Malankara World
Malankara World Journal

Volume 1 No. 4 May 13, 2011
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Malankara World News FrontPage - Isaiah 55:8-9
Table of Contents

Editor's Note

Bible Readings for This Sunday

Sermons for This Sunday

Laity's Role in Orthodox Church

Mary Magdalene at Jesus' Tomb

Why Did God Put Our Soul in Our Heart

Obituary: M.J. Thomas, Denver, CO

Health: Amazing Burn Remedy

Recipe: Kerala Chicken Stew for Appams

Why Did an Angel Roll Away the Stone?

Editor's Note:

We are in the post-Easter - pre Pentecost time. In Kerala, it is the Marriage season. In North America, the summer season will officially kick in by the end of the month. Hopefully, snow is a distant memory now.

This week's bible reading is about the reinstalling Peter. All the disciples were watching to see how Jesus will react to the triple denial of Peter before crucifixion. For Jesus, it was very important that Peter be reinstalled because he is to play a key role in the establishment of the church. Read some of the sermons to see how this was done and its broad implications to our sins.

Pentecost is a very important feast for our church. It is also known as the birthday of the church. It is also the transition time. In Old Testament time, it was God, the Father, during the New Testament time, till ascension, it was the time of Jesus; from Pentecost, it is the time of Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. We are working on a special supplement to commemorate the occasion. More information to follow.

This Sunday in Church

Bible Readings for This Sunday
(Third Sunday After Easter/
Second Sunday After New Sunday)


St. John 6:16-29


St. Matthew 14: 22-33

Before Holy Qurbana

Exodus 40: 1-16
Joshua 2:1-6
Isaiah 49 : 13 -21

Holy Qurbana

Acts 4: 8-21
Hebrews 3: 1-13
St. John 21: 15 -19

Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Sermons for This Sunday

We have greatly expanded our Sermon Resources. Starting this week, we will add general and classical sermons to our weekly sermons. This will give a broader appeal to the Gospel Reading for the week. We also added bible commentaries for the bible reading to facilitate study and meditation. Please check it out.

Sermons for the Second Sunday After New Sunday
(Third Sunday After Easter)

More Sermons

Laity's Role in Orthodox Church

[Editor's Note: The following is an edited excerpt from an article titled, " The Difficulties A Convert Faces In Approaching Orthodoxy" by Ekaterini]

“What sort of spiritual and practical commitment is expected from anyone who is a member of a parish community in an Orthodox Church?”

It means:

•Asking ourselves every day about what are we aiming for in the Christian life and being aware that what we think, say and do should be in line.

•Offering ourselves to God in the service of His Kingdom, not just on Sundays, but every day of the year.

•When you feel discouraged, being strengthened by encouraging comments from other fellow parishioners.

•Determine what should actually be one’s personal response as an Orthodox confession and communion.

•Learning the role of the spiritual father in Orthodox Church. It is not the same as a Catholic Priest.

•Exposing one’s own weaknesses to a spiritual father in order to better understand one’s response to the Faith; to better understand ourselves and with God’s help see the inner state of our soul and grow even more from the experience.

•Knowing that when things get really tough, we need to just step away and take a sabbatical for a while. Don't be too hard on ourselves. There is so much to grasp as a committed Orthodox coming into the Church!

Despite the obstacles, coming to the Church has made me stronger spiritually in a lot of` ways. It has been difficult though, to offer patience in the midst of affliction. Sometimes, when the affliction brought about by others causes us immense pain, we need to try and liberate ourselves from such encounters by reminding ourselves that the suffering of the moment is not worth worrying about, considering the glory we will experience later on (Romans 8:18).

I understand that Orthodox witnessing is setting an example to others by bearing witness to the Truth and is the job of every member of the Church. By having such an outlook, we can actually help our local Parish in genuine service. So, ideally, this offering of ourselves should be a way of life. We should be in a continuous relationship with God and hopefully we should be having an ongoing dialogue with Him and His people.

The words “Your own of Your Own, we offer to you” are a declaration of our Faith.

We should give God all our time, talent and treasure every moment of the day, because He has given us His gift of grace out of unconditional love for us.

I feel we have a wonderful treasure in the Orthodox Christian Faith. Others really should be able to see the beauty of our Faith. Let us consider challenging the attitudes and modes of our being, so we can continue to grow in the Faith and the Love of Christ.

Mary Magdalene at Jesus' Tomb

by Max Lucado

Mary had been there. She had heard the leaders clamor for Jesus’ blood. She had witnessed the Roman whip rip the skin off his back. She had winced as the thorns sliced his brow and wept at the weight of the cross.

In the Louvre there is a painting of the scene of the cross. In the painting the stars are dead and the world is wrapped in darkness. In the shadows there is a kneeling form. It is Mary. She is holding her hands and lips against the bleeding feet of the Christ.

We don’t know if Mary did that, but we know she could have. She was there. She was there to hold her arm around the shoulder of Mary the mother of Jesus. She was there to close his eyes. She was there.

So it’s not surprising that she wants to be there again.

In the early morning mist she arises from her mat, takes her spices and aloes, and leaves her house, past the Gate of Gennath and up to the hillside. She anticipates a somber task. By now the body will be swollen. His face will be white. Death’s odor will be pungent.

A gray sky gives way to gold as she walks up the narrow trail. As she rounds the final bend, she gasps. The rock in front of the grave is pushed back.

“Someone took the body.” She runs to awaken Peter and John. They rush to see for themselves. She tries to keep up with them but can’t.

Peter comes out of the tomb bewildered and John comes out believing, but Mary just sits in front of it weeping. The two men go home and leave her alone with her grief.

But something tells her she is not alone. Maybe she hears a noise. Maybe she hears a whisper. Or maybe she just hears her own heart tell her to take a look for herself.

Whatever the reason, she does. She stoops down, sticks her head into the hewn entrance, and waits for her eyes to adjust to the dark.

“Why are you crying?” She sees what looks to be a man, but he’s white—radiantly white. He is one of two lights on either end of the vacant slab. Two candles blazing on an altar.

“Why are you crying?” An uncommon question to be asked in a cemetery. In fact, the question is rude. That is, unless the questioner knows something the questionee doesn’t.

“They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him.”

She still calls him “my Lord.” As far as she knows his lips were silent. As far as she knows, his corpse had been carted off by grave robbers. But in spite of it all, he is still her Lord.

Such devotion moves Jesus. It moves him closer to her. So close she hears him breathing. She turns and there he stands. She thinks he is the gardener.

Now, Jesus could have revealed himself at this point. He could have called for an angel to present him or a band to announce his presence. But he didn’t.

“Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” (John 20:1-18 NIV).

He doesn’t leave her wondering long, just long enough to remind us that he loves to surprise us. He waits for us to despair of human strength and then intervenes with heavenly. God waits for us to give up and then—surprise!

And listen to the surprise as Mary’s name is spoken by a man she loved—a man she had buried.


God appearing at the strangest of places. Doing the strangest of things. Stretching smiles where there had hung only frowns. Placing twinkles where there were only tears. Hanging a bright star in a dark sky. Arching rainbows in the midst of thunderclouds. Calling names in a cemetery.

“Miriam,” he said softly, “surprise!”

Mary was shocked. It’s not often you hear your name spoken by an eternal tongue. But when she did, she recognized it. And when she did, she responded correctly. She worshiped him.

[ Read more Easter and Passion Week Stories, see Malankara World Passion Week Supplement ]

Why Did God Put Our Soul in Our Heart

By Mathew G. Daniel Nedumkandathil

In Hindu Mythology, when God created man, he has completed the creation and called one of his angels and asked him, "I kept the best for the last, which is the Soul or my part in man. It is so precious that I want to keep it somewhere so that man shall not trace it easily."

The angel said, "I will keep it on the top of the highest mountain."

God said, "No, he will explore it out."

Then I will keep it in the wilderness of the widest desert," said the angel.

"He (man) will explore it easily," said God again.

God said, "I will keep my part or Soul in his Heart, he will never look for it into himself." and he kept the Soul in man's heart. This what is called 'Aham Brahmasmi Thathwmasi' or else " I am life and you are it also."


M.J. Thomas, Puliyodil Mannakuzhiyil House, Kanjeeetukara – Ayroor (Denver, CO)
18 July 1918 – 11 May 2011

Mr. M.J. Thomas (92) went to join his Heavenly Father on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 11:18 AM at Lutheran Hospital, Denver, Colorado. He was born and brought up in ancient Mannakuzhy family, predominantly of Jacobite Syrian Christians, in Ayroor in central Travancore, Kerala State, India. Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife Maggie; two daughters, Liby and her husband Bobby Zachariah and Lisa and Dr. Eipe Kuruvilla; and his son, Lony and Susan. He has six grand children and six great grand children. The funeral arrangements are not yet set; it is expected to be held at Golden, CO.

Mr. Lony Thomas remembers his father thus: "We will remember always Daddy’s sweet, gentle nature; passionate Christian faith; and strong determination – amongst many happy memories in 92 years of a live well lived.

It is a time of grief and sorrow, but we feel some comfort in knowing that we were greatly blessed with a man of such character and integrity - as a loving husband, sibling, father, and grandfather. We should all continue to be inspired by Daddy’s kindness, simple joy and the selfless compassion that he bestowed on all those he met."

Malankara World extends our condolences to the bereaving family. Read the Obituary

Health Tip: Amazing Burn Remedy

A woman's experience with burns . . .

Some time ago I was cooking some corn and stuck my fork in the boiling water to see if the corn was ready. I missed and my hand went into the boiling water.... A friend of mine, who was a Vietnam vet, came into the house, just as I was screaming, and asked me if I had some plain old flour... I pulled out a bag and he stuck my hand in it. He told me to keep my hand in the flour for 10 minutes which I did. He said that in Vietnam, there was a guy on fire and in their panic, they threw a bag of flour all over him to put the fire out...Well, it not only put the fire out, but he never even had a blister!!!!

... Long story short, I put my hand in the bag of flour for 10 minutes, pulled it out and did not even have a red mark or a blister and absolutely NO PAIN.

Now, I keep a bag of flour in the fridge and every time I burn myself. Cold flour feels even better than room temperature flour.

I use the flour and have never ONCE had I ever had even a red spot/burn mark, or a blister! I even burnt my tongue once, put the flour on it for about 10 minutes ... the pain was gone and no burn.

Try it . . . Experience a miracle! Keep a bag of flour in your fridge and you will be happy you did!

BTW, don't run your burn area under cold water first, just put it directly into the flour for 10 minutes.

Read more health tips in Malankara World Health Section

Cafe - Recipe: Kerala Chicken Stew for Appams

This is an easy way of preparing the stew. Make appams and have a delicious breakfast!!



2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard
a big pinch cumin seeds
1 inch stick of cinnamon broken
2 cardamoms crushed
4 cloves
4-6 peppercorns
1 garlic clove minced
a sprig of curry leaves

Pressure Cook:

6 shallots sliced
2 lbs chicken cut into bite size pieces
4-5 green chilies slit
2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste


1/2 cup of canned coconut milk
2 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water.
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)


Take a pressure cooker and heat the oil in it. Splutter mustard and when it starts to pop, add all other ingredients for the seasoning. Keep the flame low and Stir till the spices releases the aroma.

Then add all the ingredients to pressure cooker and cook till chicken is done.

When the pressure subsides, open the cooker stir and add more water if required. Using a wooden spoon mash the potatoes well which will help to thicken the stew.

Add the coconut milk and stir. Then add the corn starch water and stir till the sauce really thickens. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Adjust seasonings and Sprinkle garam masala if required.

More Recipes/ Cooking Tips at Malankara World Cafe

Why Did an Angel Roll Away the Stone?

by Matthew Henry

The angels frequently attended our Lord Jesus: at His birth, in His temptation, in His agony. But upon the cross we find no angel attending him. When His Father forsook Him, the angels withdrew from Him, but now that He is resuming the glory he had before the foundation of the world, the angels of God worship him.

The angel came, rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone Himself by His own power, but He chose to have it done by an angel to signify that having undertaken to make satisfaction for our sin, He did not break prison, but had a fair and legal discharge, obtained from heaven. He did not break prison, but an officer was sent on purpose to roll away the stone and open the prison door, which would never have been done if He had not made a full satisfaction.

But being delivered for our offences, He was raised again for our justification. He died to pay our debt, and rose again to gain our acquittal. The stone of our sins was rolled to the door of the grave of our Lord Jesus (and we find the rolling of a great stone to signify the contracting of guilt - 1 Samuel 14:33), but to demonstrate that divine justice was satisfied, an angel was commissioned to roll back the stone. The angel did not raise Him from the dead, any more than those that took away the stone from Lazarus’s grave raised him, but by this he intimated the consent of Heaven to Christ's release, and the joy of Heaven in it.

The enemies of Christ had sealed the stone, since this was their hour, but all the powers of death and darkness are under the control of the God of light and life. An angel from heaven has power to break the seal and roll away the stone, though ever so great. Thus, the captives of the mighty are taken away.

The angel’s sitting upon the stone, after he had rolled it away, is very observable and shows a secure triumph over all the obstructions of Christ’s resurrection. There he sat, defying all the powers of hell to roll the stone to the grave again. The angel sat as a guard to the grave, having frightened away the enemies’ guard; he sat, expecting the women, and ready to give them an account of Jesus' resurrection.

Adapted from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (Luke 28).

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