CHRISTIAN NEWS BIWEEKLY PUBLICATION FOR KERALA MALAYALEE CHRISTIANS FROM INDIA AROUND THE WORLD
May 15, 2002 ARCHIVE
Vol:2Issue:10


THE CHRISTIAN MESSAGE OF LOVE

By DR.GEEVARGHESE MAR OSTHATHIOS



H.G.DR.GEEVARGESE MAR OSTHATHIOS
Diocesan Metropolitan of Niranam Diocese of Malankara Orthodox Church. A Theological and Biblical Scholar, Orator and a good writer. Patron of many Charitable Christian Organizations.

The Bible teaches us 'God is Love' (1 John 4:16) The theory of 'Love Your enemies and pray for your persecutors' is seen only in the teachings of Jesus Christ and nowhere in Old Testament or in any other religion. Understanding and truly following God, who is the incarnation of Love, could be done only by true Christians. Bible teaches us to Love the God and Love your neighbors as thyself. Faith is fruitless without Love. The magnitude of the importance of Love and charity in Christianity is emphasized by the word '....and have no charity, I am nothing.' (1 Cor. 13:2) We can not Love God without loving our neighbors. 'And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.' (1 John 4:21) 'If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?' (1 John 4:20)

The Crown of the Old Testament is David's Psalms 23. There is no other Psalms which children around the world by heart like Psalms 23. Lord's Prayer (Mathew 6:9-15) is the Verse much more globally used prayer and much super to the Psalms 23. Comparison of these 2 scripture passages reveals the depth of the faith and the width of Love. Psalm of David proclaim his faith in the Divine God. But the Lord's Prayer calls for an unselfish and unblemished Love.

1. God is my Shepard
(Personified Prayer)
Our Lord who art in Heaven
Calling 'Our' Lord not 'My' Lord
2. I shall not want
(Depth of Faith)
Thy Name, Thy Kingdom, Thy will.....
Not praying with 'My' Name 
3. He make me to lie down in green pastures
...leads to still waters
...consoles my soul
(This also get by faith)
Give 'us' our daily bread
(Prayer of Global Love)
4. I shall not fear in shadow of death
(Courage of a firm believer)
Will be pardoned if you pardon
(The way to stop the war)
5. Thou art with me
(Courage and Consolation of a firm believer)
Relief from the temptation of Satan
(To keep away from Sin)
6. Your Rod and Staff comfort me...
Faith for the feast amongst enemies and anointing Oil
Kingdom only of Heaven
(Kingdom of nobody in the earth)

In the above two prayers, the first one manifest the depth of faith, but the latter manifest an unselfish and glorified love. The social aspect of religion is not seen in the David's prayer. Third millennium demands one religion with love, believing the eternal, social sharing and self emptying joyful love of God. God who light to the just and unjust, demands us also to love all people without distinction of cast, creed and colour. The divine and Celestial God is the Social God of Love.

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MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS, AS A HUMAN MOTHER

By MARY SAMUEL AYIROOKUZHIYIL - NEW YORK

We celebrate Mothers Day in honor of all mothers. Motherhood is a great privilege, and yet a great responsibility that God has bestowed upon women. There are many mothers who have directly or indirectly influenced and shaped the course of history.

The Bible also has accounts of many mothers who have played pivotal roles in the history of mankind; but none as significant as that of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is the epitome of all goodness and godliness, and yet she is a picture of humility and modesty a woman with all the emotions and aspirations of a regular mother. As a woman, she was a chaste, godly woman whom God chose as a vehicle for the birth of the Messiah a unique role which no other woman in the past, present or future will ever play. It is only appropriate that with Elizabeth we should say " Blessed art you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Luke 1:42)

Not much has been said about Mary as a mother. Let us look at her in the role of a mother from the few narrations and incidents that we have in the gospels. The first picture of Mary as a mother is in Luke 2: 19 (But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart). Here we see Mary who treasured every moment of her new born. Mary and Joseph were from a poor background, and from the Bible accounts, we know that Mary did not have a comfortable delivery or expensive baby clothes to pamper her son; for that matter she did not even have a proper place to lay her newborn. And yet, she seemed to be a picture of perfect peace and happiness in spite of all the hardship she had to experience in the process of the birth of her son.

The next picture we have of Mary as a mother is in Luke 2: 48 when Jesus was 12. This is a picture of a very anxious and concerned mother. Even though the angel Gabriel had told her that her son shall be called the 'Son of the Most High' (Luke 1:32), Mary had not fully grasped the mission of Jesus; to her, he was her precious 12 year old son, and she had concerns and anxieties as any mother of a 12-year old would have. Her worries might have been put to rest when Jesus himself first made known to her his real mission, and then subjected to his parents.

We do not have much about the intervening years between the above incident and the public ministry of Jesus, except what is said in Luke 2: 51-52. But we can be justified in speculating that Mary was a loving and caring mother who took great delight in her son, and that she respected him and gave him the space for growth as an individual, without being too pushy. As we move on to the time of Jesus' public ministry, we have in John 2: 1-5, the wedding in Cana of Galilee where Jesus performs his first recorded miracle. Here we see that Mary was instrumental in bringing to Jesus' attention, the situation where there was no more wine at the wedding. We all know how Jesus responded to this. But being a wise, patient and sensitive mother, she did not enforce her bidding, nor did she lose confidence in her son's capacity. Instead, she told the servants to follow Jesus' instructions.

The picture of Mary as a mother culminates in John 19:25 at the foot of Calvary where she had to witness her firstborn become the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the whole human race. When she helplessly watched her son go through this excruciating and gruesome death, as a mother the pain and agony must have been heart wrenching. It may be that she was preparing herself for the inevitable; yet this did not diminish her deep pain and anguish to see her son die the shameful death on the cross. Perhaps, having realized Jesus' mission, she too must have submitted all her plans and dreams for her son to God's will.

As mothers, let us ponder on what we can learn from the mother of Jesus. Like Mary, we too can learn to be content and peaceful in adverse situations. As mothers we sometimes tend to worry too much about our children and their future, forgetting the fact that God who created them and who is in control of the whole universe is more than able to take care of our children. It is only natural that we worry about our children, but worrying beyond a limit does not serve any purpose. If we entrust our children into the hands of God, we will have the assurance and peace that Mary might have experienced in her struggle as a mother. Let us learn to appreciate and encourage our children even as we rebuke and correct them.

Another lesson that we can learn from the life of Mary as a mother is the fact that we should accept our children as unique individuals and learn to respect and honor them. We need to give them space to grow into full potential individuals that they should be, not limiting or stifling them. Very often we enforce our will and plans in our children's life, sometimes trying to realize our broken dreams, and sometimes extending our achievements through our children. How often do we seek God's will and plan in our children's lives whatever be it? Let us as mothers pray that God will give us the wisdom and grace to bring up our children as God-fearing individuals who will seek and learn to do God's will, and will be in the center of God's plan.

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MOTHERS' DAY

By MOLLY VARGHESE - NEW JERSY


Americans celebrate Mothers' Day on the 2nd Sunday of the month of May. Children honor their mothers with gifts and using special china, silver and linen. They decorate themselves with the carnation flowers in honor of their mothers, pinck if mom is alive and white if she is deseased.

It all started with a lady named Anna Jarvis, who hailed from Philadelphia. She persuaded her church to celebrate Mothers' day on the 2nd Sunday of May, which was her mothers death anniversary. she campaigned to establish a National Mothers day.

Five years later, in 1906, the then president of United States, Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the 2nd Sunday of May as the National Mothers' Day of America.

In the Indian culture, every day is Mothers' day. Children used to be brought up with the thought that the mother and father are the 'visible gods' of the children. Even now, many Indians touch their mother's feet and get her blessings before they leave their homes, because they believe that her blessings and prayers will protect them from any ham they face in the day!



MOTHERS' DAY

"THE MOTHER IS THE QUEEN OF HER CASTLE, HER HOME,
SHE IS THE SERVANT, THE MAID, THE PUNCHING BAG, THE BLAMING POST,
SHE IS THE FEEDER, THE BAATHER, THE ASSOCIATE BREAD WINNER,
SHE IS A WIFE, A SISTER AND A SISTER-N-LAW,
SHE IS THE LULLABY SINGER, THE TEACHER, THE DRIVER/GUARD,
THE RESOURCE PERSON OF THE HOME,
SHE IS THE CONTACT TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD LIKE THE DOCTOR OR PRIEST
SHE IS THE ONE RENOUNCES THE NEEDS, WHEN THERE IS SHORTAGE,
AND SHE FINDS HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT IN THE HAPPINESS OF HER LOVED ONES!!
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THE GREATEST LOVE

By Rosamma Paulose, Bahrain

That father had given the highest kind of love there is - the giving of his life so people he loved wouldn't have to die. It is that kind of love that touches us in the deepest part of us - compelling love. We have to open your heart to the One who has loved us like that.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God sacrificed His body between us and the awful consequences of running our own life - eternal damnation or separation from God. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the wrath of God's judgment on Himself. He died so we don't have to die an eternal death. It's Jesus who said those oft-quoted words: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) Then, in John 10:11, our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." I'm one of those sheep He laid down His life for. And so are you. And that's why it is so important that you make sure you belong to Him, that you've responded to Jesus.

Malcolm Muggeridge was one of the most respected British journalists of the last century. His keen insights and distinctive writings appeared regularly in some of England's most respected publications. For much of his life, he was an articulate unbeliever when it came to Jesus Christ. But later in life, his perspective changed dramatically. He became a committed and outspoken follower of Jesus Christ. When he was asked what drew him to Christ, he simply said, "It is the Cross, more than anything else, that has called me inexorably to Christ."

Not Christianity, not rituals, not beliefs, not even the great teachings and miracles of Jesus - it was His cross which really is a magnet in that old hunk of wood - a magnet that draws us to the foot of that cross to see how very much He loves us. We have to walk up to that old skull-shaped hill and there at the foot of that cross and look at the agony of the Son of God, nailed to that cross. And listen as He looks on our way and says, "Father, forgive him" ... "Father, forgive her" and then, bow down, humiliate ourself at that cross and give ourself to this One who cared more about your life than His own.Put all the excuses aside, all those questions - and just let it finally overwhelm us - God's one and only Son loves me ... He died for me!

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POSITIVE THINKING FOR CHRISTIAN PERFECTION
By Thankamma Mammen, Florida USA

We are special, as every Christian is a new creation (St. John). We are gifted with, and made to be perfect in every thing. God has great plans for each one of us. God expects us to lead a perfect Christian life. Also, desires that we move forward "through Him, with Him and in Him". As such, we need to place the image of Christ in us and strive for Christian perfection. If all our actions are geared towards spiritual growth and Christian Perfection, we will enjoy everlasting happiness.

Positive thinking as well as being positive in everything will lead us to Christian perfection. God continues to give us many opportunities. Positive thinking will help us utilize every opportunity to grow in Christ. God commands us to "take all your might to God and offer Him". Positive thinking will help us accept, respect, love, and offer ourselves to God. Also, positive thinking will help us love ourselves as well as others leading to happiness and Christian perfection. Negative thinking can lead to unhappiness, anxiety, and depression. The following is a recipe for positive thinking and Christian Perfection.

Be caring about, and helpful in solving problems.

Do not underestimate the talents and gifts of self and others.

Do not speak negative talk such as: I Can't, I have no time, I am old, no one listen to me, they hate me, I wish I am intelligent, I wish God give me, etc.

Recite positive self talk frequently (I am well, I am happy, I can do it)

Share much of time, knowledge, money, book, prayer, music, etc.

Always be cheerful, smiling, caring and sharing.

Do not criticize or blame self or others.

Be satisfied with life, money, house, education, children, etc.

Avoid unrealistic assumption (everybody must be like me, we must have lot of money to be happy, I know more than others).

Do not talk about failure before starting a project (I will never complete, they will laugh at us)

Practice talking of possible benefits and success. 

Practice frequent prayer, meditation, and other hobbies.

Identify and work on to get-rid off negative thinking patterns.

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SNEHABHAVAN
BY FR. SAJI THOMAS THARAYIL

HOME FOR MENTALLY RETRADED CHILDREN

MAR BASELIOUS MARTHOMA MATHEWS II

SNEHABHAVAN
 

 

   

Kizheketheravu P.O Kottarakara, Kerala

Charitable Society Reg. No. Q/1167/98

Phone: 0474 456060

Snehabhavan, which was started on Nov.1 in 1996,in a rented home with just three children, under the patronage of H.H.Marthoma Mathews II, the Catholicos of the East, and under the able leadership of Rev.Fr.A.J.Samuel of Chengamanad Bethlehem Ashram, has now grown into a full - fledged institution spread over one and a half acres with sixteen destitute children as inmates. Mentally retarded children of all castes and creed are admitted here. At present there are three teachers, one helper and three Ayas to look after the children. Snehabhavan has been registered, as a charitable society with Regn.Q.No.1167/98.The institution requires new building and other facilities to accommodate more children. The society expects generous help and co- operation of all the well wishers for its further expansion.

 

How You Can Help Snehabhavan

By remembering the institution in your daily prayers.

Visiting the Institution

Taking life membership in the society donating Rs.5000/-

Adopting one child at a monthly cost of Rs.1100/-. For education and boarding (500+600). An endowment can be started so that the interest accruing there of can meet one child's monthly expenses.

Supplying furniture or providing other facilities for the institution.

Donating generously for the building fund. (By donating Rs.60, 000/-lump sum or Installments, one room can be constructed in memory of your dear departed.)

Introducing well wishers to this institution.

PATRON: H.H.Moran Mar Baselious Marthoma Mathews II
VICE PATRON: H.G. Mathews Mar Epipanios
PRESIDENT DIRECTOR: Rev.Fr.A.J.Samuel
TREASURER: Sri.George Mathew
SECRETARY: Rev.Fr.Saji Thomas Tharayil
JOINT SECRETARY: Sri.T.K.Koshy
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CHILDREN'S PAGE


Bible Word to by heart:

If God be with us,
Who can be against us.


 (
Romans 8:31)

BIBLE STORY
SAMSON-3

After some time during the wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a young goat, and said to his wife's father, "I will go in to my wife in her room." But her father did not allow him to enter. Her father said, "I really thought that you hated her intensely; so I gave her to your friend. Her younger sister more beautiful than her and Please let her as your wife instead." Samson said to his wife's father, "This time I shall be blameless in regard to the Philistines when I do them harm."

Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned the foxes tail to tail and put one torch in the middle between two tails. Then he set fire to the torches and he released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines, thus burning all grain, along with the vineyards and groves. Philistines found this was done by Samson And people said, "Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his companion." So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire. Samson said to them, "Since you act like this, I will surely take revenge on you, but after that I will quit." He struck them ruthlessly; several died. Then he went and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam. Then the Philistines went up and camped in Judah, and spread out in Lehi.

The people of Judah said, "Why have you come up against us?" And they said, "We have come up to bind Samson in order to do to him as he did to us." Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam where Samson lived and told Samson, "Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?" And he said to them, "Exactly as they did to me, I also have done to them." They said to him, "We have come down to bind you so that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines." And Samson said to them, "Swear to me that you will not kill me." So they said to him, "No, but we will bind you fast and give you into hands of Philistines and will not kill you." Then they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock. When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon Samson mightily so that the ropes on his arms were burned with fire, and his bonds dropped from his hands.

He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, so he reached out and took it and killed a thousand men with it. Then Samson said, "With the jawbone of a donkey, Heaps upon heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have killed a thousand men." When he had finished speaking, he threw the jawbone from his hand; and he named that place Ramath-lehi . Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the LORD and said, "You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised ?" But God split a pit in Lehi and water came out of it. When he drank, his strength returned and he revived . Therefore he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.

Samson judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

TO BE CONTINUED ......

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