Malankara World

Great Lent Today

Day 28 - Fifth Sunday of the Great Lent

Kliftho/ Crippled Woman Sunday

Opening Prayer:

O God, who through your word
reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way,
grant, we pray,
that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten
toward the solemn celebrations to come.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings (alternate)
Joshua 5: 9a, 10-12; Psalm 34: 2-7; 2 Corinthians: 5: 7-21; Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: A Samaritan Village: Let Go and Move On

Daily Meditation:

Laetare Sunday- Be joyful!
This Sunday has a joy-filled tone.
We enter into the second part of Lent with a spirit of eagerness.
Our celebration of the mercy and life given to us in Jesus is near.

All the readings are profound. The letter to the Ephesians can be a meditation for the week.
We have been saved by our Lord, Jesus, the Christ.
That is consoling at this part of Lent. It is not the work we do that saves us.
It is God's love - in the midst of our darkness.

We can ask to be "lifted up" with Jesus in his surrender with the Father:
lifted up on the cross and therefore, lifted up in Glory.
And, we can express our desire to be an instrument of his healing love,
in the hearts of those to whom he sends us.

Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!

If we are celebrating the Second Scrutiny,
with the Elect journeying to the font of Baptism,
then we'll probably be using the gospel about the healing of the man born blind.

Today's Daily Reflection

by Larry Gillick, S.J.
Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Creighton University

PRE-PRAYERING

We are always trying to position ourselves to be in a posture of receptivity. We are, by nature, grabbers and also human-doers and we do follow Adam and Eve by earning our bread by the sweat of our brows. During these days of Lent we pray to return to the Source of life and accept the truth that we have received the very lives we have.

We desire to return to the ground or land or home from which we have wandered. The Eucharist is that Home, that resting place where we are welcomed again, prodigal though we may be. We renew the divine embrace and we pledge once more to live more generously the embrace we receive.

REFLECTION

Joshua has taken over the leadership of the people of Israel and has led them for all these years of their wandering in the desert. They do arrive in their new land which is flowing with abundance.

Because of their years of slavery in Egypt and the forty-year pilgrimage in the desert, those men born during these years were not circumcised. Circumcision was the physical sign of agreement or acceptance of the covenant made with Abraham years before. This not being circumcised was the "reproach of Egypt", because the men of Egypt were not circumcised. At their entering of the new and holy land then, they paused and had the men more fully enter the Jewish traditions and practices.

At that time then, they celebrated as full members of the Jewish people, the great Passover in remembrance of their being freed from slavery. There is an ending of the raining down of manna and the beginning of the eating from the produce from their new abundant land. God had been faithful to the covenant by freeing them, feeding them, and now they were to earn their bread from the sweat of their brows and the fertility of the land.

The Gospel is a wonderful parable open to all kinds of questions, answers, and self-reflections. The context or setting of Jesus' relating this last of three parables about losing and finding, is central to the importance of all three parables which make up this whole chapter. The Pharisees and scribes began to complain, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So it is exactly and directly to them that Jesus tells this story about two sons.

One son, the younger, in a sense, the newer to the family, is a selfish, greedy, rebellious fellow. The elder son, one who came first, has done all things well, "Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders." The Pharisees certainly knew with whom Jesus was comparing them. As the father welcomed back the disobedient son, so the "sinners" are welcomed by Jesus and eats with them as do the father and his household eat with the welcomed-back son.

The elder son does not want to have anything to do with the household, the younger son, or the celebration. The Pharisees, who hear in the parable whom they represent, stand at a distance and judge the entire gathering of Jesus and his company of sinners. The father recalls to his elder son that they have always been together and in love have shared in everything. "You were never lost," the father tells him, "but your brother was dead and gone, but now he has returned." There is always the welcome back of God. Jesus is expressing that God never separates from even the worst sinner. The father had gone out each day to see if the younger son had come to his senses, and the son had done just that. Sitting with the pigs and their messiness, the son looks around, smells around and wakes up. Remember, pigs, to the Jewish religious sensitivities were the worst things with which to associate. He talks himself back to his truest identity, that he is a son of a loving father. He makes the very natural statement that he no longer should be any more regarded as who he once was, the son. He rises and prepares to talk his way back into - not sonship - but one who will work for his bread by the sweat of his brow.

The rest of the story is Jesus-wise predictable. The theme of course is that Jesus is the Redeemer and not the Approver or Excluder. The Pharisees are the disapprovers and excluders and Jesus is putting Himself in direct opposition to them and their ways.

One interpretation of this parable is that each of us combines both sons in our oneself. The elder part of us is ordered, strict, obedient, logical, exact, dutiful, and pleased with our own good works. We have the proper tickets. The younger part of us is inconsistent, envious, wanderous, self-satisfying, independent, and stubborn. We are quite a war within. Our elder-side would like to tie down tightly the younger-side. Our self-righteousness does not want that looser side to be seen by anybody. It wants to appear better than it knows itself to be. The elder-side judges everything it does or thinks and is quite unhappy with the internal tensions.

The younger-side does eventually come to its senses. The emptiness of trying to build himself, achieve himself, indulge himself renders him senseless about his true self. The emptiness of whatever pigpen he lands in moves him up and out and back to his true home. We live in that tension then between the self-righteous and the self-redeemed-by-Christ. Those who live severely judging others are victimized by their own self-centered severity. Those who are forgiven, tend to be forgiving of others.

So are we in or out? We are welcomed, invited, embraced, but both sons had to respond freely. It is not easy to be welcomed in when we are a bit outside of ourselves. It is truly humbling to want to be perfect and yet in order to be admitted into the welcome-home banquet, we have to admit ourselves back into our true, fragmented selves.

I have fun imagining how the tax collectors and other sinners, sitting with Jesus and actually eating with him, heard this parable and called to the Pharisees, who were also intently listening to the parable, to get real. "Come and have something good to eat with us, you don't need tickets, and if you have to, go ahead and wash your hands."

"You must rejoice, my son, for your brother was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found."

Preface for Meditation:
by Prince Mathew

The cross of Christ is the door to heaven, the key to paradise, the downfall of the devil, the uplifting of mankind, the consolation of our imprisonment, the prize for our freedom. The cross was the promise of the prophets, the triumph of kings and the ministry of priests. Tyrants are convicted by the cross and the mighty ones defeated, it lifts up the miserable and honors the poor. The cross is the end of darkness, the spreading of light, the flight of death, the ship of life and the kingdom of salvation.

The cross brings us face to face with Jesus' suffering. He was alone -- all his disciples had deserted him except for his mother and three women along with John, the beloved disciple. And his death was agonizing and humiliating. Normally a crucified man could last for several days on a cross. Jesus' had already been scourged, beaten with rods, and a crown of thorns pressed into his skull. It is no wonder that he died mid-afternoon. Pilate publicly heralded Jesus "The King of the Jews" as he died upon the cross, no doubt to irritate and annoy the chief priests and Pharisees. We can find no greater proof of God's love for us than the willing sacrifice of his Son on the cross. Jesus' last words, It is finished, express triumph rather than defeat. Jesus bowed his head and gave up his spirit knowing that the strife was now over and the battle was won. Even on the cross Jesus knew the joy of victory. What the Father sent him into the world to do has now been accomplished. Christ offered himself without blemish to God and he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

By the cross Christ draws everything to him. It is the kingdom of the Father, the scepter of the Son and the seal of the Holy Spirit, a witness to the total Trinity.

Bible Reading Passages:
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent (Kfiftho/Crippled Woman)

Evening

Morning

Before Holy Qurbana

Holy Qurbana

Gospel Readings:

Luke 10:25-37 (KJV)

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


Luke 7:11-17 (KJV)

And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.

Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.


Luke 13:10-17 (KJV)

And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?

And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

Bible Verse of the Day:

He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" St. Luke 10:27

Intercessions:

Let us give glory to God, whose kindness knows no limit.
Through Jesus Christ, who lives for ever to intercede for
us, let us pray:
Kindle in our hearts the fire of your love.

God of mercy, let today be a day rich in good works,
-a day of generosity to all we meet.
From the waters of the flood you saved Noah through the ark,
-from the waters of baptism raise up to new life those
under instruction.
May we live mot by bread only,
-but by every work falling from your lips.
Help us to do away with all dissension,
-so that we may rejoice in your gifts of peace and love.

Closing Prayer:

Loving Father of mine,
I feel the pace quicken, the time draw near.
I am filled with joy as I move toward Easter
and the promised reconciliation with you.
Teach me to follow the example of your Son,
to be worthy of being called one his people: a Christ-ian.
Help me to live each day as he did
turning hatred to love and conflict to peace.
I await the new life with eagerness, faith
and a deep gratitude.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Source: Portions from: Creighton University Praying Lent

Great Lent Today Archives | Yesterday | Tomorrow

Great Lent Home | Sermons Home | General Sermons and Essays | Articles Home | Library - Home | Baselios Church Home

-------
Malankara World
A service of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio
Copyright © 2009-2017 - ICBS Group. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer
Website designed, built, and hosted by International Cyber Business Services, Inc., Hudson, Ohio