Diocesan Bishop,
Kalyan Diocese,
Syro Malabar Catholic Church

I am happy to know about 'The Christian Light of Life' magazine, which is aimed at promoting Christian fraternity and charity.

On 25th December we celebrated Christmas, the birth of Christ the prince of peace. The message of Christmas is the message of joy and peace. Peace in the result of all accepting and acknowledging each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and in love. This fraternity in charity presupposes forgiveness and reconciliation. When we try to bring together all people into fellowship of love we are working towards the realization of the Kingdom of God.

This message of divine fatherhood of God and universal brotherhood in Christ is the core of the Gospel message. Let us all try to be proclaimers of this message of love and be instruments to bring about a society of peace and harmony based on justice and love.

Yours in Christ,

Bp. Thomas Elavanal
Diocese of Kalyan.


The history of the diocese of Kalyan is very much intertwined with the history of the Syro-Malabar Church itself in India. Having its roots in the Apostolic Ministry of St. Thomas , the Apostle himself who established 7communities of the Christian Church in Kerala in the first century itself , these Christians migrated to different parts of India. They concentrated mainly in the big cities of India. In Bombay, Pune and Nashik regions, they are found in large numbers. The spiritual care of these Christians were looked after through Chaplains appointed by the Bishops of this region and assisted by lay associations like Kerala Catholic Association (Bombay), St.Thomas Christians of India (Pune), etc.

On September 8, 1978 Pope John Paul II appointed His Eminence Antony Cardinal Padiyara, the then Archbishop of Changanacherry as the apostolic visitor to study the situation. The visit of Pope John Paul II to India in 1986 gave him a first hand experience of the living faith of the Syro-Malabar Christians of India. A Pontifical Commission was appointed and on the basis of its report came the all-important letter of the Pope to the Bishops of India observing that the present situation in the Bombay-Pune region is mature for the establishment of a Syro-Malabar diocese there and urging thee congregation for the Oriental Churches to take necessary steps in this regard. Finally on May 19, 1998 His Holiness Pope John Paul II made the historic announcement of the establishment of a new diocese for the Syro-Malabar Christians of Bombay-Pune-Nashik regions, and designation of Msgr. Paul Chittilapilly as its first bishop. The Bull, However was signed by the Pope on April 30, 1988. Thus the birth of the diocese and the appointment of the first Bishop takes effect from April 30, 1988. The Episcopal Ordination and the official inauguration of the diocese took place on August 24, 1988 at the Don Bosco Grounds, Matunga, Bombay.

After nine years of dedicated and pioneering work in the newly born diocese, Bishop Paul Chittilapilly was transferred to the diocese of Thamaraserry in Kerala in 18th December 1996 and took over the charge on 13th February 1997. His successor and the second Bishop of the Kalyan Diocese is Mar Thomas Elavanal , whose consecration was on 8th of February, 1997 at Kannamwar Nagar , Vikhoril , Mumbai.
Courtesy To: The Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Curia

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In the social scene we are considered blameless when we uphold the civilized norms of the society, but the walk of a Christian is blameless only when we uphold the moral code of God.

The Lord's Prayer begins with " ….Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Jesus made it very clear for us to long for a Godly Kingdom in this world also. It is possible only when we are seeking to execute His will in this world. The personal and collective result of this action would be to dwell in His sanctuary. Let us examine from the scriptures the nature that reflects a sanctuary dweller or in other words how must we live to enjoy the fullness of fellowship with God.

Let us gather insights on the fitness program for remaining in His sanctuary from David, as recorded in Psalms 15.

"He whose walk is blameless and does what is righteous." This sentence from God's Word calls for avoidance of blame and performance of righteous deeds. In the social scene we are considered blameless when we uphold the civilized norms of the society, but the walk of a Christian is blameless only when we uphold the moral code of God. The moral code can be found in 10 commandments (Exodus 20:1). The list of "do nots". Do not murder, commit adultery, steal, give false testimony, or covet anything of your neighbor's.

The absence of doing the wrong is not sufficient, but performance of righteous actions is required. Mathew 25: 35-39 conveys the need for feeding the hungry, providing drink for the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and visiting the prisoner. In New Testament language it is the nature of loving your neighbor as yourself.

In Psalms 15 we further see "… who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue…" In this era of very high communication capabilities, communication has become a field of study. The emphasis is to give the best message under a captivating title to the largest audience in the most efficient way. Communication officer has become prestigious position requiring very high wordsmithing capability. The effort is seldom focused on 'truth from the heart' but on manipulating words to project the appearance of truth for the best impression. A child of God is obligated to speak the truth, the sole truth and nothing but the truth.

It is very unbecoming of a Christian to have slander on his tongue. Gossip in Christian community is an embarrassing truth and that has damaged, or killed many and it is a deadly sin. As a child of God, let us speak the truth and remove slander from our conversation.

Psalms 15 further enlightens us in " .. who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowmen…" When we have love for our neighbor, the actions would reflect accordingly. On worldly strategy to make oneself look good is by bringing others down or in simpler words "step on who is around you to make yourself taller". The Godly expectation contradicts with these worldly norms.

A child of God needs to practice to "love your neighbor".

A Kingdom worker "despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord.." The worldly praise is mostly for wealth. The means utilized for making wealth is of secondary value. We praise people who are financially successful even when we clearly know that they are into to serious moral and ethical violations. I observed one Mothers Day celebration where the youngest mother & father, below 19 years of age, being honored and applauded. Dropping out of school and yielding to passion without reasoning is not be honored and applauded. When we elect or nominate a person to a position of authority, we are adding a character to that position. We should not promote or applaud what we do not want to be followed.

While Governor Pilate found no fault in Christ, he ordered the crucifixion of Christ. He found public praise to be more valuable than executing justice. What is more important for us? Is it to be popular with mainstream crowd or to join the minority or Godly people who humbly walk with the Lord and seek impartial justice? Honoring them who fear God is expected of a Christian but that is unpopular for the world.

David further states ".. who keeps his oath even when it hurts, .." We come to generation that has the least trust. We need a lawyer present even to refinance a house loan. We need a lawyer for auto accident claims and health benefits. Many are willing and obliging to fulfill promises when it is convenient. A Christian is to keep an oath even when it hurts.

The directive for money management is "who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent." This is not a directive preventing the collection of an interest. In Deuteronomy 23:19-20 has prevention of Jews charging interest from another Jew. Further examples are addressed in Exodus 22:35, Leviticus 25:35-42 to exemplify the importance to help the needy. In Mathew 25:27, Jesus reprimands the one who hid his talent in the ground and stated that He would have been happy with the interest earned on the one talent. The root of the message is that unfair charges to get rich, that is money-making more important than serving the person's needy condition, is wrong.

The second example, given in the above quote, of accepting bribe against the innocent, is also putting money before people that results in producing corrupt criminals and civil courts. Let us not be greedy in accumulating wealth but be compassionate to the needy.

"He who does these things (given above) will never be shaken." Psalms 15:5. The sanctuary protection will remain assured for adhering to the above directives. There will be a lot of shaking in this world, but the Mighty hands will have a firm grip on our hands. Let us feel assured of remaining unshaken by seeking His pardon when we fail in the above Godly expectations.

Forward your comments or questions to:

Thomas Koshy, of Washington Mar Thoma Church, is a Senior Nuclear Scientist serving US federal government. His primary service area is Sunday school where he held several offices for the Diocese and Southeast Region. He devotes most of his time in teaching and preaching the Word of God to reaffirm our faith. He lives in Maryland with his wife Elizabeth and two children Benjamin and Annie.

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The Bible is punctuated by puzzling questions and paradoxes. We should rejoice that it is. The reason for this is simple. The Bible is a manual of life. Life, like human nature, is full of puzzles and paradoxes. With the same heart we love and hate.

The Bible is punctuated by puzzling questions and paradoxes. We should rejoice that it is. The reason for this is simple. The Bible is a manual of life. Life, like human nature, is full of puzzles and paradoxes. With the same heart we love and hate. What is more, we love and hate the same person sometimes simultaneously! With our tongues we bless and curse. Darkness and light comprise a day. Relationships enlarge and limit our freedom at once. We have only what we give away. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Life and death are but two sides of the same coin. While detractors see biblical puzzles and paradoxes as incriminating evidence against the authenticity of the Bible, in our experience they enrich its power and profundity. The Bible is richer for these puzzles and paradoxes.

But this will not be all that evident from a casual or superficial acquaintance with the Bible. That is because the internal coherence and deeper inter-linking of the parts in the Word will not be visible to such an approach. The Bible is an unveiling of the deeper and enduring truths of life. That is why, in the first place, paradoxes inhere in it. To relate positively and profitably to the Word, hence, it is imperative that we relate to the Bible in the depth.

The second note of caution is this: much depends on the purpose with which we turn to the Bible. Most people approach the Bible in a consumerist fashion. They hurriedly fish for texts that suit their convenience or support their stance. This is a misuse of the Word. The purpose of the Word is to help us grow and deepen our personality. It is to equip and enable us not so much to be successful as to be fruitful (2 Tim.3:16-17). Growth presupposes struggle, which cracks the shell of superficiality. The puzzling questions and paradoxes in the Word belong to this order of experience: the existential and philosophical struggle that cracks the shell and activates the hidden potential for life, even fullness of life.

Puzzling questions and paradoxes do not comprise two watertight compartments. But, in the interest of clarity, we shall examine these two overlapping categories separately with the help of a few biblical examples. Let us consider puzzling questions first.

A brief word of introduction might be helpful, to begin with. We should expect God's questions to puzzle us for the simple reason that His ways are not our ways. His frame of reference is vastly different from the horizon of our awareness. In respect of anything divine, we are incapable of full comprehension. It is from this that puzzles result. We may, in our arrogance, feel impelled to discount and discard whatever puzzles us. But that serves only to shut the door on our inner growth. The mental and spiritual stamina to engage the puzzling aspects of life is an gift to be desired greatly. This is a pre-condition for wisdom.

The earliest example of a puzzling question found in the Bible is in Genesis 3: 9. The context is that of the Fall of Adam and Eve. After disobeying God, Adam and Eve are overwhelmed by fear at the sound of God walking the Garden of Eden. They hide themselves in the bush, occasioning the question from God, "Where are you?" The question puzzles us, if only from a superficial view. It is only because God knows that Adam and Eve are hiding that He asks them this question. God, being God, would have known where Adam was hiding if He knew Adam was hiding at all. Otherwise, the question could not have been raised at all. Knowing where they are, and standing near them, why indeed does God ask them where they are?

The puzzle here is only an apparent one, as indeed most puzzles are. It puzzles us because we assume that the point of reference in the question is the physical location of Adam. In asking, "where are you?" God is seeking to know the location where Adam is hiding. But that is hardly the point of reference in this question. The reference is, instead, to the spiritual state of Adam. He was not meant to hide from the presence of God, but to be in communion with Him. The need to hide oneself in this way points to a serious aberration that has overtaken Adam, which he is unable to understand. Through this question God is not forcing Adam to answer, but to urging him to reckon his predicament: to see what he has done to himself. In that sense, this is one of the most fundamental questions ever raised in human history.

She second question we wish to address is from the Gospel of John. The setting is the pool of Bethesda. From among a large number of sick people who waited near the pool for their turn to be healed, Jesus recognizes one who has been waiting for 38 long years and asks a question that cannot fail to puzzle anyone, "Do you want to be healed?" (5:5). Though a puzzling question, it is easily the most relevant question to be asked in that context. That is because the fact that someone is waiting to be healed does not by itself prove that he is willing to be healed. If he were indeed willing to be healed, he would not have lain there for such a long time. What complicates this situation even further is the fact that the man is unaware of his negativity, which excludes him from the prospect of healing and empowerment. Such a person has to be set free from within, which is the purpose of the puzzling question that Jesus poses in this instance. The purpose of this question is to liberate and to heal, which is the effect, at any rate, it has on the man concerned. If the question is examined outside of this context, it can only seem an insensitive and sarcastic barb, which it is not.

These two instances, and many else besides, help establish an important point in respect of responding to the Word of God. When we feel puzzled by any part of the Word, the right thing to do is not to beat a hasty retreat, but to delve deeper into the context prayerfully so that the purpose behind the puzzle becomes intelligible. That would enhance the delight and profit in reading the Bible. Bible reading can become, in this way, a catalyst for personal growth.

Here too a word by way of introduction may be in place. We need to understand why paradoxes are integral to the Word. A paradox is a seeming contradiction that wraps an enduring truth. There are two obvious aspects to this. The first is the incomprehensibility of the whole by the part. God alone is the Whole. We are only the parts that are to be fitted within the Image of God. Humankind, if you like, comprises billions of parts that comprise the jigsaw puzzle of God. While the Whole has no problem in comprehending the parts, the parts are unable to grasp God, the Whole, in a conceptual way. The parts can have, at best, only partial intuitions and dim intimations concerning the Person of God or the logic of Eternity. Even when the Whole, in the humility of divine love, reveals Himself to us, we are able to grasp only various attributes and aspects in an imperfect manner. Paradoxes are the medium through which we can relate to these intimations. Paradox inheres in the response of the part to the Whole.

The second reason for the necessity for paradoxes derives from the logic of dynamism. The intellectual tools we have developed are quite adequate for mastering knowledge of a static kind. We can, for example, fix a frog on the table, cut it open and know what a frog in that state is like. But such knowing is quite different from knowing a leaping frog, a frog in motion. Spirituality, like life itself, is a dynamic domain. How are we to know love or compassion in a laboratory? They can be known only as lived realities. In a laboratory, love and compassion will be either abstractions or paradoxes. It is necessary that we develop the discipline and ability to relate positively to paradoxes; for the spirit of our age is uncomfortable with them.

Jesus had a genius for simplicity. He pegged his communication at the level of babes and sucklings. Yet he did not fight shy of paradoxes. A celebrated example is that of the paradox of life that he articulated in words that cannot be bettered. He who wins his life shall lose it, but he who loses his life for Christ's sake shall find it (Jn. 12: 25). This paradox is meant to challenge the stereotypes of profit and loss. From a limited and shallow perspective, it seems to many that living a risk-free life is the best option. If this outlook governs us, we shall be under the tyranny of the instinct of self-preservation, which is what shapes the response-strategies of animals. In a society where everyone is obsessed with saving one's own life, there would be none to help anyone else. Such a society will fall short of greatness. The logic of life is that greatness presupposes risk-taking. Risk is minimized in routine activities, but it continues to increase in proportion to the greatness of the mission undertaken. It is safer, for instance, to walk on the plains than to climb the Everest. The authentic purpose of human life is not self-perpetuation, but to enter into partnership with God in the pursuit of godly goals that in this God- alienated world will necessarily involve suffering, risk and loss (Mtt. 10: 16). It is in the process of risking oneself for the sake of Christ that we attain a state of oneness with God, which is the secret of fullness of life. This enables us, besides, to experience the unfailing faithfulness of God.

Allied to the paradox of finding one's life by losing it for Christ's sake, is the paradox of suffering. Jesus says that it should be a matter of happiness to be able to suffer for Christ (Mtt. 5: 11- 12), whereas the world's picture of happiness has no place for suffering. Experience proves that the worldly idea of happiness is shallow as compared to the biblical understanding of it. The higher or deeper we go into true happiness, the more we bridge the distance between fulfillment and suffering. The excruciating pain that a woman in labour experiences is already illumined by the impending joy of the gift of a new life. The agony of a Marathon runner in the last punishing lap is sweetened by the ecstasy of expected victory. There is a positive correlation between the fulfillment we experience in attaining a goal and the suffering we have to endure in the pursuit of it. Great goals involve great suffering. They generate immense joy and fulfillment.

And then there is the paradox of the need to judge and the duty to avoid judgmentalism. Chapter 7 of the Gospel According to St. Matthew begins with the emphatic exhortation against judging others. Yet a few verses later in the same chapter we are warned against casting pearls before swine. This involves judgment. From a superficial approach these two verses may seem to contradict each other, but in reality they only complement each other. What Jesus emphasizes in the first 5 verses of this chapter is our duty to see the truth as clearly as possible in order to judge justly. We must remove the beam from our eyes so that we 'may see clearly'. What Jesus disapproves of is not judging as such, but judging blindly, or judging without seeing the truth of the given situation clearly, which is Judgmentalism. The same, namely the duty to see clearly, is then re-emphasized in the admonition against casting pearls before swine (verse 6). In order to recognize swine from the rest, it is necessary that the beam be removed from our eyes.

Consider, further, this paradox spread over the 5th and 6th chapters of Matthew's Gospel. In 5: 16 we are urged to let our lights so shine before others that they may see our good works and give glory to God. But in the first verse of the 6th chapter, we are given a seemingly contrary instruction: "Do not do your good deeds before others"! Yet there is perfect internal harmony between these two statements. We are to refrain from advertising our own goodness through the good works that we do. But we are not to turn this false humility into an excuse for abdicating our duty to respond to the needs of our fellow human beings. We must practice charity only to express the compassion of God, and not to advertise our goodness. We need to be totally selfless, lest our egoism poisons our charity and hurts its recipients. What is crucial in the practice of charity is not how much we give, but for what purpose and in what spirit we give.

Yet another paradox that befuddles many is Jesus' statement on peace. "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Mtt. 10: 34). In St. John 14: 27, however, Jesus says, "My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives..". How are we to unpack this Christological paradox of peace? "Sword" in the teachings of Jesus has a symbolic meaning quite different from what it has in the secular context. It is a symbol of self-purification. The sword that Jesus brought to the world is the sword of self-denial and self-purification. This sword is to be used against oneself and one's own religious community and not against enemies, whom we are to love unconditionally. Wars in the world are contrived on the myth that others are the enemies of peace. It is this myth that makes us wage wars to establish peace on earth. But peace can rest on secure foundations only if the tyranny of sin over human nature is broken and societies and nations are transformed. In a worldly sense, it is up to others to maintain peace. Spiritually, though, it is our duty to make peace. Blessed are the peacemakers. But peacemakers have a basic eligibility requirement. They must deny themselves (Mtt. 16: 24).

These are but a few, obvious examples of the paradoxes that we encounter in the Bible. Sure enough, they do not yield their meaning at first touch. Instead, they demand a dedicated and focused relationship with the Word of God, which is the basic spiritual discipline that we are to maintain. In the words of the Anglican Prayer Book, we are to read, chew and inwardly digest the Word of God. When that happens we begin to access the depth of the scripture and enjoy the profound existential dynamism of its wisdom. As Jesus clarified through the parable of the sower, the seed (the Word of God) is not meant for hard or shallow soils (Mtt. 13: 1-23).

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The Father Almighty is the Creator, the only Son is the begotten one and the Redeemer, and the life giving Lord the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father is the Comforter. The earthly family also resembles the Heavenly Triune.

"...That they maybe one, even as we are one"(Jn. 17:11). " I and the Father are one" (Jn.10:30), but Jesus himself makes an apparent contrary statement, though may not be contradictory, "For the Father is greater than I"(JN 14:28). Although these are contextual statements, we have a glimpse of the manifestations of the Holy Trinity from other different perspectives. The Father Almighty is the Creator, the only Son is the begotten one and the Redeemer, and the life giving Lord the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father is the Comforter. The earthly family also resembles the Heavenly Triune. Father is the progenitor; mother, the comforter and the solace of the family, just like the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, indicating that Eve was created from the bone of the bone and the flesh of the flesh of Adam. Even though the Heavenly Trinity is one, the likely manifestations of their activities vary in different magnitudes and dimensions. The family consists of the Father, mother, and children who constitute an earthly trinity; so also man is an integral entity (trinity), constituting the body, mind and spirit. The earthly spiritual hierarchy also comprises a trinity (Bishop, Presbyter, and Deacon). The society is also formed as a trinity (the ruler, the ruled and the judiciary). 3 and 7 are magical numbers.

The Son of God (Jesus) reflects in Abel's his own sacrifice. Adam is the father, Eve the mother. The Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, not from the Father and the Son as taught by some schools of thoughts. By Jesus' crucifixion he manifested himself as the Son, and the second Eve, St Mary, the mother of God became the body, symbolising the church where the Holy Spirit is brooding over incessantly. Thus by indwelling of the Holy Spirit the Church became the Mother and the spirit of which proceeds from the Father as Eve was created from Adam. Simultaneously Christ is the head of the church, and the Bride His Body (church), vindicating the Nicene Creed in toto: "H.Spirit..., who proceeds from the Father; and who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified." The Spirit of God was moving from the beginning (Gen 1:2)..and the same" Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called Holy, the Son of God"(Lk.1:35) Hence the family is the resemblance of the "image and likeness" of God. "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female he created them" (Gen 1:26-27). God being the consuming fire (Deut 4:24) and light (Jn. 8:12), He clothed our image with His likeness of fire (nervous current and digestive system) and luminous light (aura, halo, etheric double). Summing up, His likeness is called GLORY. "since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"(Rom.3:23). Man being the image and likeness of God, will a study of contrast between the Holy Trinity and portraying a man and his wife as " They are no longer two but one flesh" (Mt 19:5-6); Eph 5:22-32) is justifiable without denigrating the greatness of the Almighty? God envisaged from the very outset a family as a patriarchal entity, likewise the Holy Trinity, not a matriarchal one. However, this loose analogy of a Heavenly Troika with a terrestrial family may not constitute a definition or the nature of God, and a women's motherly role can't delineate the Holy Spirit only in a mundane feminine role.

The whole creation has been groaning in travail from the beginning, waiting for the adoption of us as sons (Rom.8.23) by attaining mature manhood (Eph.4:12). Having only sonship and mature manhood in Heaven, like the status of angels, both man and woman are going through thick and thin, fire and water, to secure the crown of sonship." ......because they are equal to angels and are sons of us God, being the sons of resurrection". (Lk.20.36;Mt20:33). To fulfil the prophecy of woman's son bruising the head of the serpent (Gen..3.15) Jesus took his birth in a woman, but he was not known as the son of woman but Son of Man and Son of God because there was only sonship and manhood in Heaven (Eze.1.26) even though St. Mary didn't have any wedlock contact with any man (Lk.1.34). Duplicities of contexts made the woman's son as the Son of Man and she was known as the Mother of God (Lk.1.43). History is the product of mysteries and seeming incongruities, and we are only the servants of God working for Him in specific situations and particular circumstances. There is nothing equal in any sphere of this transitory life, nor in the family. And mystery is the language of the Bible as well as the rudiments of the abstract worlds.

As the roles of the three emanations from the Creator, the Redeemer and the Comforter are fulfilled in the Holy Trinity, man and woman are also assigned with certain roles in their life. Adam was created for the glory and worship of God, whereas Eve who formed out of a tiny part of Adam was to complement him in the process of his worship of God. Apart from their normal sense and sensibilities of the temporal world, both Adam and Eve were of separate moulds intrinsically, formed at different times after a long span according to the modern thinking (1 Cor. 12:14-26) for the completion of the set work of God in different unique and harmonious ways, like a potter making a drink bottle in different size, shape or volume (Jer. 18.4). Adam was prescribed with the job of "tilling it (garden) and keeping it" (Gen.2.15). Eve was created as "a helper fit for him". The three- tier assignments after their fall to Eve are as follows (Gen.3:16-17). Bring forth children and child bearing in pain is the first one. Secondly, she is also equipped for the same with the basic ingredients of "your desire shall be for your husband". In order to make a "helper fit for him" he was also allowed to "rule over her" till she completes the cycle of full maturity physically and mentally. Knowing their predilections in advance (the aftermath of tasting the fruit), God moulded them in such a way that they might be able to lead a conducive complementary family, social and religious life in tune with the creation motive of worshipping God in truth and spirit. He set a time frame of 7000 years to redeem mankind from His adversary's mouth, the devil. He divided that period into three epochs with different characteristics of the yoke of sufferings for the salvage of His handiwork. For more details refer to my book the Abomination of Desolation.

The anatomy of man and woman is The anatomy of man and woman is immanent in tune with the valuable but specific roles they have to play in life. As Eve was responsible for Adam's damnation (1 Tim.2:8-15), He gave a subordinate but a responsible job to Eve so that they might accomplish their role splendidly before making a glorious exit into the eternal bliss. As man is aggressive and robust in his mould he is the supervisor and protector. He is selfish, critical and over-ambitious in possessiveness of certain venues of life than she. Some men are addicted to devious and dubious soft corners if they are denied a vivacious marital and homely life. There are certain common faculties and talents for man and woman, but the other extra faculties are immanent exclusively for each sex. Firstly, she is meant for a mother, secondly a nurse or a carer, thirdly, a helper in accomplishing the complementary functions. Maternal instinct and a desire to become a mother is predominant in her. Love, fear, premonition, compassion are common to both sexes to a certain level, yet she being the mother is the embodiment of sacrifice and non-violence. She is the embodiment of undaunting love, precociousness, and intuition just to escape from inhospitable situations. A susceptible sensibility of unselfish love to her children is deep rooted in her make up.

I mplicit Influence of Woman. Mostly for every decision making associated with any sphere of our life a woman's aspiration or influence is behind it. The mysterious proclivity between a husband and wife has no proper definition. Even in the days when woman's franchise was only a dream, the dictum, "We men rule the world, and our women folk rule us" was authentically true. Bismark, the iron man of the world, was a sick duck in front of his wife. Poets and seers have portrayed the frailties, inherent flaws and inflexibilities of women. "Scarce is the woman who has no stone like heart " (Kunchen Nambiar). The relationship of a man with a woman is such that "a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh". (Mat. 19.5). This is the God's realm of inviting us for the propagation of the species. The nervous pleasure that goes with conjugal life is a commission given to the couple for the exemplary completion of their set task of the propagation of the race. The masculine strength and the mental power of a man, the breadwinner, is an essential ingredient to safeguard his children and wife from the ruthless animal magnetism of his species and the ferocities of the animal world. The reciprocity of the spiritual and animal magnetism between a husband and wife is unfathomable and inscrutable and goes beyond any elucidation or analysis. Yet greater is her affinity towards her children, and above all, greatest is the love of God towards all His creations. Nature has endowed him with masculine robustness and she with femininity, the components of which are: remorse, compassion, and submissiveness to a greater extent and graceful modesty. These two types of ingredients are infused together for the harmonious function of an ideal family and social life. If this role of the giver and the recipient are transferred each other (of course possible only in limited natural and social level), the outcome is a henpecked household, the recipe for a disaster. In nature's definition there is no equality in a household. The relationship between a husband and wife is not a union of opposite sexes but unison of complementary worlds. In order to have a smooth running of the family life, they unlock their hearts and body willingly. She being the tacit player in the game, there will be a tumultuous reaction provided the harvest in each game from which every family member is not gained and favoured for the ultimate glory and name of the family. There is accountability for him for any social actions and reactions. She is obliged to have control over domestic and family affair; however, both are equally responsible for cohesion of family and social life. She is designated as the queen of the home. If a woman is not a homebuilder, she will be a home wrecker; she can't be in between the two.

Freud dictates that unlike sexes has stronger magnetic attraction than the attraction towards the like sexes. Hence the mother-son relationship is stronger than mother-daughter relationship and vice-versa. It may be true to some extent butt the habit and styles and mode of operation vary differently. One pertains to sex; all others follow in tune with the spirit and the soul of the individual, though they are inter-related. Every cell of the body is imprinted with an indelible mark of the sex. "Like mother, like daughter" (Eze. 16.44) was quoted only in a particular context but the truth lies in the "Like mother, like children" saying. Any person who is nurtured in the womb and suckled by one's mother is more likely to become a proto-type of the mother, although it varies in tune with the interfusing of the genes. While the impulsive canniness and dexterity of one's father simmer up in a person on reflex action, the maternal instinct of the elemental simplicities of sacrifice, love and compassion blossom up spontaneously at the right time. Like a hen, a woman has the dynamic courage to fight against her own husband if her children's security and safety are at risk. Man is physically strong and robust for the day today life activities, whereas she becomes stronger at crisis points due to temperamental capriciousness of her nature and the appeasement received from other people. Man quite often resorts to aggression, violence, infidelity, addictions of all types, such as: drinking and drugs, gambling, smoking, cheating and avarice of all types when there is no peace and love at home.

There are certain distinctive behavioural differences between man and woman. Usually man thinks first seriously before he lurks into something, whereas it is usually spontaneous in a woman. A woman's affable dispositions, love, compassion and sacrifice don't go beyond a certain limit; she can be merciless and ruthless when the borderline is crossed. Man always tends to hide the family problems from others, while a woman cannot but express it to others for inviting sympathy. The sense of shame is more poignant in a man than in a woman; hence he doesn't like to wash dirty linen in public. At times it appears to be having multiple natures in a woman while mans nature appears to have been generally intertwined by chivalry, aggression, love, forgiveness and compassion. Man makes a sooner exit from the earthly stage when his name and honour is in jeopardy. A man bereft of the sense of shame is a brute. Separation and divorce is prompted more by women than by men. Man becomes a loner in course of time while a woman has the inbuilt energy to acclimatise in any adverse mental and physical planes of life. There is no reason to explore further why there are more widows than widowers now. A woman has innate potentiality in wading through the gorges of adversity and manufacture, tore up and distribute the product, whereas man's role is to supply the raw materials required for the manufacturing product. "Adam wove and Eve span". If she has been able to harness the destiny of mankind so far successfully as a silent partner in the natural sequence of ages, what would happen by precipitating aggressively the existing organised chaos with the help of her newly acquired feminine masculinity? Part three is a treatise of the impact of female masculinity in our every day life and the sanctimonious parish life. I have been living in a culture for a long time where all the facets of sexual perversions, sex iniquities are legalised, decriminalised. and evangelised. As a keen observer of the vicissitudes of life in such a deviant atmosphere, one can read the writing on the wall of the eventual depredations and depravations of such a preposterous lifestyle of the exiting species of this planet. There have been moral corruptions of individuals from the beginning but history has never witnessed a global web of a babel of hypocritical callousness and an immoral bastion against the Heavenly hosts.

Man created in the image and likeness of God has certain fixed identical roles while he is sojourning on this earth as God's ambassador. The terrestrial family is a likely transplanted form of the Heavenly Trinity miniature in its mission.

What we see and experience in the organised sub cultural chaos is in contravention against the natural order and inner rhythms of our existence. These perversions of infernal culture do not go in unison with religious or church ethics. Manhood cannot be substituted entirely with womanhood, nor vice versa as long as he is in this evanescent plane of illusions. Femininity is a life force meant only for this terrestrial plane; no femininity in Heaven, hence no marriage in Heaven. (Mt 22:30-32). He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; there is no glimpse of Sarah, Rebecca, or Rachael in Heaven. They already had metamorphosis ed as men, even though they might retain the feminine appearance, but not the elemental essence in their transformed state. Angels are men (Ezek 1:5), so also is Jesus. Earthly life is meant for growing to the fullness of mature manhood and sonship ( Eph 4:13; Rom8:23,9:14,Mt5:9,45 HUMILITY

A boy becomes a physically full grown man by the age of sixteen, whereas a woman attains her physical maturity by the time she gives birth few children, for example, mammary glands begin to develop only after giving birth a child. The biological maturity is gained by close conjugal union with her husband and the full harmonious mental and physical health is accomplished by leading an ideal maternal and spiritual life. There is nothing to fume and fret against the seemingly subordinate complementary role with her husband because that is what she is meant by Nature(1 Cor 4:7). The role of maternity is a cumbersome task. The agony of conception, childbirth, rearing, and the inexplicable shrouded ideal life with her husband is a real missionary work in supplying abundance of ecclesiastical and social workers. Though her painful labour and suffering are vitally significant, her importance in life maybe eclipsed and throwing her into enigmatic oblivion by the giant stature of her life partner. It is meaningless to vie against her husband's visibly superior position in Society. It should be explicitly understood that she is the 'maker of man'. She is the mother and he, the father of humanity.

A boy becomes a physically full grown man by the age of sixteen, whereas a woman attains her physical maturity by the time she gives birth few children, for example, mammary glands begin to develop only after giving birth a child. The biological maturity is gained by close conjugal union with her husband and the full harmonious mental and physical health is accomplished by leading an ideal maternal and spiritual life. There is nothing to fume and fret against the seemingly subordinate complementary role with her husband because that is what she is meant by Nature(1 Cor 4:7). The role of maternity is a cumbersome task. The agony of conception, childbirth, rearing, and the inexplicable shrouded ideal life with her husband is a real missionary work in supplying abundance of ecclesiastical and social workers. Though her painful labour and suffering are vitally significant, her importance in life maybe eclipsed and throwing her into enigmatic oblivion by the giant stature of her life partner. It is meaningless to vie against her husband's visibly superior position in Society. It should be explicitly understood that she is the 'maker of man'. She is the mother and he, the father of humanity.

Man created in the image and likeness of God has certain fixed identical roles while he is sojourning on this earth as God's ambassador. The terrestrial family is a likely transplanted form of the Heavenly Trinity miniature in its mission.

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The New Testament begins where the Old Testament ends. Without the New Testament, the old Testament tells of a beginning without an ending. Old and New Testaments of the Bible are interlaced with God’s love.

The history of the interval between the Old and New Testaments is often regarded by many as of little importance. One may wonder as to what happened in this interval period due to the absence of its mention in the Bible. It is, therefore, thought fit to write a brief history of this intertestamental period for better understanding of the Bible.

Between Malachi, the last prophet of the Old Testament, and the New Testament (till the birth of Christ) i.e. between 400 B.C. and 4 B.C., there were about 400 years. This period is often called "The Silent Years" or "The Silent Centuries". It is so called because God remained silent so far as fresh revelation was concerned and no divinely inspired prophets have spoken during this period. Yet knowledge of the leading events, as well as a literature of the times, is of great importance, because they furnish a background for the advent and life of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The New Testament begins where the Old Testament ends. Without the New Testament, the old Testament tells of a beginning without an ending. Between the Testaments Israel continued in their struggle for existence and restoration during the period between Malachi and the events of the New Testament. The Old Testament closes with Palestine still under Persian rule. A remnant of the Jewish people was in the land, but majority of them were dispersed throughout the Persian Empire. While Hebrew was the sole language of the Israelites, we find that Greek, Aramaic, Latin and Persian languages were also Predominantly used in Israel. That is the reason why the superscription on the cross of Jesus was in three languages, Hebrew, Greek and Latin.

Malachi had prophesied during 557-525 B.C. He was one of the 3 prophets after the Babylonian captivity, the others being Haggai & Zechariah. Malachi rebuked the returning exiles for their sins and warned them that God would not tolerate their sins anymore, for which they went into destruction and captivity. He also warns them of the coming judgment if they would continue in sin. Through his book he reveals to them certain events of the future in connection with the Messiah at His 1st and 2nd advents.

Malachi starts with the message of God's love; in chapter 1 verse 2 he says that 'I have loved you'. In the New Testament He conveys the same message in St. John 3:16 "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life". Thus the O.T and the N.T are interlaced with God's love.

Chapter 3, verse 1 mentions about the coming of John the Baptist before Christ, 'Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me". It also mentions about the 1st advent of Christ: "The Lord, whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His Temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in". This refers to the Messiah who suddenly made His appearance in the Temple of Jerusalem by a triumphant entry on Palm Sunday. The use of the words "His Temple" suggests that the Temple of Zerubbabel was built for Him, and that is why Jesus called the Temple as "My Father's House". The messenger of the covenant referred to is Christ who was predicted to make a New Covenant between God and man.

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Holy Transfiguration Malankara Orthodox Mission Madison, Wisconsin, USA

'The deeper we emerge into our own religion, the more we get revealed to the supreme love of God and love for all humanity which unite us all; The more rooted one is in one’s own tradition, the freer and more secure one becomes in facing our fellow human beings and finding out unity in God and in our shared aspirations.'

For H.E. Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios, part of being Christian was to extend unconditional love to those who aren't.

At this year's Paulos Mar Gregorios Memorial Seminar, held Nov. 23 at St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church in Oak Park, Ill., people of a variety of faith traditions met to focus on those elements of faith that promote peace in a turbulent world.

"Experience shows that the deeper we go into our respective religions, the more clearly we find that basic love of God and love for all humanity which should unite us all," said Thirumeni, who never wavered from his Orthodox faith but promoted respect for those of other faiths. "The more rooted one is in one's own tradition, the freer and more secure one becomes in facing our fellow human beings and finding out unit in God and in our shared aspirations."

Before a gathering of about 50, four speakers discussed their traditions' view on pluralism and unity: Re. Fr. John-Brian Paprock (Orthodox Christian), Swami Varadananda (Hindu), Dr. Javeed Akhter (Muslim), and Rajinder Singh Mago (Sikh). Dr. Joseph Thomas moderated the talks.

Fr. Paprock, the third American priest in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, described his journey to the church of Paulos Mar Gregorios, whose writings had always inspired him. Fr. Paprock, pastor of a small mission in Madison, Wisconsin, has been involved in interfaith activities for many years. "As I have studied his legacy, his writing and the anecdotes of his life, I have found myself in awe of his profound insight and resonated deeply to his words," said Fr. Paprock. "It is in reflection on his words that I find myself responding, 'Yes, this is Holy Orthodoxy. This is the articulation of the spiritual gift of our church to the modern secular world.'"

Dr. Javeed Akhter is Executive Director of ISPI, an Islamic Think Thank in Chicago. His presentation focused on Muhammad as a pluralistic leader, the subject of one of the chapters of his book, "The Seven Phases of Prophet Mohammad's Life." Akhter explained that Mohammad had been called to the city of Madinah as an objective administrator to end disputes. In doing so, Mohammad developed the Covenant (Constitution) of Madinah, which outlined principles essential to the peaceful functioning of a pluralistic society - the first document of its kind.

"All religious, ethnic and tribal groups had equal protection, rights and dignity," explained Dr. Akhter. " Muhammad's inspiration for this pluralistic model was the Qur'an (Koran), which makes it incumbent upon Muslims to accept and respect all the previous messengers without distinction and respect their communities."

Dr. Akhter continued, "The Qur'an is quite explicit in promoting pluralism and condemning its anti-thesis, 'particularism' (a theological belief that only an elect few who follow a particular faith are eligible for redemption)."

Many verses in the Qur'an support religious pluralism, despite the fact that some Muslims have misinterpreted scriptures. "The concept of religious pluralism emphasized in the Covenant (of Madinah) differs substantially from tolerance alone," he explained. "Pluralism presupposes equality amongst various groups, rather than one elite group merely tolerating another inferior group out of charity. The Covenant allowed for coexistence of different religious communities that would live by their own beliefs, judge themselves by their own laws, and help each other against any outside threat." Swami Varadananda, of the Vendanta Society of Chicago, is an American who was raised Christian and later converted to Hinduism. Rajinder Singh Mago is of the Chicago Area Sikh Community. Both discussed their spiritual views, which are largely inclusive. The Sikh scriptures, in fact, include passages written by saints and holy men of other religions.

For Orthodox Christians, it is clear that our faith is in Christ alone. We don't believe that "all religions are the same," and we're not Unitarians. At the same time, we recognize that God is bigger than any of us can imagine, and that it is not for us to consider ourselves better than anyone based on our religious faith.

As Mar Gregorios said, ""In dialogue, all are on the same plane, respectfully listening to and learning from each other. You may be convinced that your religion is the only true one. But do not make any claims of superiority over others on that ground. We are all equally contingent and dependent on God's grace and mercy, whether we be Hindus, Christians or Muslims, whether some of us acknowledge that grace and mercy or not."

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Nothing else is more adorable, attractive, conducive or pleasant than light to human mind. All living beings are glad and agile at daybreak. Light is a reality and darkness is simply the absence of light and hence unreal.

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil," John 3:19.

We need hardly emphasis how essential is light for sustenance and growth of life. Light is agent of heat and energy, which is basis of existence and center of all activities. Life exists because light exists. Nothing else is more adorable, attractive, conducive or pleasant than light to human mind. We need light to enjoy the awe and wonder of creation, heart rendering and endless horizon, splendor of colors, flowers, evergreen mountains, streams and pasturelands, ineffable and inexorable beauty of nature that fascinates and captivates everyone's imagination and intellect. All living beings are glad and agile at daybreak. God designed the day for creative activities and the night for resting from the labors of the day. Worth of light becomes evident only in the absence of light. Certain people are afraid to sleep without light! All living beings, especially human, have inseparably intimate relationship with light.

Light is a reality and darkness is simply the absence of light and hence unreal and yet, man is afraid and hates it. Man's ineffable affinity towards light made him consider it superior and worshiped Sun, Moon, and stars as gods. Man from primordial times learned to distinguish light from darkness and to relate it to his own qualities and survival. Man attributed that were life, good, beneficial, positive, etc to light and death, evil, destruction, etc to darkness. He deified light and compared it to God and darkness to Satan as adversary.

Man also conceived and taught though differently in many ways that light and darkness are in constant struggle from the beginning with is Dualism, a dominant philosophy in ancient Near East. Dead Sea Scrolls extensively deal with struggle between good and evil called Jihad or holy wars between Sons of light and Sons of darkness which belief was dearly held by pre-Christian Qumran society. Zoroastrian literatures, Arabian Nights tales, etc are replete with resplendent similar narratives. Muslims considered the Crusades in the 13th century as Jihad.

Judeo-Christians believed that God created light. Light was seen as embodiment of God-creativity and darkness, opposite of light as embodiment of Satan-destruction. In the chronology of creation, light is second only to heaven and earth, which attests man's unequivocal recognition of light as basic element for survival and growth. Light symbolizes life, prosperity, moral good,

God's saving power, glory and hope that mankind has in God and also God Himself. Ps 27:1, Is 10:17. He gives vision and revelation, Ps19: 9, Is 51:4.

Apostle John says that light is life. "With thee is the fountain of life, in thy light we shall see light" Psalm 36:9. The Redeemer is the light of the nations, Is 42: 6, 49: 6. Our Redeemer said, "I am the light of the world" Jn 8:12. Jesus Christ is Uncreated, Sun of righteousness who gives light of life to all creations. One who follows Him transforms as light that shines so that others could see. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world," Mt 5:14. The follower does not self-illuminate but receives radiance from Jesus Christ, the self-illuminating light. Life of faith relies on the divine light. Light emits heat and even so the faithful ought to shine as lights in a world of perversions, by good words and deeds. "You may become blameless and harmless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world," Phil 2: 15. St. Peter further expounds that a faithful is the one called out of darkness to his marvelous light to proclaim praises of Him, 1Pe 2: 10.

The great travesty is that not being conscious of the calling many still live in darkness. Satan is the Lord of darkness. Satan, also called devil, demon, etc are angles who lost their first estate due to pride and revolt against God, Jd 6, 2 Pe 2:4. Their fall was spontaneous, Is 14:12-13. Apocryphal versions say that Archangel Michael expelled them from heaven because they refused to adore man. Beauty and brightness lifted up his heart against God which iniquity caused fall, Ezk 28:17. They are malicious spirits awaiting judgment. Satan is thus self-evolved state of being. Satan and his allies being unable to repent are condemned for eternal damnation.

Ever since, Satan and his demons consistently engage in perilous warfare with God using man as his tool. He is diabolic, that is, he pretends as angle of light while he is not, 2 Cor 11:14. He falsely assures life while he cannot but lead to death. He inflicts evil, accuses and slanders the faithful, Zech 3: 1-2, Jd 9. He opposes God and His people. He is enemy of peace, goodwill, righteousness, mercy, love, compassion, morality and concord. He is prince of evil, hatred, dissension and disunity. He is the great adversary, liar and murderer. He does not stand for truth because no truth in him, Jn 8: 44. He identifies people's weakness and exploits it. He tempted Eve and succeeded and brought shame, pain, suffering, sickness, death, decay, and judgment upon mankind. He brought enmity between man and God. Thus powerful, he claimed ownership of the whole world, Jn 12: 31, Mt 4: 9. He tempted Jesus when He was hungry after 40 days' fasting but failed. He used Peter to dissuade Jesus from passion and Jesus rebuked him. Satan entered into Judas' heart to betray Jesus. He tried to sift Peter like wheat, Lk 22:31. He filled Ananias' heart with deceit. He tries to remove Word or God from people's heart, Mt 13:19. He is ferocious and like roaring lion devours faithful, 1 Pe 5: 8. He flees away upon resisting, Jas 4: 7. He brought loss and afflictions upon Job. He often appears before God, gives account of his activities and challenges God, Job 1:6. He disguises as angel of light, 2 Cor 11:14.

One who creates, persists and live in rivalry, schism, dissension, immorality, etc, who is unrighteous, who does not love brother and who opposes sons of God is devil, 1 Jn 3:10. Jesus meant the same when he called the Jews the sons of devil, Jn 8:44. After expriy of time granted, God will subdue and cast Satan and his followers into eternal fire, Mt 25:41.

Having described the qualities of both angels of God and of devils it is easy to identify who belong to whom. For, "Tree is known by its fruits. Good tree bears good fruits and bad tree bears bad fruits. We cannot gather grapes from thorn-bush or figs from thistles" Mt 7:16-19. Those who are attracted to and by truth are the ever-glowing witnesses of truth. Truth does not engage in propaganda to gather people to its side. Many whose only cherished goal is to destroy by hook or by crook truth and it's defenders are caught up in falsity. Despite convincing truth, certain people are determined to their own perdition to pursue pervasive course and persist in dishonesty to defeat truth. This is the pitiable plight of moral bankrupts. Aversion to admit and repent the mistakes, inability to acknowledge other's goodness, jealousy, ignorance, pride, love of flattery, lust for authority, deceitful intent, immorality, wickedness, arrogance, slander, rebellion, etc are dangerous characteristics of Satan. Are these not rampant in the Church these days?

Truth will be at stake in a society devoid of moral compass and when deception and selfish vendetta rule the roost of social fabric and when people of nefarious qualities occupy rank and file. They deny the truth, distance themselves from light and choose Satan's ways.

WWhat is truth? God is truth and light is God so light is truth. Pilate asked this question but he did not show patience to seek reply. Egocentric people deliberately opt to live in darkness and resist truth for fear of their hidden intentions being exposed. But truth will resurrect one day when their position will be at risk. That is the groaning of a decadent society.

Malayalam Pathram dt. Dec. 6, 2000 reported one incident that took place before 35 years. That sensational news rocked every nook and corner of Kerala. Mariakutty, a woman was murdered on June 15, 1966 at the wayside of a village called Madatharuvi. Within days police indicted Fr. Benedict Onamkulam, a Roman Catholic priest as culprit. Quilon session's court tried him. People passionately read and discussed the daily proceedings as appeared in the news. The accused priest was dumb-found throughout the proceedings. Overwhelming witnesses and evidences went against him. He had no defense. Learned judge Kunjuramn Vaidiar declared on the basis of evidences adduced having satisfied beyond reasonable doubts that Fr. Benedict was guilty of murder, convicted and awarded "death by hanging" sentence. He appealed to High Court hiring the most famous and highest paid advocate Charry from Delhi. The High Court found him innocent and acquitted him. Though the court exonerated him the public never did. They alleged that influence and money purchased the new verdict only to shield a priest and to uphold credence of the church. Truly, I too held that view. Respecting social sentiments, Fr. Benedict withdrew from active duties, lived despised, discarded and dejected like a social refuse that made him a wreck. Entertainment industry capitalized and immortalized the episode into a movie. After so long, another side of the story unfolded in Dec 2000. Two young men visited the ailing Fr. Benedict, explained true incident, implored mercy and absolution. They confessed that their family is torn with tragedies, mishaps, pestilences and loss because of the curse their father brought upon them by falsely inflecting Fr. Benedict. They said they would return to their home only after Fr. Benedict absolved their father's sin. Now the society is convinced about the innocence of the priest and he stands truly vindicated and exonerated in the eye of the society.

What lesson one derives from this? Don't we all at one time or the other pretend having known the truth while actually we didn't and took side of the accuser for no sound reason except personal gratification according to one's own notion and estimate to achieve vindictive agendas? Can we say honestly without conscience pricking that we didn't cause injury to innocent souls that cry to God in the silence of dead night? God answers fervent prayers of His innocent. Can we honestly claim that all our words and deeds were true? How miserable fate awaits the dishonest, whether in Church or private life, who deny truth and inflict wounds on the innocent! Words are insufficient to express horror of the place prepared for them, the perennial woe, the agony and pain in the bottomless pit where fire and brimstone never quench and worms never die, Rev 20:10. "Behold, the day comes that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch," Mal 4:1. "Will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children's children unto the third and forth generation," Ex 34: 7. Bible says, "Our lord is a jealous God and consuming fire."

Solomon chose wicked ways. His son became casualty of his father's iniquity and faced rebellion. Kingdom was divided. Ten out of twelve portion went to enemy, servant. It is no secret, the history affirms, what happened to Jews who uttered, "His blood be upon us and on our children," Mt 27:25. Josephus wrote 94 pages about the destruction of Jerusalem. Roman army besieged Jerusalem temple on April 23, 70 AD. Mothers cooked their own children and ate. Millions died in war, of hunger and starvation. Millions fled, scattered all over the earth as fugitives and vagabonds in alien lands and the nation of Israel was erased from the face of the earth. Sacrifice in the temple was stopped forever on Aug 5, 70. General Titus set the temple on fire, posted the Roman flag and received salute on Aug 29, 70. Titus took 42,000 Jews as captives. Can we expect a different fate to those who afflict and severe the Church?

These instances remind those who dwell upon selfish agenda not to convert the hallowed place into stage of rebellion and chaos. Church is the place to foster brotherhood, concord, peace and reconciliation. All the opposites such as lukewarm, faithlessness, stubbornness, intimidation, insubordination, undifferentiated pluralism; violence, etc are manifestations Devil and denial of the light that came into this world. That is the greatest of all sins worthy of condemnation.

My message therefore is reconciliation based on truth not pretense. No two individuals are created equal. Differences are necessary for critical assessment of facts that help growth. Divergence should never lead to animosity and destruction which predicament God detests.

Finally, we all know, Vice President Al Gore and Governor George W Bush fought a virulent fight employing every possible tactic to win. At the close of the campaign Mr. Al Gore addressed the nation, "While I strongly disagree with the court decision I accept it…Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I am with you president. God bless you… Our disappointment must be overcome by our love of county…I personally will be at his disposal and call on all Americans…We close ranks and come together when the contest is done." Gov. Bush said, "I salute vice president and his supporters. I thank him for a call that I know was difficult to make. Together we will have a bipartisan foreign policy true to our values. Together we will address some of the deepest problems. We, as a nation will move forward together, as one nation, indivisible. I was not elected to serve on party but to serve one nation." (Excerpts from Enquirer dated 12/14/00). Let us emulate such good spirit avoiding personal rivalry, discerning and following truth and shine as light in darkness! My family and I wish you a rewarding, prosperous and happy New Year. May God richly bless all of us, Fr. KK John, 12/28/02.

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Bethlehem, 2 December (ENI)--The cradle of Christianity has again become a hostage of the Middle East conflict after Israeli troops seized control of the West Bank city of Bethlehem in response to the suicide bombing that killed 11 people on 21 November. The bomber was identified as a 23-year-old Palestinian from Bethlehem, and his father declared before television cameras that he was proud of his what his son had done.

Several Israeli armoured personnel carriers bristling with machine guns stand guard near the Church of the Nativity, which marks the spot where tradition holds that Jesus was born. Troops are on the lookout for Palestinian militants who might attempt to seek sanctuary inside the shrine.

Through the tiny church doorway appears a group of bearded, cloaked clerics. The Rev. Karnardos, the Greek Orthodox superior of the Church of the Nativity, says the sanctuary has been closed because of fears of a repeat of events that beleaguered the holy place earlier this year. Back in April, a group of armed Palestinians occupied the church triggering a long siege that finally ended with the fugitives agreeing to exile in the Gaza Strip and abroad.

"From this morning the church has closed, because I saw the tanks," Karnardos tells ENI.

He urges Israelis and Palestinians to end their conflict and to restart the search for a lasting peace.

"The King of Peace, Jesus, was born here. But there has been no peace in this land from the time of King David, through the time Jesus lived, until now."

He recalls that in the past two years few tourists have been able to visit Bethlehem because of the violent clashes. Karnardos says he prays the fighting might stop to enable to pilgrims to see Bethlehem at Christmas.

"The big problem is the lack of security. That is why people are not coming to see the holy place," he say

On the other side of the square, Omar Habib, a 17 year-old Palestinian boy, has watched events unfold. He spent 25 days in the Church of the Nativity during the stand-off earlier this year. Omar says he's not afraid to die, for that would make him a martyr and, he says, it would bring blessings from heaven. "What will they [the soldiers] do, they will kill me?," he asks. "If they kill me, God will take me." He says if the Israelis offer true peace, they will find a willing partner in the Palestinians, but military force will never be the solution. "If they want peace, okay, there is no problem," he says. "But if they want to kill me, and bring their guns, there is a problem."

Military Jeeps patrol the city's Manger Square in front of the church, and soldiers warn stone-throwing boys to move back. The boys scuttle back to the cobble-stoned streets leading from the square, some of them yanked by older brothers ordering them home. Apart from these boys, the streets are deserted after the Israeli-enforced curfew. Israeli troops pulled out of Bethlehem in August under an understanding with the Palestinian Authority that the area would not be used as a base from which to launch attacks.

The pull-back was to serve as a model for a phased withdrawal from all Palestinian self-governed areas in the West Bank that Israeli forces had re-occupied in June, following an earlier suicide bombing campaign. Ra'anan Gissin, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, accuses the Palestinian Authority of actively encouraging terrorism. He says in light of the continuing Palestinian attacks, it seems futile to bring about a limited truce and to withdraw from some areas.

Courtesy To ENI

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Bible Word to by heart:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish
But to us which are saved it is the power of God.

 (1 Corinthians 1:18


After the Anger of King Ahasuerus subside, he thought about Queen Vashti and about his decree against her. The King's ministers put forward a plan to seek for young beatiful women for the King to be installed as King from the Country. They suggested to keep the woman in the Susan Palace under the custody of Hegai, the king's chief eunuch and give them cosmetics. The young lady whom the King get pleased will be selected as the Queen in place of Vahti. King Ahasuerus agreed upon this suggestion send orders through out the country.

There was Jewish a citadel in Susa by the name Mordecai in the clan of Benjamite. Mordecai had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captives who had been exiled with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled. He was bringing up his uncle's daughter Hadassah known as Esther. He was considering her as his own daughter. Esther was an extremely beautiful lady. Being heard of the decree that King is searching for beautiful young woman in the country to get married and to make her as the Queen, Mordecai desired to bring her daughter as a candidate.So Esther also was taken to the King's place into the custody of Hegai along with many other beautiful girls. The Young Esther pleased Hegai and found favour with him. So Hegai immediately provided her necessary cosmetics and food and gave her seven choice maids from the king's palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem .

Esther and Mordecai kept the secret that they are Jews and did not make known het people or her kindred. Every day Mordecai visted the Palace and enquired the wellbeing of his step daughter Esther. When the turn came, each lady came to be met by the King Ahasuerus after a twelve month stay under the regulations of woman, sith six months with oil of myrrh and next six months with spices and cosmetics. No lady will meet the King again unless he calls her again by her name.

So Esther's turn also came ans she was taken to the King Ahasuerus to the Royal Palace of Susan. The king loved her more than any other woman and she found favour in his kindness. He set his royal crown on her head and made her the queen instead of Vashti. King ordered to arrange a a great banquet for Eshther with inviting all his princes and servants. He also declared a holiday for the provinces in the honour of the new queen Esther.

One day when Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate Bigthan and Teresh, two of the palace officials as the door keepers became angry to the King plotted to kill the King Ahasuerus. Mordecai informed the conspiracy of the Palace officials to Esther and in turn Esther informed the matter to the King in the name of Mordecai.The King investigated about the conspiracy and found it is true. Both the employees were hanged on gallows and the incident was written in the Book of Daily events of the palace.



Jesus during his public ministry in this world, narrated the story of the ten virgin ladies as parable to teach his desciples about his second coming for taking his bride which is known as the Church.

There were ten young woman described as virgins or pure, undefiled young ladies who were called for the wedding ceremonies. They were very happy to and joyous to attend the grand and wonderful festivities of the ceremony. All the spledour arrangements were and they were to wait for the bridegroom coming in the night. They all waited for the magniciant time and prepated to go to receive the bridegroom.

Out of the ten ladies, five of them wisely thinking that if the bridegroom delay and the coming may happen in the early morning collected enough oil for their lanterns. They stored enough oil so that they will have their lantern lit when ever the bridgroom come in the night or in the early morning.

But the other five ladies were foolish and considered that bridegroom may come soon and did not collect enough oil for their lanterns. As the coming of bridegroom was delayed the young ladies fell asleep while waiting for the groom. At the midnight there was a huge shout from the messenger 'the bridegroom is coming soon and go out to meet him.'. They all woke up and began to light the wicks of their lantern. But by this the oil in the lantern of the foolish ladies were exausted and once they tried to light their wicks it started flickering. They cried in dismay to the wise ladies to hire some of their oil so that they will not miss the bridegroom.

But the wise ladies replied them:

'Sorry we can not give the oil. If we share our oil with you there will not be enough oil for our own lamps. If we share with you we will miss the bridegroom and not be able to join the wedding party ourselves.'

The five foolish young ladies hurried back into the city to buy oil for their lamps so that they could join the wedding party along with the bridegroom. By that time the Bridegroom came and the five wise young ladies joined him and entered the wedding pavilion. After all the guest who were there entered the pavilion the door was shut so that no body else was allowed to enter further.

After some time five foolish young ladies came and desperately knocked on the pavilion door, calling, "Please open the door so that we also could joint the wedding with the bridegroom."

The voice of the bridegroom came from inside:

"Hey foolish women, You knew that I was coming and that you were supposed to wait for me with your lamps trimmed and full of oil. I knew you not. I am sorry, no body can enter into the wedding pavilion as the door is closed and locked."

The five foolish young ladies were extremely sorry and went away weeping.
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