feeling and excitement. Here to meet the Savior.

3. He knelt before Jesus: We have to be in our kneels and pray to the Almighty.

4. His question to inherit eternal life: Blessed and unending life in fellowship with God. The goodness is the source of our eternal life. It is the happiness we receive from union with God (John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 13:12) vs. eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46 and 26:24).
a. Keep commandments: Fulfill our duty toward God and others; pray and worship; love neighbors (Good Samaritan: Luke 10:30-37). Cain didn't (Genesis 3). Bodily limbs: 1 Corinthians 12:20-26.
b. No worldly possessions: Life of Loth and his wife; Ananias and Sephira.
c. Follow Him: Personal relationship through Church.
d. A free gift: Prodigal son, Mary Magdaline, thief on the cross.
We have to pay to buy things. We pay through repentance to receive eternal life. We receive eternal life through receiving the body and blood of Jesus Christ in due manner.

5. Three kinds of followers:
a. For position and prestige (For photo session)
b. For family concerns
c. Wholeheartedly: Dedication and submission.

6. Jesus is a good teacher: Do we appreciate our teachers?

7. Jesus told him to follow the commandments: Pointed out six of them that deal with our relationships with each other (Exodus 20:12-17): Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor father and mother.

8. Do not defraud: An additional commandment appropriate for a person attached to wealth.

9.We should not be of this world (John 17:13-17). Eventhough we live in this world, we should not be immensed in the worldly pleasures and actions and let us to drown.

10. Our main goal shall be to be holy: should be sincere and truthful. Aim for God's love and His glorification (John 17:17-20): (For a baptism, 3 bishops, two corepiscopas, 2 rembans, 10 priests: the child was sent to the church through someone; parents busy for preparations, decorations, receptions, party, etc.)

11.Something is lacking: Tender heart, concern for the last, lost and the least; jealous, boasting, pride, spite. Poverty leads to holiness (Mark 10:21). Share with others (Luke 3:10-11). Is our love and connections for God or for wealth? (Wealthy person never gave ... penniless mother, disabled brother, widowed sister with small children ... when approached for a charity donation, he asked: "Why should I give?")

12. Keeping the letter of law is not enough for eternal life: He even asked: "What do I lack?" (Chicken legs for summer camp dinner: Asked: "Are you lacking anything" Anything short): One retorted: "Yes, I got only only one chicken leg."

13. His arrival (v.17) and departure (v.22): What a contrast? Sad and went away sorrowful.

14. God is love: We have to love as He loves us: Love God more than everybody, anything and self. (Husband: "I love my wife"; Wife: "I don't know what he is talking about?"

15. God decides our future: Attain this through prayer and understanding the needs of others. God selects us (John 15:16): Several are chosen, but few are frozen. General call: Luke 14:33. Giving everything for charity and living in chastity are not for all (Matthew 19:11).

JOHN 17:13-26
1.
Our Lord's High-priestly prayer.

2. Prayer for the disciples: for the Church

3. Jesus prayed for us to keep from the evil one.


4. Unity of believers is very important.


MATTHEW 19:16-30
1.
Earthly riches and heavenly rewards: Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30.

2. The rich young man thought salvation could be achieved by good deeds. Salvation is based on God's goodness, not ours. Keeping the commandments is the initial step: our elationships with each other. The rewards are based on God's graciousness, not on human merits.

3. One needed more than the outward obedience. He must give complete loyalty to God (Deuteronomy 6:5). In this context he has to share his wealth.

4. All who turn away from Christ's call live to regret that decision.

5. All those who turn in, salvation is not only possible, but also wonderfully rewarded.

6. The 12 apostles are the founders of God's New Testament people; like the 12 patriarchs of Israel: 12:2-4; Revelation 21:14.

7. First will be last (20:1-16). God's gracious gifts to all who follow Him faithfully.

LITURGICAL CALENDAR SYNOPSIS FOR SERMON & MEDITATION

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