Malankara World Journal
Malankara World Journal

Ettu Nombu (8-Day Lent) Special

Volume 2 No. 93 August 30, 2012

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Church Day Procession at St. Mary's Church, Chicago - August 2012
Shunoyo and Church Day Celebrations at St. Mary's Church, Chicago

St Mary’s Simhassana Church, Chicago celebrated the Shunoyo Feast (Assumption of St. Mary) and Church Day on August 18-19, 2012. A large number of faithful, including several from neighboring churches and sister churches attended the festivities. The program started on Saturday with evening worship. Rev. Fr. Mathew V. Karuthalackal; Rev. Fr. Thomas N. Mathew and Rev. Fr. Thomas Meppurath led the service. After devotional songs by the choir, the devotional message was given by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Managing Editor of Malankara World. Dr. Mathew gave a multi media presentation based on Isaiah 55:8-9 and other passages from Bible, with a special emphasis on the nature of God (names of God), majesty of God's creation, reason for the sin and the God's plan for redemption of man and less understood concept of Nicene creed such as "Jesus with the same substance as the father." The message was followed by a catered sneha virunnu.

The Sunday's Qurbana started with namaskaram and Holy Qurbana with Rev. Fr. Mathew V. Karuthalackal and Rev. Fr. Thomas N. Mathew. (Rev. Fr. Dileesh Alias joined later). After intercessional prayer to St. Mary, the procession (Rasa) with colorful flags and umbrellas transformed the church into a festival ground. Dr. Jacob Mathew continued the message from Saturday discussing how the St. Mary's life is a great example of Isaiah 55:8-9, viz., how god's ways are different than man's. He illustrated that with examples of the annunciation and Mary's trip to Elizabeth. Note that when Jesus entered into Mary's womb (word becoming flesh), Mary was transformed. Mary described as a humble "handmaiden" or slave-girl of god. Jesus went to see Elizabeth/John - not the other way around. The main difference of Jesus' way was the Servant Leadership - we are here to serve than to be served. We can be more useful to God by being available to do whatever God wants us to do with a humble and contrite heart than boasting of our accomplishments. Dr. Mathew also explained the significance of Magnificat, the Holy Spirit inspired song of Mary in answer to Elizabeth's pronouncement, "The mother of God comes to see me?" In God's economy the poor will be blessed; the humble will be elevated; the rich and proud will go empty. God picks ordinary people to do extraordinary job.

The message was followed by melodious music by the choir and a catered lunch. Rev. Fr. Mathew Karuthalackal, vicar, and the members of the church should be complimented for organizing such a spiritual way to honor the Mother of God, the patron saint of the church.

Table of Contents: No: 93 - Ettu Nombu (8-Day Lent) Special
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Cover Photo: Shunoyo Feast and Church Day Celebrations at St. Mary's Simhansana Church, Chicago

1. This Week in Church

Third Sunday after Shunoyo/the Assumption of St. Mary

3. Sermons for This Sunday (Sep 2)

http://www.Malankaraworld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_3rd-sunday-after-Shunoyo.htm

4. Inspiration for Today: Mary, The Dawn of Hope

"Who is this?" asks the Holy Spirit as Mary comes into the world. "Who is this that comes forth like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun?" (Sg 6,10)...She "comes forth like the dawn." Our first father was made in the image and likeness of his Creator in the full light of day (Gn 1,26). What could be more wonderful for a created being than to share the Creator's likeness?...

5. Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day!

This poem beautifully expresses the relationship between Mary and Jesus. It  demonstrates what true devotion to Mary is all about - leading us to Jesus her Divine Son!

6. Mary - The First Disciple

She was the first evangelizer and the first disciple of her own Son, Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ. She gave the first Gospel testimony to her cousin, Elizabeth, without words. There are very few records of Mary’s explicit words in the texts of the New Testament of the Bible. ...

7. Meditations for Each Day of the 8-Day Lent: Listening To Mary's Voice

We proudly present seven days of meditation/reflections on what Mary Spoke as reported in Bible. Please read the designated portion for each day of the 8-Day Lent..."Although Mary only spoke on four occasions in Sacred Scripture, each of her statements provides a wealth of information. By meditating on her words TO EACH OF US, we can become more like her and grow closer to the Lord." ...

8. Listening To Mary's Voice: Day 1: Confusion

"How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" (Luke 1:34)

9. Listening To Mary's Voice – Day 2: Humility

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord" (Luke 1:38)

10. Listening To Mary's Voice – Day 3: Submission

"May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38)

11. Listening To Mary's Voice – Day 4: The Magnificat

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. ...

12. Malankara World Supplement on Saint Mary, The Mother of God

13. Condolence Message from HH the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to Ethiopian Orthodox Church

14. About Malankara World

This Week in Church
This week is the Ettu Nomb Week (8-Day Lent). The lent begins on Saturday, September 1 and ends on Saturday, September 8 with the Nativity of St. Mary. Although canonically not mandatory, the 8-day lent is widely followed in our church. Many churches have services throughout the week. Many go for pilgrimages to Manarcadu church.

Malankara World Journal will publish 3 specials to commemorate this feast/lent. The current issue has reflections/Meditations for Day 1 through Day 4. Issue 94 will have meditations for Day 5 through 8. Issue 95 will have specials for the Nativity of St. Mary.

Bible Readings for This Sunday (Sep 2)

Third Sunday after Shunoyo/the Assumption of St. Mary

Evening

Morning

Before Holy Qurbana

Holy Qurbana

Sermons for This Sunday (Sep 2)
This Week's Features

Inspiration for Today: Mary, The Dawn of Hope
Mary, The Dawn of Hope

"Who is this?" asks the Holy Spirit as Mary comes into the world. "Who is this that comes forth like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun?" (Sg 6,10)...

She "comes forth like the dawn." Our first father was made in the image and likeness of his Creator in the full light of day (Gn 1,26). What could be more wonderful for a created being than to share the Creator's likeness?... He granted him the everlasting image but the likeness was still to be achieved: man was to become like his Creator. Yet he rejected the honor of such a privilege..., delivering himself over to death, into the darkness, along with all his descendants. Darkness covered all the earth (cf. Gn 1,2) until the coming of the Virgin. There was none who could escape the shadows, none to disperse them... but with the coming of the Virgin, dawn arose. Mary makes known the true light and, by her nativity, causes the most radiant of mornings to shine. She is the Morning Star. She is that dawn who follows or, rather, from whom is born the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20): he who alone surpasses her in splendor...

"Yours is the day" when Adam was created, "yours the nigh." (Ps 74[73],16) when he was cast out from your light. It is you who created the dawn, that is to say the Virgin Mary, and the Sun, that Sun of Justice who arose from her virgin womb. As dawn announces night's end and signals the beginning of the day, so the Virgin put to flight the night without end and day after day she gives to earth the one who sprang from her virginity.

St. Peter Damian

Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day!
This poem beautifully expresses the relationship between Mary and Jesus.
This demonstrates what true devotion to Mary is all about - leading us to Jesus her Divine Son!

Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way!
Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the wheat, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the stem, Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the cup, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the temple, Christ the temple's Lord;
Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven's Rest;
Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the mother, Christ the mother's Son
By all things blest while endless ages run. Amen.
 

Mary - The First Disciple

By Deacon Keith Fournier

She was the first evangelizer and the first disciple of her own Son, Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ. She gave the first Gospel testimony to her cousin, Elizabeth, without words. There are very few records of Mary’s explicit words in the texts of the New Testament of the Bible.

However, there is no lack of her presence at the most significant events in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and therefore in the great events of salvation history. She always encountered God - in profound ways - from the beginning to the end of her life. In every encounter, she surrendered to love and was changed.

Mary was there at the Incarnation, Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of the One whom Christians proclaim is God Incarnate, Jesus Christ. She was there throughout what are often called the "hidden years" in His life at Nazareth where ordinary work was ennobled and childrearing forever changed because of His participation. His disciples spent three years with Him, during His "public ministry," but Mary spent thirty three years!

We should remember and reflect on the truth that in the earthly life of the Redeemer, every word he uttered - at every age and stage - and every act he undertook was redemptive, revealing as it does the very life of God and the mystery of heaven touching earth. Because of that, every moment of His presence among us reveals the deeper purpose of our own lives when they are lived entirely for Him.

Mary was there throughout His thirty-three year earthly mission of love. His redemptive presence forever changed the history of the world and can do so in our own personal histories if we learn how to surrender to His invitation to love and choose to live as she did.

The mission of the Redeemer continues for all who have the eyes to see His presence still walking and working among us; and the ears to hear His loving words still being spoken amidst the cacophony of our daily lives. Mary did, as His mother and first disciple. His mission continues now through His Body, the Church.

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ forever changed the world. Creation began anew in Him. We are welcomed into a new relationship with Him. We are welcomed into His Body, the Church. We are then sent on mission into a world that He still loves as disciples; called to live in the Church for the sake of the world and bring the world into the Church.

Every waking moment can be filled with the invitations of grace, if we learn to discover their deeper meaning and make them our own. If we learn to live our entire life as, an invitation to love, an encounter with the God of love, as Mary did, we will find our lives transformed by the Son whom she bore for the whole world.

She was the first evangelizer and the first disciple of her Son Jesus. She gave the first Gospel testimony to her cousin, Elizabeth, without words, as the Redeemer in her womb drew the child in her womb, John the Baptizer, to Himself. He did so from Mary’s womb. Jesus, Love Incarnate, drew John from the very first home of the whole human race, a mother’s womb, into his unique mission in the plan of salvation.

At the beginning of that missionary encounter, Elizabeth greeted Mary with profound humility, saying "who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Then the son in her own womb became the first convert "in utero" as he leapt in praise of the One through whom the universe was created, taken residence in Mary’s womb, a living tabernacle.

John the Baptizer, the last Prophet of Old Testament and first of the New, was prepared in a womb - and drawn by this amazing grace - without a word being spoken, through Mary’s witness of surrendered love. This event, traditionally called "The Visitation," recorded in the Gospel of St. Luke (Luke l: 39-45), is meant to continue in our lives as we carry Jesus forward in time. It can through the witness of our surrendered lives of love.

In the Biblical account, this encounter immediately follows the visit of the Angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 16:38) and is a fruit of her humble obedient response to the word of God which she was most certainly attuned to hearing. That response was not a onetime reaction. It was the fruit borne from a life of surrendered love and it stretched forward to characterize and inform her entire life.

Mary was there at the Wedding Feast at Cana in Galilee, when the first of the Lord’s "signs" occurred - in a response to and as a fruit of - her intercession. It was there she gave that sage and still relevant advice to all those in attendance at that wedding and to all who throughout human history seek to follow her Son, "Do whatever He tells you".

She was there on the great day of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, and witnessed the extraordinary clothing with the Holy Spirit that transformed and empowered the early disciples. That same Holy Spirit had inspired her own unique missionary vocation.

Mary understood this work of the Holy Spirit unlike anyone in history. She had been clothed in that wonderful gift when she was first visited by the angel and "overshadowed." It empowered her to live her whole life in complete surrender to God’s will and to thereby prefigure the mission of the entire Christian community throughout history. She was the first disciple.

Source: www.catholic.org

Meditations for Each Day of the 8-Day Lent:
Listening To Mary's Voice
"We have been blessed with several feasts of the Blessed Mother throughout the years. In each of these occasions, the message of Mary is repentance and the importance of following Christ's commands. "As we struggle to lead holy lives, wouldn't it be nice if Mary could speak to us and give us the necessary encouragement to keep on the right path?" asks Gary Zimak, founder of 'Following the Truth.com.' He continues, "Fortunately, that is entirely possible and it can happen TODAY! By opening up our Bibles, we can hear the Blessed Mother speak directly to us and help us to grow closer to her Son, Jesus. Although Mary only spoke on four occasions in Sacred Scripture, each of her statements provides a wealth of information. By meditating on her words TO EACH OF US, we can become more like her and grow closer to the Lord."

We proudly present seven days of meditation/reflections on what Mary Spoke as reported in Bible. This is based on the series of articles by Mr. Zemak, titled 'Listening to Mary's Voice.' Please read the designated portion for each day of the 8-Day Lent. Reflect/Meditate on it. See how it can be used in your life. Mary provides us with a model life that had been pleasing to God; so He elevated her to a high status - that of bearing the son of God. In spite of this honor, Mary never lost her humility. She dedicated her life so that God can use it whatever way He wanted for His plan for the redemption of mankind.

Ettu Nomb Day-1 (Saturday, September 1)

Listening To Mary's Voice
Day 1: Confusion

by Gary Zimak

In this, the first of a seven-part series, we'll be looking at Mary's first recorded words in Scripture…

"How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" (Luke 1:34)

After being told by the angel Gabriel that she has been chosen to be the Mother of the Savior, Mary is confused and asks a simple question. Given the fact that she (like us) is not divine, there are times when she had questions about God's will. Even though she was sinless, Mary didn't have all of the answers. We see evidence of this a few verses earlier when (upon Gabriel's arrival) she "pondered what sort of greeting this might be" (Lk 1:29). The common belief of theologians throughout the years is that Mary was confused because she had consecrated her virginity to the Lord. Although not the norm for married people, this practice was not unheard of in Mary's time. Always desiring to do what's right, the sinless virgin proceeded on the course she thought was best…and then the angel appeared with some new information.

How many times are we confused about what God wants us to do? We struggle to discern His will for our lives and we have questions. We may feel the urge to take a more fulfilling job, but don't know how we'll survive on less pay. We may feel the call to the priesthood or religious life, but are fearful of giving up the possibility of marriage and children. We get the idea that maybe we should volunteer and help people, but we don't know how. As my own life illustrates, when the Lord calls us to do something, He doesn't provide all of the details up front.

In addition to those instances requiring us to make a decision, sometimes we aren't given a choice. Rather, we are faced with an unexpected illness, devastating personal problems or financial difficulties. Although these situations occur without our consent, we still may question why they are happening. How will I survive? What will I do? Why is God letting this happen?

Mary's words to the angel remind us that it's OK to ask questions. If you feel that God is asking you to do something, but you're not sure how it's possible, go ahead and ask Him for details. Mary did. If you're carrying a heavy cross and can't understand why, ask the Lord to enlighten you. Unfortunately, I can't promise that you'll get the answer you want. Instead, the Lord's answer may be, "trust me". If that's the case, you may be asked (like Mary) to go along with His plan without knowing all of the fine details. If you have a difficult time doing that…join the club! However, don't ever forget that Mary can help you tremendously. As someone who's "been there, done that", she knows exactly what you're going through. Turn to her and ask her to share some of her faith with you. I can guarantee you that, as stated in the Memorare, "never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help, or sought her intercession was left unaided."

Ettu Nomb Day-2 (Sunday, September 2)

Listening To Mary's Voice
Day 2: Humility

by Gary Zimak

As we continue with Part 2 of a 7 Part series on Mary's words in Scripture, I'll be taking a look at a powerful statement made by Mary to the angel Gabriel.

Last time we focused on Mary's question to the angel after learning that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Savior. Having made a vow of virginity, Mary was confused as to how God's will could be fulfilled. She didn't doubt that it could happen (unlike Zechariah, who flat out didn't believe that his wife could become pregnant), she just wanted to know how it would happen so that she wouldn't have to break her prior vow of virginity. Mary sought to understand God's will. Gabriel answered her question by explaining that it would come about by the power of the Holy Spirit. He also informed her that her elderly relative, Elizabeth, is now sixth months pregnant. Then Gabriel gave Mary a great takeaway from their dialog when he stated that "nothing will be impossible for God" (Luke 1:37). Mary's response to all of this news?

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord" (Luke 1:38)

Because many of us are very familiar with Mary's statement, we run the risk of overlooking how profound it actually is. These eight words give us a great insight into Mary's view of herself. In this statement, she is saying to God, "I am your humble servant, use me in any way that you wish". Unlike many of us, she fully understood that she was merely a creature and that the Lord was her Master. According to the dictionary, a handmaid is "a servant who serves a useful, but subordinate purpose". When Mary refers to herself as a "handmaid", she is professing her humility. Despite just having been told that she will be the vessel used to deliver the Savior to the world, Mary referred to herself as a servant. This profession gives us a glimpse into Mary's interior attitude and provides an example that is worthy of our emulation. In his book "The Glories Of Mary", St. Alphonsus Liguori stated that the first effect of humility is a lowly opinion of oneself. Even though Mary was aware of her sinlessness, she understood that it was all due to God's grace. How important is humility? St. Bernard of Clairvaux observed that "humility is the foundation and guardian of the virtues". More importantly, Jesus instructed us to "learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29).

Without humility, it is impossible for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Unfortunately, humility is also one of the most difficult virtues to acquire. As evidence, look at how many times we question events that occur in our lives. Why is God allowing this to happen to me? We pray "Thy Will be done" and, at the same time, provide the Lord with a list of acceptable answers to our prayers. Some even go as far as to disobey teachings of the Church because "they don't agree with them." These positions are all incompatible with the virtue of humility and illustrate a serious misunderstanding of who's the Creator and who's the creature! Although it can be a struggle, we can become more humble by asking for the Lord's help through Mary's intercession. After all, who better to ask then someone who viewed herself as nothing more than the Lord's servant?

"If you should ask me what are the ways of God, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is still humility. Not that there are no other precepts to give, but if humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless." (St. Augustine)

Ettu Nomb Day-3 (Monday, September 3)

Listening To Mary's Voice
Day 3: Submission

by Gary Zimak

As we continue with Part 3 of a 7-Part series on Mary's words in Scripture, I'll be taking a look at the final words of the Blessed Mother to the angel Gabriel. Last time we focused on Mary's declaration that she is the Lord's handmaid (servant). Essentially, Mary informed Gabriel that she considers herself to be the Lord's servant. Furthermore, as a sign that she fully accepts her mission to bring the Savior into the world, Mary adds the words:

"May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38)

A recap of the facts helps to illustrate the profundity of Mary's statement. She has just been informed that:

1. She will become the mother of the Son of God while being able to retain her virginity.

2. The virgin pregnancy and birth will come about through the action of the Holy Spirit.

3. Elizabeth (her elderly relative) is now six months pregnant.

4. All of this will happen because "nothing will be impossible for God."

After hearing the details, most of us would have many more questions and would be begging the angel to stick around. Mary, on the other hand, heard all that she needed to hear. In fact, Gabriel's final statement surely wasn't news to Mary at all. To someone with a strong faith, a belief that God can do all things is implied. Contrasting Mary's faith with my own faith is painful, but enlightening. Hardly a day goes by when I don't question the Lord's ability to resolve some crisis in my life. Although the angel's words are right there in Scripture and they are etched in my memory, I need to get better at believing them. As long as I'm comparing Mary with myself, there's another really big difference. Mary didn't even flinch at the fact that her pregnancy is going to be really difficult to explain to Joseph, her family and to just about all of her other relatives and friends. That's because she loved God with all of her heart and TRULY was His servant. The fact that she was going to be inconvenienced didn't matter to her. She meant what she just said about being the Lord's handmaid. If He wanted her to do something, she would do it with no questions asked. Is anyone else feeling really inadequate right now?

Each day, you and I are given the opportunity to say "yes" to God. Like Mary, we are often asked to submit to His will without knowing all of the details. Whether it's being open to having additional children, pursuing a religious vocation or contributing more to charitable causes, the Lord often requests our consent. Are we so concerned about the details or potential difficulties that we say "no thanks"? Or, like the Blessed Mother, do we declare ourselves to be the Lord's servants, trusting in His providence?

While discerning God's will often requires prayer and meditation, sometimes it's A LOT easier to discover. By simply accepting those things that happen to us on a daily basis (at our jobs, in our families, when we become ill), we are saying "yes" to God and following His will. When asked how to determine God's will, Mother Angelica replied, "Honey, if it's happening, it's God's will; and you have to correspond with it in the present moment". When unpleasant or painful events occur in our lives, we can complain or we can echo the words of Our Blessed Mother…

"May it be done to me according to your word."

"Mary was like a wheel which was easily turned by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Her only object in the world was to keep her eyes constantly fixed on God, to learn His will, and then to perform it." (St. Bernardine of Siena)

Ettu Nomb Day-4 (Tuesday, September 4)

Listening To Mary's Voice
Day 4: The Magnificat

by Gary Zimak

As we continue our look at Mary's words in the Bible, the scene shifts from Mary's encounter with Gabriel (the Annunciation) and moves to her visit with Elizabeth (the Visitation). After traveling in haste to be with her pregnant relative, Mary is greeted with the words:

"Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." (Luke 1:42-45)

Mary, in turn, responds with the great prayer that we've come to know as the Magnificat:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things;
the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,
according to his promise to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.
" (Luke 1:46-55)

By listening to Mary's words and studying this visit with Elizabeth, we see a concise overview of our Blessed Mother's virtues. Let's examine some of them:

1. Mary's Humility – The humility of the Blessed Mother can be seen in her response to Elizabeth's words of praise. Instead of accepting the compliments and taking full credit for her "being blessed", Mary instead praises the Lord. She knows that God is the source of her goodness. That is TRUE humility!

2. Mary's Gratitude – The words of Mary's prayer illustrate her gratitude to Almighty God. Beginning with the initial proclamation of joy for her salvation (Mary needed a savior, but as written by Pope Pius IX in Ineffabilis Deus, she was saved "by a unique gift of grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Christ"), we see someone who is very grateful for God's unmerited gift. Basing her remaining words on the Song of Hannah (1 Sam 2:1-10) and other Old Testament passages, Mary uses her knowledge of Scripture to express a deep appreciation for the Lord's benevolence.

3. Mary's Love For Her Neighbor – As soon as Mary discovered that Elizabeth was pregnant, she went "with haste" (Lk 1:39) to visit her. Not worrying about the inconvenience that goes along with being pregnant and traveling to the hill country, Mary put the needs of Elizabeth ahead of her own comfort. As a further example of her concern for the well being of others, Mary stayed with her elderly relative for 3 months (Lk 1:56) before returning home. When one considers what was going on in her own life, Mary's actions provide us with a tremendous example of what it means to "love thy neighbor" without counting the cost.

4. Mary's Faith - Giving us further scriptural proof that Mary embraced and believed the incredulous words of Gabriel, Elizabeth proclaimed "Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." (Luke 1:45) In his book The Glories Of Mary, Saint Alphonsus Liguori stated that "it was as a tribute to her faith that Elizabeth called Our Lady blessed." Mary trusted fully in God and did whatever He asked, thus giving credibility to her words, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord"!

5. Mary's Obedience - Although some people are disturbed by the term "fear of the Lord", Mary understands the true meaning of the concept. When she states "His mercy is from age to age to those who fear Him", the Blessed Mother acknowledges the importance of obeying God's commandments as an expression of love! Those who truly love the Lord have a fear of being separated from Him or letting Him down. That desire to please Him results in obedience. According to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, obedience "springs from the love of an order and of Him who gave it…Obedience is servility only to those who have not understood the spontaneity of love." (The World's First Love) Mary reminds us that we should obey the Lord because we love Him and don't want to disappoint Him!

As we read through the words of Mary's Magnificat, we see a heartfelt profession of faith from someone who was grateful for God's mercy and providence in her life. Too often, we take the Lord's mercy for granted and don't trust in His providence. May our Blessed Mother intercede for us and help us to love God with all our hearts and truly "rejoice in Jesus Christ, Our Savior"!

Malankara World Supplement on Saint Mary, The Mother of God
To learn more about St. Mary, her life, and her place in the Church, please visit Malankara World Supplement on St. Mary. This supplement also features an eBook on St. Mary written by our Holy Father, His Holiness our Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka 1, Iwas.

Visit Malankara World Supplement on St. Mary at:
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/shunoyo/StMary.htm

Condolence Message from HH the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to Ethiopian Orthodox Church
His Holiness our Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka 1, Iwas, has sent the following condolence message comforting the Ethiopian Orthodox Church on the occasion of the departure of His Holiness Patriarch Paulos to the heavenly abodes. The message was translated and provided by His Eminence Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Diocese of USA - West.

Condolence Message from HH the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to Ethiopian Orthodox Church

See Also:

HH Abune Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Entered Eternal Rest

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