Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Annunciation to St. Mary, Great Lent Week 5
Volume 7 No. 405 March 24, 2017
Congratulations! We have passed the midway point in the Great Lent. The second-half, always seems to move faster than the first half; perhaps, because the second half of the Great Lent is packed with events and feasts that keep us occupied and engaged. The last 10 days are the Holy week when we spend lot of time in the church. On Good Friday, we virtually "live" in the church. In my childhood days in Kerala, on Pessaha and on Easter Sunday we go to church in the wee hours of the day.

Great Lent reminds me of my trip from Kottayam to Madurai by car or bus. The journey to Kumily, at the zenith of the Western of Ghats seems to be treacherous and slow. But then the journey through Tamil Nadu from the other side seems to go fast. The lent seems to follow that path!

This Saturday, we celebrate the annunciation to St. Mary. It is one of the most important feasts of our church. It is, technically, the day of incarnation, when the word or logos, came into the world and resided in the womb of St. Mary, as soon as she said "yes" to the Angel. Of course, it will be 9 months before Jesus Christ will be publicly revealed on Christmas Day. But for people like John the Baptist, the logos could be experienced even when it was in the womb of Mary. In this issue, we have two articles on Annunciation that offer two different perspectives. I love the homily of Pope John Paul, given in the year 2000, 2 centuries after the original annunciation. He has compared Mary with Abraham. Both didn't know what they were getting into when they said "yes" to God. But they trusted in God. It is a fascinating article - one of the best I have read about annunciation.
Sr. Maria Barrett, on the other hand, focuses on the fact that Mary knew she cannot accomplish anything the angel is talking about. It has to be the work of God. And she had the faith that God can do anything. What she needed was to surrender herself to the will of God. Let God use her to accomplish what God wants to do. We are also here to do exactly the same thing what was expected of St. Mary. We cannot do anything; we need to surrender ourselves to the will of God. Then good things happen in our lives.

This Sunday, as part of exploring the various miracles/signs performed by Jesus during his public ministry, we look at the healing of the crippled lady described in Luke 13:10-17. The interesting thing is that this was performed without the beneficiary asking/praying Jesus for intervention. Jesus saw the lady's suffering and had compassion/mercy on her and went ahead and removed her infirmity without being asked. God knows what we need and will intervene in the appropriate time if we asked or not. Jesus knew that this lady, in spite of her infirmity, was a regular attendee of the services in the temple. She didn't demand God to do anything for her or blamed God for her misfortune. She accepted her condition without complaining. When Jesus healed her, she was very happy and praised God for her healing. Like Mary, it was an unexpected blessing for her and she praised and thanked God for the blessing. What did the Pharisees and Sadducees do? They were very upset at Jesus for healing this lady on a Sabbath day!! Some people always see the positives in things and some people only will see the negatives in the things. Which category do you belong?

In North America, we are now officially in Spring season. That means in Australia and Southern hemisphere, it will be autum/fall season. If they have spectacular fall foliage like in the US, enjoy the good weather before the advent of winter.

Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World


Malankara World Journal is published by
Copyright © 2011-2019 Malankara World. All Rights Reserved.