Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Devotional Thoughts for the First Sunday after New Sunday

by Rev. Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil

The community who was following Jesus had gone through many new experiences during the period in between Resurrection and Ascension of their Lord and Master. The Scriptural studies from both Old and New Testament provide us different aspects of these Events that happened in Jerusalem. While the prophetical texts of the O.T. give a clear theological basis for the events, the accounts of the N.T. provide us a perfect witness and interpretation. The Church, the witnesses of all that happened, explains it for generations and hence came the True Faith Tradition.

She proclaims:

1) The Lord and Savior Christ had defeated Satan and his forces by the Cross and Death of the Son of God.

2) He, through his Resurrection, has made it possible to invite the entire humanity and universe to perfectness and eternity.

These are the main theme of this Sunday from a theological viewpoint.

Thus the Church prays: "Lord, thou art carried and proclaimed by the heavenly hosts and flying with the wings of winds, lighten us and give us wisdom to understand and comprehend Your Incarnation so that we will be able to adore and proclaim you in this most wonderful season of Your triumphant Resurrection."- Prayer of introduction on Sundays after the new Sunday.

The Gospel of this Sunday is from St. John Ch. 21. There is an interesting connection of thoughts between the last Sunday and this Sunday's themes and messages. The Last Sunday's reading was from St. John Ch. 20 and main character was Thomas Apostle where as this Sunday's character is Apostle Peter.

If, Thomas represents strong and fundamental Faith with documents, Peter on the other hand represents simple, emotional and situational Faith pattern. Both are needed, but in different contexts and St. John's Gospel give us a clear idea of these different contexts of Christian Faith in these chapters.

Through Thomas, Ch. 20, he advocates the Office of Priesthood and authority of forgiveness; whereas in Ch. 21, through Peter he brings out the importance of confirmation of faith through Confession, witnessing Christ through right repentance and receiving Him through the Holy Communion.

Those who read these chapters with this interpretation of the Holy Church will understand the sequence and meaning of thoughts that is presented by apostle John.

What happens actually in this incident described in Ch. 21. The one, who closely followed Christ from Galilee itself, who saw the suffering, death and resurrection of his master, who witnessed the risen Christ and received Holy Spirit from Him on New Sunday has forgot Him once more, forgot his commitment and commission turned back to fishing, instead of fishing of people for the Kingdom of God!

To this contradiction that John brings our attention. We also quite often forget our call, vision and commission and go back to meaningless things.

This is the real situation which Christ says: "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."-Luke 9:62.

However, they were not able to receive anything from the lake though they worked the whole night!

See the pathetical situation! Lord says: "With out Me you can not do anything" John 15: 5.

Its not mere physical nakedness, rather the spiritual unfitness came to the mind of Peter when he felt that he was naked. This feeling is very important for any transformation. This is the symbol of repentance. Having the towel on his waist, he jumped into waters; which shows his readiness to come back to the service or ministry of Christ.

Dipping into waters is the true symbol of Confession and Baptism in Christ.

After that he got back the meaning of his life and they got fish full in their net! These fish they have received are not just fish, rather the symbol of people that they receive their further ministry.

When they came to the shore, there was food for them which was prepared by Christ Himself. If Christ is the cook then there is no doubt that the food is the divine Eucharist, His eternal Body and Blood!


See Also:

Sermon of the Week for the Second Sunday After Easter
by Rev. Dr. V. Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil

Devotional Thoughts for the First Sunday After New Sunday
by Rev. Fr. Mammen Mathew

Nothing Without God
by Rev. Fr. Laby Panackamattom

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