Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday of Departed Clergy

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 24:42-51

In between the smallest and biggest Lents, the 3 days’ and the 50 days’ Lents, there is a gap of 18 days and in our mother tongue it is known as the ‘Pathinettida’ (meaning the gap of 18 days.) During these 18 days there comes two Sundays and on the first Sunday the Holy Church remembers the entire departed clergy and on the second Sunday the Holy Church remembers all the departed faithful. If the Lenten season could be seen as a period of war, these 18 days prior to it and kept separate by the Church Fathers are also equally important as the Lenten season. The soldiers who do exercises and war games as a preparation for the war before the actual war, the faithful are meant to utilize the 18 days for the preparation before entering the 50 days Lent. As a part of our preparations, we seek the co-operation, support and co-existence of the entire departed beloved ones, including our respected clergy. We should not forget the fact that the individual faithful are not observing the Lent, where as the Holy Church as a whole is engaging in the observation of the Lent and each and every individual are joining the Holy Church in the long process. We could see that the blessed reading of this day on which we seek the continued intercession of the departed clergy and the day to honor them, is so significant and meaningful. In the first verse of today’s reading itself, our Lord reminds us the need for watching out for His blessed second coming.

In verse 43 our Lord tells us that He would come again as a thief, who might appear to loot the house, without notice. So he wants us to watch by keeping vigil. St. Paul also exhorts in the similar way in his first epistle to Thessalonians 5:6. We read, “Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober/vigil”. Let us see what is given in Revelation 23:3. We find there “Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. I will come on thee as a thief and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you”. The Holy Church is insisting us to depend the intercession and blessing of the departed clergy (Priests and above) as the Church is sure that her clergy were veterans in remembering what they had received and what they had heard, throughout their lives and they had held them fast and had a life of repentance. We have to follow the good qualities of our departed clergy.

We find a question in verse 45. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season”. St. Paul is answering this question in 1 Corinthians 3:2, where we read, “ I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able.” Here St. Paul is referring to the early Church. In the early stages of the Christian Church on the world, the Apostles, other disciples and the Martyrs served the food needed for the spiritual growth to one and all. The servants of the Holy Church in the first century were honest and trustworthy and they appointed the like-minded for the future services in the coming years. The same procedure is being continued till date. In Hebrews 3:2, it is said that as Moses was trustworthy in the house of Lord, Jesus was also trustworthy to the one who called him and appointed him on the position. As Jesus had appointed all the priests and High priests, selected and appointed our former priests and Metropolitans are also honest, trust worthy and dutiful. In the 46th verse we read that the servant who is found as dutiful and honest he could have a wonderful reward from Lord God. Kindly also read I Timothy 4:8.

We should not forget the fact that all priests and High Priests, were dear and near to our Lord God. So it is better to seek their intercession, co-operation and support. It will speed up our transactions

May God bless us all.

See Also:

Kohanae Sunday - Being Ready for the Kingdom of God
by Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil

Devotional Thoughts for Sunday of the Departed Clergy
by Rev. Fr. Thomas Oommen

Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday of all departed Clergy
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

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