Malankara World

Weekly Devotional

Freedom in Christ

by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand

Saturday 19 December 2009 (10 Koiahk; 10 Kiahk)
St.Nicholas of Myra

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things, and Holy is His name.
(Luke 1:49)

CONSIDER THIS:

The repetition of the name of Jesus (The Jesus Prayer),
is training that settles the soul in Christ, until the
name of Jesus becomes like the air we breathe. The
soul lives on Christ, like the body lives on air.
(Heguman Pishoy Kamel)

Christ is the Light of the world. He revealed the Heavenly
Father to us. Without Him, we would have little knowledge of God or Man.
(Archimandrite Sophrony)

Praise the Lord with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
(Psa.33:2)

Christ the Lord, being Humble Himself, did not teach His mother pride, but meekness.
(St.Ambrose of Milan)

Jesus is the one who abolishes all the iniquities in us,
and it is Him who demolishes all the Kingdoms of Evil.
(Auriginos the Scientist)

Be merciful unto me, O God. Be merciful unto me,
for my soul trusteth in Thee. Yea, in the shadow
of Thy wings will I make my refuge.
(Psa.57:1)

SYNAXIS OF ST. NICOLAS OF MYRA

This saint famed throughout the entire world today, was the only son of his
eminent and wealthy parents, Theophanes and Nona, citizens of Patara in Lycia. They
dedicated to God the only son He gave them. He was instructed in the
spiritual life by his uncle Nicolas, Bishop of Patara, and became a monk at 'New Sion',
a monastery founded by his uncle.

On the death of his parents, Nicolas distributed all the property he
inherited and kept nothing back for himself.

As a priest in Patara, he was known for his charitable works, fulfilling the Lord's words:
"Let not thy left hand know what the right hand doeth."(Matt.6:3)

He was chosen as Archbishop of Myra in Lycia. He was merciful, wise and fearless. and
a true shepherd to his flock. He was cast into prison during the persecutions of Diocletian
and Maximian, but even there, he continued to instruct the people in the Law of God.

He was present at the First Ecumenical Council in Nicea 325, in his zeal struck Arius
with his hand, he was ejected from the council and deposed from office.

Other bishops had visions of Our Lord showing His Sympathy to Nicolas and as a
consequence was reinstated to his position of Archbishop of Myra.
Arius was later condemned as a Heretic.

He was a defender of the truth of God and championed justice among the people and on
2 occasions he saved three men from undeserved execution. Tradition has it that he was
the Original Santa Claus and gave largesse to the people. He was always on hand to help
people, whether close at hand or far away.

In old age, he was sickened of a slight illness, and went to his rest in the Lord after a life
full of labour and fruitful toil. He entered into rest on December 6th, 343 AD.(Old Style)

REFLECTION:

While remaining the Mother of our Judge, Mary is
personnified as mother to all the human race.
She keeps us close to Christ. All earthly mothers
should emulate her faithfulness and fortitude.

Heavenly Father, You have filled Mary with Grace
and made her the mother of Jesus Christ, Your Son.
Grant that we may attain the Salvation that Your
Son bought to this world.
(Peter Canisius)

HOMILY: FREEDOM IN CHRIST

So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that
you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law.
(Gal.5:1)

Freedom is one of the most sought after ideals in human history. But do we
know what freedom really is? Many people talk about freedom, but are they
getting their definition of freedom from the Bible?

St. John also tells us in Chapter 8 :32,
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

People think they have freedom to do their own thing, when in fact they
become a slave to it. A person from prison thinks they have freedom, but are
they truly free from their old habits?

Ninety per cent re-offend. Freedom in Christ is based on redemption through
grace, not like the Jews of Paul's day who were chained to a treadmill of religious ritual.

The connection between truth and freedom is important. Truth never leads to
bondage. Freedom obtained through the Son is real. Freedom can come only
through One who is Himself free. The Son is free and can therefore make us free. That freedom
that we so enjoy through the Son was bought at a Price. That Price was the
Cross of Calvary and the atoning Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the sins
of the whole world, both present and in the future.

Even though Christ has made us free, it means that we have to work at it
daily, to ensure that we do not backslide into the slavery of sin. Your
adversary the devil goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
devour.

Are you among those who resist the wiles of the devil and are steadfast in
the Faith of Christ?

Are you truly Free in Christ? St. John tells us in Chapter 8:36,
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."

To Thee be glory and praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.

AMEN!

Today's Readings:

Evening: Psalm 88:20-22; Gospel Matt.10:34-42.

Morning: Psalm 131:9-10; 17-18. Gospel Luke 6:17-23.

Liturgy: Heb.7:18-8:13; 3 John 1:1-15; Acts 15:36-16:5;
Psalm 98:6-7; Gospel John 16:20-33.

Copyright DR

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