by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 15: 5- 19
On 1st January every year, we observe the circumcision of our Lord and feast of great Saints of Orthodoxy, St. Gregory and St. Basil in addition to remembering the New Year day. Lord Jesus is revered as the central part of the history, who remains in between BC and AD. In that way also the observance of 1st January is significant.
In the first two verses of today’s reading our Lord clearly indicates that the faithful must be like branches of the true vine and makes it clear that unless and until the faithful would remain in Him we cannot produce fruits. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (Verses 5 and 6) From the very exhortation “abide in me, and I in you” our Lord is explaining the purpose of His blessed incarnation. He wanted us all to be united with Him. The humanity is called for the life in God and God’s life in humanity. Our Lord establishes that one who might live in God and God in him/her, he or she could produce more fruits. Our Lord tells us that He is the real vine and we all are the branches. We know what sort of fruit is produced by the vine. When our Lord established the sacrament for the salvation of the future generations, He took wine in His hand and said “This is my blood.” And our Lord added “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” (St. John 6: 54) The ordinary wine turns to be the life giving blood of our Lord and Savior. So whenever we might accept the Holy Eucharist, we renew the percentage of the presence of our Lord and Savior in us.
When we remain in our Lord as branches in the real vine, we could produce more and more fruits, which, in turn might be helpful for a number of faithful who might reach our Lord with real repentance. Hence our Lord appoints us as co workers of our Lord’s master plan of salvation of the entire mankind and the entire creation. Do we often behave in accordance to God’s innocent purpose and will? If we are sure that we are not doing anything in accordance with the will of our creator and redeemer, are we not supposed to make a change in us? Let us think well and do the needful to do the will of God. We often try our best to celebrate the New Year in the worldly manner and we are least bothered in observing the same day in the spiritual way. St. Basil and St. Gregory are the two fathers who had spent the entire time in their lives to do the will of God. That is why their memories are observed in the Church with great importance. These two Church Fathers are often remembered during the morning prayers prior to the Holy Eucharist, while we sing “Mahithan Mar Baselios, Gregorios ivaroppam, Nadha deva nalkuka yogyatha nin sthuthi paadan. We do beseech to Lord God to bless us to praise Him like St. Basil and St. Gregory.
Let the New Year celebrations enable us to add something to our spirituality. May God be pleased in us and in humble attempts to progress our spirituality.
May God bless us all.
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