Christian Music Download Free Wallpapers And Videos

September 2nd, 2011

Nathan and King David

Nathan and King David

David’s greatness lies in fact that He was ready to listen to Nathan, though he was the King of Israel. The Holy Season of Lent is a time of preparation, of conversion, of penance, of purification, a turning away from evil and of deciding for God.

At the origin of human history in the garden of Eden God was one with the first parents. The Lord God walked with them in the garden. They saw him, they heard him and Adam and Eve enjoyed the company of the Lord. God was part of the nature, but once sin entered the world the rhythm of the nature was broken and there came a gulf between God and man.

Day by day mankind walked far from the good Lord. Sin blinded the humanity so much that they began to miss the appearance of the Lord. Purity of heart is indispensable for the glorious vision of the Lord. For Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” So the Lord God full of love for mankind began to send prophets to let His mind to be known to His children.

Lent is a time, when we are surrounded by ‘Nathans’ and ‘Davids’ everywhere. The liturgical celebrations in this Holy season especially in the scripture reading we come across ‘Nathan’ speaking to us. Nathan is the symbol of God’s voice speaking to us in many ways. May it be our conscience, the word of God, God himself or anyone of the society that surrounds us. David is the symbol of a repentant sinner.

God sends ‘Nathans’ to our lives at every moment to bless us with right direction, and true perception. Let us travel through the Old Testament and get acquainted with Nathan and David. It is interesting to note how David was chosen from among his brothers to be the king over Israel. The Lord anointed David through the hands of Samuel and blessed his life with peace, happiness, wealth, health and prosperity.

Then came a moment of weakness, sin after sin and he alienated from the good Lord. God came down in the person of a prophet, like a good shepherd to seek out the lost. God sent Nathan to speak for him to David and to bring him back home. Nathan went in and spoke with authority but with a sense of compassion, love and tolerance (2 Samuel 12:1). Nathan dramatized the sinful act such a way that David could not but repent for the rest of his life.

Nathan said to David, “You are the man. Thus says the Lord, God of Israel, I anointed you King over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul; and I gave you your masters wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if this were too little; I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord and done what is evil in his sight by killing Uriah and have taken his wife to be your wife? (2 Samuel12:7-9).

King David repented for his sins, promised a total change, made reparation for the crime and brought about drastic change in his life. He made total reparation for offending the Lord and having gone away from Him. He fasted seven days neither eating nor drinking, he went in and lay all night on the ground and prayed and wept bitterly in spite of being the king over Israel. God was pleased and blessed him and his family with the gift of Solomon who is known for his wisdom. Of course sin had its wages. Since David struck down Uriah with the sword and had taken his wife, the sword never departed from his house.

God painfully noticed that David is gone far away from Him and God took the initiative to bring him back home. As in the days of King David, God sends Nathan to our lives at every moment and every day. In the words of prophet Joel He says, “come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping; let your hearts be broken not your clothes torn; turn to the Lord your God again, for he is all tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness and ready to relent.”

Everyone is called to play both the roles of Nathan and King David, at one time or another.

Prophet Nathan had the following outstanding qualities:

Nathan was sent by God (2 Samuel 12.1)
The scripture says Nathan was sent by God to David. He was sent to speak for God, to speak only God’s words and his only mission was to let God’s mind to the King. It is important for us to know if we are truly sent by God with a special mission or is it out of selfishness, jealousy or grudge that we take up the role of Prophet Nathan at times? It is interesting to note the conversation of Nathan – he speaks in first person, “I anointed you … I rescued you … I gave you your master’s house … I would have added much more… Why have you despised the word of God”? He was sent by God and spoke only for God.

Nathan spoke with authority (2 Samuel 12:7)
All authority is from God. It is clear from Jesus’ answer to Pilate,” you would have no power over me unless it had been given to you from above” (Jn.19:11). “You are the man” Nathan said to David. He was conscious of the mission to speak the words of God. Therefore what we speak with authority should be the words from above, in fact the words of God not personal agenda.

Nathan was person oriented not fault oriented (2 Samuel 12:13)
Nathan’s dialogue was blended with the expressions of love, compassion and forgiveness. He said and did nothing except what was directed by the Lord God. As soon as King David confessed his sin and expressed the sign of repentance Nathan blessed him with forgiveness for his crime. He said, “Now the Lord has put away your sin, you shall not die”. Such are to be our blessing and attitude when we take up the role of Prophet Nathan.

King David was great in Israel but he was simple like a child.
Now we shall reflect some of his virtues:

King David was sincere (2 Samuel 12:5)
King David was sincere and authentic. When Prophet Nathan narrated the story allegorically, King David’s anger was kindled against the man who had done this and said, “The man who has done this deserves to die”. Later when he realized that ‘He was the man’ he did not alter from his word as it is common with us today.

King David repented promptly (2 Samuel 12:13)
King David repented as soon as he realized that he was wrong. He confessed saying,” I have sinned against the Lord”. David being the great King over Israel had the humility and sincerity to come down from his throne and correct himself. Today our society desperately lacking a sense of sin. Injustice, robbery, murder, rape, persecution and all kinds of evil are so much part of our lives that we seem to lose the sense of sin. Only a person with clear conscience can have a sense of sin, and accept one’s own fault.

King David made reparation for his sin (2 Samuel 12:16)
The King made reparation for his sin. He went in to the house of the Lord and besought God, he fasted and went in and lay all night upon the ground. He made fitting reparation for his crime and pleased the Lord. This was expressed when Prophet Nathan was sent to King David for a second time, to confirm God’s love for him at the birth of Solomon. (2 Samuel 12:25)

Lent is a Holy season where the heavenly Father expresses himself to us in many ways and through many people. He comes down like a good shepherd and a prodigal father who is full of compassion, merciful love, forgiveness and grace. At times he himself goes in search of the lost sheep or sends Nathans to bring them back home.

God the Father is passionately in love with his children especially when they sin and get alienated from him. Just as the merciful father forgave King David and prodigal son he forgives each one of us provided we repent for our sins and promise our will to give up the wrong path. Our God who is all tenderness and compassion is totally different from the attitude of human beings who glance at a repentant sinner with the same old image. A person with sound inner vision can recognize and accept a person of renewed spirit.

As in the case of King David he sends Nathan to our lives continuously. Have we ever listened to Him? Do we hearken to his voice or ignore him?

The story of King David reveals the depth of God’s Love and how God longs for our coming home to the fathers love. Jesus expressed of this same unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness of our heavenly Father in the parable of the prodigal son.

Come let us pause for a while, and become aware of our position, if we begin to slip away from the track, let us follow Nathan and get back in to the ocean of love and experience once again the compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love of the Heavenly Father.

– – – written by Sr. Mercy Pottokaran OSB

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

Also check out our - Featured Posts | Recent Posts