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August 31st, 2011

The Disciple’s Identity Given By The Master

Disciple’s Identity Given By The Master

Finding the truth lies in searching the truth sincerely.

You are Simon, son of John; you will be called cephas (Jn.1:42). The disciple’s identity is always given by the Master. He gives it to whomever He wishes, with a special intention. This is not borrowed by money, power or politics.

Jesus says, “Follow me” (Jn.1:43) He invites Philip to follow Him. He invites every disciple to follow Him closely. The close following can help one to know the Master well. Jesus might have seen many in Galilee, but He chooses only a few. The vocation to be a disciple is a special gift, and to attain that gift, one has to have deep longing of heart.

Once Philip followed Jesus closely, it helped him to know the Master well and he shares it with his brother John. He discovered Him as the one about whom Moses wrote in the law and the prophets, “Jesus, Son of Joseph from Nazareth” (Jn.1:45). From those words one can be sure that he was aware of Old Testament and he was a seeker of the Messiah.

A continuous seeking with an open heart is necessary to know the Master. “Can anything good come from Nazareth” (Jn.1:46). These words are not a discouraging one. In fact Nathaniel too was a teacher, and he was well aware of the Torah. He was also a seeker but he could not find out from the Torah about the Messiah who will be coming from Nazareth. Thus he was surprised to hear Philip’s discovery and he was ready to take an extra step to know the truth. He takes Philip’s invitation positively and goes to meet Jesus face to face and experience Him by forgoing his intellectual thinking. A seeker who seeks the Master from the intellectual level cannot discover Him.

This attitude of Nathanial is appreciated by Jesus. He praises him by saying, “Here is a true Israelite” (Jn.1:47). True Israelite is always ready to take an extra step to have a personal relationship with his or her Master. Israel was a chosen race, and Yahweh chose them to be His own. This is compared to spousal relationship. This closeness is being experienced by Nathaniel and Jesus does not see any bad intention in his question. What will be the Master’s response when we approach Him to become a follower? The Identity of true Israelite, is given to Nathaniel.

This wonder happens in us too, when we go close to Him as a true seeker with a sincere intention. Jesus will reveal to us what we are and what is our intention. Here some might be frightened and they try to avoid the Master who speaks truth. The seeker really discovers the Master, and he replies, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel” (Jn.1:49). Nathaniel, who was a teacher discovers the greatest teacher who speaks only truth. He discovered Jesus as the Son of God and King of Israel.

The real discovery is possible through sincere seeking with an open heart. He even humbled himself in front of Philip and went with him to know the Master well, and thus Jesus reveals to Him more and more. As we too are called to be his disciples, how deep is our understanding, discovery about our Master whom we follow? How many are invited through us to experience Jesus by staying with Him?

– – – written by Fr. Biju Maramkuzhackal SVD

August 30th, 2011

Why Should We Be Humble?

Why Should We Be Humble

Lord make us humble till we become more important to God and less important to men.

Happy are those who are humble they will receive what God has promised. – Mathew 5:5. We are taught from our childhood to be humble. It is so rightly said in Mathew 5:5; “Happy are those who are humble they will receive what God has promised”.

The kingdom of God belongs to the humble.

Jesus himself gave us such a good example of being humble when He being the Master washed the feet of his disciples (John 13,13-17). Jesus said “You call me Teacher and Lord and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. I your Lord and teacher, have just washed your feet, you then should wash one another’s feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you. I am telling you the truth: no slave is greater than his Master and no messenger is greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know the truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice.”

“It is much easier for a poor man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a rich man” (Mat 6:17). As it is difficult for a rich man to leave all his riches behind and follow Christ. While for a poor man it is much easier as he has nothing much to part with.

If you are doing well in life give thanks and praise the Lord as He is the one who gives all. Never be boastful or proud because if He gives today He may decide to take away tomorrow. Thus one should always be humble and down to earth. Christ said, “anything you do for the least of my people you do unto me.” Jesus meant that any humble act done for the least important person or a poor person of a society, it will be considered as a good act done for God himself.

lf you are rich or in a position to help others always do it. If you are struggling to meet ends in life still give thanks and praise the Lord because one should remember that the situation could be even more worse. God gives us testing times to test and strengthen our faith. Sorrows? God can turn anything in a glimpse of time. Remain faithful and God will bless you. Life of many saints is a good example of this as they have always praised and thanked God in the most adverse of the situations and they have been blessed immensely in heaven.

Lord teaches us that we should not have revengeful feeling for anyone. If anyone has done anything adverse to us, we should not look for opportunities to take revenge. Instead we should do acts of goodness for them and try to change their hearts with our forgiving and loving acts. We should pray for people who harm us so that Jesus will change their hearts and help them to become good and nice towards others. Jesus taught us that everyone loves their friends but we should love our enemies too (Mat 5:43). God wants us to be just and perfect as He is. He makes the Sun shine on both good and bad alike thus we should also treat all in the same manner.

When God gives us abundantly we should do charity. Charity should be done in such a way that not even our closest friend should know of it. If one helps a needy person publicly intending to gather praise from people or to show off, it is hypocrisy. Scripture says such people have already received what they wanted but people who carry out charity in private, will be rewarded by the eternal Father in Heaven. A gift from eternal Father cannot be compared with any earthly bliss.

Now we know why should we be humble and meek.

– – – written by Mrs. Clare Roy

August 29th, 2011

Prayers For Irene Victims

Prayers for Irene victims

We pray for Irene victims, that

– in God’s mercy and grace Hurricane Irene will reduce her speed and damage impact on all who will be affected, that many lives will be spared and property protected.

– rescue efforts be quickly facilitated to respond to the emergency.

– the Lord sends His people to help the helpless.

– folks will turn to the Lord who holds everything in His hands and that they remember from whence cometh their help and source of life.

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O Lord, I pray for those in the path of hurricane Irene, for the families who lost their loved ones, whose homes have been destroyed and for the safety of the families in the states and cities that haven’t been hit yet. I pray for their safety in Jesus name. Amen.

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Father God, we come to your throne with prayers for our brothers and sisters, children and animals who are in danger from this natural disaster called Irene…please be in their midst to ease the pain, to help stranded and isolated people be rescued, please send in Angels of Mercy, Peace & Grace, Oh God, we pray! We are asking Miracles, Father, we know you are the power on which we can lean.. Your power is so much more than that of Irene, yet she is capable of reeking much havoc and destruction!!! We ask you to be ever-present, working through people who are willing to allow you to work through them!

Heroes & sheroes are needed to flood the areas of devastation, with their love, financial support, and bodily strength….send many willing warriors to march in, during this time of overwhelming need, and to bless the lost, homeless, hurting, the weak and affirmed… as well as the survivors of deceased, oh God, we are at your mercy…we give it all to you!!! Oh Father! Bless those who do march in, give them extra Faith, Strength and Courage to do what needs to be done!! Please, give them supernatural power to be of assistance where ever needed, and supply all their needs as they help others!! Thank you, father God for hearing and answering our heart-felt prayers!!

Shine Your divine, supernatural light on theses areas that people who are trapped, alone, aged, young, and/or incapacitated in any way, will be found and saved in time! Spare lives oh God, we as mere mortals know not why these things happen…. all we do know is to run to you, our creator, our protector, and to give to you all the praise, honor & glory forever and ever!!! Amen.

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