Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Christian Life
Volume 5 No. 311 October 30, 2015
This Sunday is called Koodosh E'tho Sunday or Sanctification of the Church. We have completed a liturgical year for the church and are starting a new liturgical year. It is like our New Year's Day.

Before starting the New Year, we have to clean and sanctify the church. That is done on Koodosh E'tho. Next Sunday, we will dedicate the newly sanctified church. So, the next Sunday is called Hudos E'tho. Then we start our advent season. Orthodox churches have an extended advent season where we recall all the important events that lead to the birth of Jesus Christ, the birth of the savior.

This Sunday's Gospel reading, as specified in our lectionary, is Mark 8:27-33. It recalls Peter's confession at Caesarea Philippi and Jesus' first passion prediction. Here is the scripture:

Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ

27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, "Who do men say that I am?"

28 So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets."

29 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ."

30 Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.

Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
- Mark 8:27-33 (NKJV)

This is a very important passage in the bible for the church. Essentially, Jesus establishes the church by giving the keys to St. Peter. He also gives required power to the church - the authority to forgive sins - an authority that was solely vested on God until then. So, it makes sense to recall the birth of the church on the Koodosh e'tho Sunday. It should be pointed out that Pentecost is technically the birthday of the church when the Holy Spirit, the comforter, came to the earth and dwelled on the apostles and on the believers in this world - both Jews and Gentiles.

The importance of the Peter's confession and Jesus' prediction of the establishment of the church on that "rock" is covered in great detail in Issue 244 of MWJ. You can read it here:

Yes, the church gets cleansed; but how about us? We are the microcosm of the church. Our heart is where the spirit resides. So, it is important that we examine and cleanse and sanctify ourselves so that it will be fit for the God to come and abide in us. Today's articles on Christian Life, goes into this aspect.

Finally, this week's cover graphics covers the whole planet. We cover the sunrise in Australia (near Perth) at the far east, at the America's North Coast (Ohio) and South in Hawaii (near Maui).

We thank you for your continued support of Malankara World Journal. We had many emails from our readers about last week's special issue on Arch Corepiscopa Kaniamparambil achen. We had a special letter from Dr. K. M. Cherian Kalappurayil, the son-in-law of Kaniamparambil achen. Babu wrote on behalf of all the family members thanking Malankara World. It was very nice for Dr. Cherian to take time out during this difficult time to write to us. It meant a great deal to us and we want to thank achen's family. Let us continue to pray for them as they struggle to cope with their and all of ours loss in the departure of our beloved achen.

Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World


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