Malankara World

Weekly Devotional

by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand

The Steadfast

Saturday 25 July 2009 (18 Abib; 18 Epip)
St.James of Jerusalem A.M.

That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
(John 3:15)

CONSIDER THIS:

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;
and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
(Psa.34:18)

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
(Psa.34:14)

John the Baptist was a radiant light in the midst of
Judea, as it was said:"I have ordained a lamp for
mine anointed."Psa.132:17)
(Cyril the Great)

Any losses we endure in our life are much less than the
blessings God has for us if we agree to receive them.
(An Elder)

The choice is yours. Either you love the worldly things
and live with it. Or do not love it and live with God forever.
(S.Augustine)

Many follow Jesus on the path from afar, but very few
walk with Him and follow in His footsteps. Many are
Christians by name, but the true Christians are very few.
(Mystery of Godliness)

Always ask for the love of God for it is the completion
of the Commandments.
(The Spiritual Elder John Saba)

REFLECTION:

Faith is in no way a burden or a yoke imposed on human
beings. Far from it! Faith is an immense benefit because
it commences life in us even on this earth.

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the gift of
faith. Help us to remain firm in our faith throughout
our lives and to strive to increase it day by day.
(Thomas Aquinas)

HOMILY:

THE STEADFAST

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness'
sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matt.5:10)

This (say Augustine & Aquinas) is a summing-up of all the previous seven
Beatitudes; and that is why the reward mentioned is the same as for the first one. A summing-up,
because the seven Beatitudes are such a reversal of the world's standards
that we must expect the world to give a rough time to those that practice them.

'He leads thee to a climax, He brings thee as far as martyrdom, and He fixes
on that as the palm of all Blessedness.' (S.Ambrose)

Augustine pictures Christ as a Merchant.:

"I have something for Sale!"
'What is it ,O Lord?'
"The Kingdom of Heaven."
'How is it to be bought?'
"The Kingdom by poverty, joy by sorrow, rest by labour, glory by wretchedness, life by death!"

The Jews were sure that, once the Kingdom of God was established, They would
suffer no more oppression. They would rule. If anybody was to be
persecuted, it would be the wicked and Gentiles.

But Christ says: "Blessed are they that suffer persecution." Then He
amplifies it and make it personal to His followers: "Blessed are ye when
they shall revile you and persecute you and speak all that is evil against
you, untruly, for my sake: be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very
great in heaven; for so they persecuted the Prophets that were before you."

Our Lord is loyal to His friends. If they work for Him and suffer for His
sake He will see they do not lose by it. Persecution like war brings out
many beautiful virtues - courage, perseverance, forgiveness. It raises
ordinary virtue rapidly to heroic degree: the martyrs all canonized by their
blood.

'If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be Blessed.'(1 Peter 4:14)
We should offer ourselves for anything; as Our Lord did at the Last Supper,
on the threshhold of His Passion.

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

Today's Readings:

Evening: Psalm 67:12&36; Gospel Mark 3:7-21.
Morning:Psalm 144:10-12; Gospel Luke 6:12-23.
Liturgy: Rom.10:4-18; 2 Peter 1:12-21; Acts 3:1-16;
Psalm 18: 1&5; Gospel Matt.10:1-15.

Copyright DR

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