Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal

Transfiguration

Volume 5 No. 298 August 5, 2015

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Transfiguration of Jesus Christ Photo by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World
Transfiguration of Jesus Christ

From St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, Cleveland (Seven Hills). Ohio

Photo by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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1. Feast of Transfiguration - Koodara Perunnal

The Transfiguration foretells the glory of the Lord as God, and His Ascension into heaven. It gives us a glimpse of the glory of heaven (later seen by John as he described it in Revelations and earlier as described by Daniel), where we shall see God face to face. Through grace, we already share in the divine promise of eternal life. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to encourage and strengthen the Apostles who were depressed by their Master's prediction of His own Passion and Death. ...

I. Transfiguration Feast in Church

2. Bible Readings for Transfiguration (August 6)

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Lectionary/Lec_Transfiguration.htm

3. Sermons for Transfiguration (August 6)

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_Transfiguration.htm

4. Malankara World Journals with the Theme: Transfiguration

Malankara World Journal Issue 155 August 4, 2013 - Transfiguration

Malankara World Journal Issue 88 August 2, 2012 - Transfiguration

Malankara World Journal Issue 17 August 5, 2011 - Transfiguration

II. This Sunday in Church

5. Bible Readings for This Sunday (August 9) - 1st Sunday After Transfiguration

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Lectionary/Lec_1st-sun-after-transfiguration.htm

6. Sermons for This Sunday (August 9) - 1st Sunday After Transfiguration

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Sermons/Sermon-of-the-week_1st-sunday-after-transfiguration.htm

III. Featured Articles: Transfiguration

7. The Feast of the Transfiguration in the Eastern Churches

August 6th commemorates Christ's transfiguration in glory on Mount Tabor. The Transfiguration is one of twelve major feasts on the Eastern Christian liturgical calendar. A glimpse of this feast through the hymns and traditions of the East gives a fresh perspective on God's plan of salvation for us. ...

8. Feast of the Transfiguration

Transfiguration was one of the most important feasts for the Fathers of the Church. They recognized this as being so important because it was a clear indication of Our Lord's divinity. Now, the amazing thing of this, of course, is that Jesus was divine from all eternity. He did not become God - He is God. And He never was not God. He is always God from all eternity and will always be God for the rest of eternity. But when He became man, He hid His divinity behind the humanity so that we were not able to see the divinity. On this one occasion He allowed that divinity to be demonstrated very clearly. ...

9. Transfiguration - Listen and Learn

I come before you, Lord, a sinner in awe of your great love and mercy. I believe in you, and I put you at the center of my life. I humbly put all that I am before you and, like the apostles, recognize my littleness before your grandeur. With the help of the Blessed Mother's intercession, I place this meditation in your hands, trusting that you will give me the graces that I need most. ...

IV. General Articles

10. Recipe: Zucchini Herb Bread

Summer time is a great time to have plenty of fresh Zucchini squash and herbs. So, this recipe will allow you to take advantage of these fresh vegetables from your garden to make a healthy bread. ...

11. Family Special: Can Trust Really be Rebuilt?

Maybe today, you've been wronged and someone has broken your trust. Give them the chance to rebuild it. And if you've done something to break someone's trust in you, get to work rebuilding it. While it may take time, trust-building will be a worthwhile endeavor that will restore relationships for the glory of God. ...

12. Always Do Your Best

What's the cure for perfectionism? The first medicine is to recognize that being perfect is an illusion. Everyone make mistakes. ...

13. Shunoyo Lent Begins on The Sunday Eve (August 9th, 2015)

Shunoyo (Assumption) Lent begins on the Sunday eve (August 9th, 2015) and ends on the Shunoyo Feast Day, Saturday, August 15, 2015)
Note: In Malankara we traditionally have a 15-day shunoyo lent. That lent began on Aug 1.

14. About Malankara World

Feast of Transfiguration - Koodara Perunnal

by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World

The Feast of Transfiguration is celebrated on August 6 and is one of the important feasts in our church. Syrian Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and Byzantine churches (Eastern Orthodox Churches) were celebrating this feast from early Christian history. However, the western churches started observing it only from the 11th century. Roman Catholic Church started observing it in 1457.

The Transfiguration foretells the glory of the Lord as God, and His Ascension into heaven. It gives us a glimpse of the glory of heaven (later seen by John as he described it in Revelations and earlier as described by Daniel), where we shall see God face to face. Through grace, we already share in the divine promise of eternal life. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to encourage and strengthen the Apostles who were depressed by their Master's prediction of His own Passion and Death. The Apostles, and through them us, were made to understand that Jesus' redeeming work has two phases: The Cross, and glory - that we shall be glorified with Him only if we first suffer with Him ('taking the cross' as Jesus described it).

Our mission, as Christians, is to seek the face of Jesus and, through that, seek the triune God. (Jesus is the Way to the God.) "The knowledge of the glory of God," says Saint Paul, "is given to us in the Face of His Christ" (2 Cor 4:6). Psalmist said, "Hide not thy Face from me." (Ps 27:8-9a) How do we seek the face of Jesus? In Christian Life, we have two ways to do this. First, we do that when we pray, fast and meditate. Second, we do that when we partake on the Holy Eucharist, the life-giving body and blood of Jesus Christ, our Savior. In both these occasions, like Peter, James and John on Mount Tabor on the day of Transfiguration, we also see the transfigured face of Jesus, the vision of our Savior coming in His Glory. So, technically speaking, we celebrate Transfiguration every day in our lives, and especially on Sundays when we partake on our Holy Qurbana. Only 3 disciples of Jesus were privileged to see the Transfigured face of Jesus on that day. But each one of us has an opportunity to witness that face daily during our prayer and meditation as well as when we accept the Holy Qurbano. We are privileged indeed!

A Benedictine Monk in Ireland in Vultus Christi expressed the beauty of Transfigured Jesus beautifully as follows:

The Face of Christ is "the splendor before which every other light pales, and the infinite beauty which alone can fully satisfy the human heart" (Vita Consecrata, art. 16). How fitting that, in the Greek text of today's gospel, Saint Peter's cry can, in fact, be translated, "Lord, it is beautiful for us to be here" (Mk 9:5)! In the transfigured Face of Christ we discover, in the words of Saint Clare of Assisi, "Him who gave Himself totally for our love, whose beauty the sun and moon admire, whose rewards and their preciousness and greatness are without end" (Letter III to Agnes of Prague).

Like Moses, to whom "the Lord used to speak face to face, as a man speaks to his friend" (Ex 33:11), and whose "face shone because he had been talking with God" (Ex 34:29), a soul faithful to Eucharistic adoration will be transformed into the image that she contemplates. We become what we contemplate. One who contemplates disfigured things becomes inwardly disfigured. One who contemplates transfigured things becomes inwardly transfigured. One who contemplates the all-beautiful Face of the Incarnate Word will be supernaturally beautified.

Yes, we should reflect the light of Jesus in our faces. Then others will see Transfigured Jesus in our faces and will be attracted to Christianity.

The monk also beautifully described what happens when we partake on the Holy Mysteries - our Qurbano:

In every celebration of Holy Mass, we ascend the mountain with Christ. In the reading of the Scriptures, Our Lord reveals His Face; and in the hearing of the Word we go, as the Vulgate puts it, "from clarity to clarity." Today, Moses and Elijah attest to Christ, the fulfillment of the Law and of the Prophets, and point to the mystery of His Exodus by way of the Cross and tomb, from the regions of darkness and of death into the very light and life of the Father.

Passing from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Holy Sacrifice, we, like Peter, James, and John, see his glory, not with eyes of flesh, but with the eyes of faith and by the light of the Holy Ghost. We know Him really present in the bread become His Body and in the wine become His Blood and, like Peter, cry out, "Master, it is beautiful to be here" (Lk 9:33).

The altar of the Holy Sacrifice is our Mount Tabor. Over the altar resounds the voice of the Father, "This is my Son, the Chosen One; listen to him" (Lk 10:35). Invisibly yet truly, mystically yet really, the altar — and all of us who from it partake of the Body and Blood of Christ — are enveloped in the cloud of the Holy Spirit and assumed into the grand priestly prayer of Christ to the Father.

After we have partaken the Holy Mysteries, God, 'the Father, looking down from heaven, will recognize in each of us the Holy Face of His Son, His only Begotten son, for by the mystery of the Eucharist we are "being changed into His (Jesus') likeness from one degree of glory to another"' (2 Cor 3:18).

What a privilege it is to attend and partake on the life-giving body and blood of Jesus that is freely given to us during the celebration of the Living Sacrifice - the Holy Qurbano.

Transfiguration Feast in Church
Bible Readings for Transfiguration (August 6)
Sermons for Transfiguration (August 6)

From Archives: Malankara World Journals with the Theme - Transfiguration

This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (August 9)
Sermons for This Sunday (August 9)
Featured Articles: Transfiguration

The Feast of the Transfiguration in the Eastern Churches

by Christopher B. Warner

August 6th commemorates Christ's transfiguration in glory on Mount Tabor. The Transfiguration is one of twelve major feasts on the Eastern Christian liturgical calendar. A glimpse of this feast through the hymns and traditions of the East gives a fresh perspective on God's plan of salvation for us.

"My favorite part of this feast is singing the troparion," says Robin Roxas of Morning Star Family Farm in Hartland, Wisconsin. Robin and his family of ten traveled an hour from their farm yesterday evening in order to celebrate the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of the Feast at their Greek Catholic parish in Milwaukee. Roxas commented on the tradition his family has of singing the troparion during family prayers at home. "My children love to sing this hymn," Roxas said. This feast is a special one for Eastern Christian farmers around the world because it is customary to bring the first fruits of the summer harvest to be blessed by the priest during the Divine Liturgy.

Each feast of the Lord serves to illuminate the rich gestalt of the Incarnate Mystery. The Eastern Christian hymnography for the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord on Mount Tabor, like all major festal hymnography, is full of references to the life, death, and Resurrection of Christ. Hymn references like thisstichera, composed by Cosmas the monk, sung at Great Vespers is an example:

Before Your Crucifixion, O Lord, taking the disciples up onto a high mountain, You were transfigured before them… from love of mankind and in Your sovereign might, Your desire was to show them the splendor of the Resurrection. Grant that we too, in peace, may be counted worthy of this splendor, O God, for You are merciful and the lover of mankind.

Without the Transfiguration and the other events of Jesus' life, it would be difficult to grasp the totality of the paschal mystery and its implication for our lives. The raising of Lazarus from the dead, for example, gives Christians hope that they will one day participate in Christ's Resurrection. Contemplation of these Christological events has propagated a magnificent wealth of liturgical poetry and hymnography – a major source of theology for Eastern Christians.

Eastern Christians speak about the divine "economy". This economy has nothing to do with money and everything to do with God's plan of salvation which culminates in Christ. The following sessional hymn from Matins of the Transfiguration illustrates the purpose God had for the chief Apostles of the Lord and, by extension, all his co-heirs: that they be filled with life, love, and goodness:

As they gazed upon Your glory, O Master, they were struck with wonder at Your blinding brightness. You who have shone upon them with Your light, give light now to our souls… confirm me in Your love: for You are our supreme desire and the support of the faithful, O You who alone are the lover of mankind. (Irmos)

The Holy Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord is about divine encounter: "And he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white" (Mk 9:2)." In Eastern iconography, Jesus is depicted against an oval shaped backdrop with rays emanating out of it called a "mandorla", which represents the radiance of his uncreated Glory. During the matins service, the following words demonstrate that the glory which radiates from Christ is not a product of human nature but comes from God alone:

You have shown them…the hidden blinding light of Your nature and of Your divine beauty beneath the flesh; and they [understand] that Your glory could not be borne.

Yet at the same time Moses and Elijah were also transfigured in glory: "And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elijah: who appeared in glory…" (Matins Gospel- Luke 9:30-31a) But Moses and Elijah are not emanating their own glory; rather, they are participating in the glory of God by worshipping Him:

For when I shall appear shining brighter than the sun, you shall be filled with glory and cry out for joy: Let us sing unto our God, for He has been glorified. (Irmos of Matins)

Theosis, Forgiveness, and the Light of Mount Tabor

Luke's Gospel reveals that Moses and Elijah spoke to Christ about his coming death: "[Moses and Elijah] spoke of his departure (Grk: exodov) which He should accomplish at Jerusalem." (Luke 9:31)

The Exodus from Egypt was an allegorical type of forgiveness and deliverance from sin fulfilled by the Crucifixion of Our Lord. Moses therefore represents the repentance and forgiveness aspect of theosis. He is able to see the glory of God and worship Him. Moses' vision of divine light and his response are a prefigurement of Christian worship:

Having crossed the water as though it were dry land, and escaped from the wickedness of Egypt, the children of Israel shouted aloud: 'Let us sing unto our Deliverer and our God,'…Moses saw the glory of the Lord in the cloud and the pillar of fire and he shouted aloud: 'Let us sing unto our Deliverer and our God'…You have appeared to Moses both on the Mountain of the Law and on Tabor: of old in darkness, but now in the unapproachable light of the Godhead. (Irmos)

On Tabor the disciples fall on their faces before God and deem themselves unworthy to look upon the splendor of righteousness. Nevertheless, it is God's will that His disciples receive the gift of glory as well as forgiveness and this is why Eastern Christians pray for an infusion of divine light and thank Him for it in the troparion of the feast:

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, let Your eternal light shine also upon us sinners. O Giver of light, glory to You. (Troparion)

Theosis is the transformation of human flesh (the descendants of fallen Adam) through the Incarnation. Christ brings light and radiates glory through the repentant human heart by the mystery of baptism. Theosisis made possible only by Christ who altered His Divine form when he took on flesh:

You have put Adam on entirely, O Christ, and changed the nature grown dark in past times, You have filled it with glory and made it godlike by the alteration of Your form. (Irmos)

The glory of God visibly shining forth through Jesus, Moses, and Elijah is evidence of the divine nature of Christ and the participation in divine life of His human followers who are able to look upon God and live:

Being complete God, You have become complete man, bringing together manhood and the complete Godhead in Your Person which Moses and Elijah saw on Mount Tabor in the two natures. (Irmos)

God only showed to the disciples as much of His glory as they could hold. The full radiance of Divinity would be too much for any mortal. God only allows His disciples to see a portion of His glory, and for a brief amount of time, as a foretaste of Heaven:

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ our God, showing Your disciples as much of Your glory as they could hold. (Troparion)

He gives this extraordinary gift because it lays the hearts of men bare that they might root out the evil lurking there and see the good which leads them into prayer and praise:

In a union without confusion, You have shown us on Mount Tabor the live coal of the Godhead that consumes sins while it enlightens souls, and You have caught up in ecstasy Moses and Elijah and the chief disciples. (Irmos)

The 'live coal' evokes Eucharistic images. This is the same coal that touched the lips of Isaiah, "Behold this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sins forgiven (6:7)." These words are prayed by the Eastern priest just before he partakes of communion.

The Blessing of Grapes and Contemplative Prayer

The Eucharistic liturgy fulfills the mystery of the Transfiguration and ties it into the paschal mystery. Just as the gifts of bread and wine are offered up and Christ comes down to dwell in them, so the hearts of all believers are lifted up and transfigured by the grace filled condescension of the Godhead at Holy Communion, with as much glory as each person can receive.

Throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, it is customary to bring the first grapes of the summer harvest to be blessed on the feast of Holy Transfiguration. The grape is a symbol of transfiguration because it is crushed and fermented into wine, then transformed into the blood of Christ at the Eucharist. Likewise, sinful man is crushed and made new by water and the Holy Spirit in baptism before receiving Holy Communion which transforms the Christian along the path of theosis.

Moses and Elijah prefigured the life of intimate prayer on the holy mountains of Sinai and Horeb. On Mount Tabor the conduit of divine dialogue, soon to be opened entirely through baptism, was revealed to the Apostles:

Those with whom You have conversed of old in fiery vapor, in darkness and in lightest of winds, stood before You in the manner of servants, O Christ our Master, and talked with You. (Irmos)

The Transfiguration is a blessed and joyous invitation to participate in the Divine life through prayer. Just as Peter said it was good to be there on Mount Tabor and wanted to remain, so all Christians are called by Peter's words to pursue the lofty heights of prayers. The Apostles were able to see the glory of God because they had left the cares of the world behind and followed the ascent of Christ. If faithful Christians are willing to follow the worthy example of the three Apostles with courage and firmness of purpose, they may also see the divine light and thus this exhortation is made in the Eastern Liturgy:

Awake you sluggards, do not lie for ever on the ground, and you thoughts that draw my soul towards the earth, arise and go up to the high slope of the divine ascent. Let us run to join Peter and the sons of Zebedee, and go with them to Mount Tabor, that with them we may see the glory of our God and hear the voice they heard from heaven; and they proclaimed that this voice is the Brightness of the Father. (Ikos)

The Transfiguration is a foreshadowing of the second coming, as is the Resurrection. The Transfiguration reveals in what manner Christ shall again appear while the Resurrection reveals the way in which the saints will be transformed. There is a conscientious effort in Eastern liturgical worship not to isolate the events of Our Lord's life but to celebrate every Christological event as a totality, just as Christ is one Person. The whole of Christian worship and the liturgical cycle is greater than all of its parts. The Transfiguration, referred to by Middle Eastern Christians as simply, "the Feast of the Lord", illustrates this point, and offers Christians another rich liturgical encounter with Jesus.

About The Author:

Christopher B. Warner, a former Marine Corps officer and veteran, is a graduate student of Orthodox theology at the Antiochian House of Studies. Christopher has a BA in Catholic theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. He has worshipped with the Eastern Christian community since 2001, and currently serves as a cantor for his parish of St. George in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Source: Catholic World Report

Feast of the Transfiguration

by Fr. Altier

Gospel - St. Luke 9:28b-36

We celebrate today the Feast of the Transfiguration.

This was one of the most important feasts for the Fathers of the Church. They recognized this as being so important because it was a clear indication of Our Lord's divinity. Now, the amazing thing of this, of course, is that Jesus was divine from all eternity. He did not become God - He is God. And He never was not God. He is always God from all eternity and will always be God for the rest of eternity. But when He became man, He hid His divinity behind the humanity so that we were not able to see the divinity. On this one occasion He allowed that divinity to be demonstrated very clearly. It was a prefiguration of the Resurrection and it was a prefiguration to all of us of the glory to which God is calling us, as well: to be able to share in His glory and our bodies will take on a similar kind of transfiguration when they rise from the dead, they will glow.

When we see that description of the heavenly throne that Daniel (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14) saw, as he says: "I saw One like the Son of Man coming upon the clouds," that again, is the same thing. We see the glory of God: flames of fire shining around Him, and from where He sat there were rays coming forth. That is the glory of the divinity that Daniel is seeing. Then, he sees One like the Son of Man, who (as we have seen in Daniel before) is clearly Jesus, sent down to this earth. Again, we see that the divinity is hidden, even though He is presented before the Ancient One and all glory, dominion, and honor is His because He is God.

Yet, as we read in 2 Peter 1:16-19, "we possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable." We see this particular prophecy in the vision of Daniel having its fulfillment when One who is a Son of Man, who is also God with all glory and honor and dominion, would come down to earth, and hide His divinity behind our humanity. It is in that that He would do His work and glorify His Father. And He would require of us extraordinary faith to be able to look at Someone, who by appearance seems only to be one of ourselves; and yet, the essence is Somebody who is infinitely beyond us from all eternity, but became one of us so that we could become like Him. That is what He holds out for us.

So, that is the glory that we celebrate today: the glory of Our Lord being shown, even in His humanity; but also, the glory for ourselves as we look forward to our own resurrection, as we look forward to the fulfillment of the promises. If the prophetic message is something altogether reliable, how much more reliable is the word of Jesus Christ Himself. And that is what we have: the promises of the Lord Himself, as well as all the promises of the prophets of old. This is something that we can count on. It is something that we know will happen. If there was any doubt, He chose this one occasion in the entire course of His life to allow His true glory to be seen, to allow that radiance to shine through His humanity, to show to us the foretaste of the promise of what he has said will be ours in the resurrection.  

Transfiguration - Listen and Learn

by Father Todd Arsenault, LC

Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, "This is my beloved Son; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!" When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Get up and do not be afraid." And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, "Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

Introductory Prayer:

I come before you, Lord, a sinner in awe of your great love and mercy. I believe in you, and I put you at the center of my life. I humbly put all that I am before you and, like the apostles, recognize my littleness before your grandeur. With the help of the Blessed Mother's intercession, I place this meditation in your hands, trusting that you will give me the graces that I need most.

Petition:

Lord, teach me how to listen to your voice.

1. Unexpected Graces:

Peter, James and John are privileged to go with Jesus atop the mountain where he is transfigured before them. What a splendid sight it was: Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah before their very eyes. They are beside themselves and are in awe at what unfolds. This is the way Christ is with each of us. When we least expect it, he gives us a wonderful dose of his grace to strengthen us in our walk with him. This privilege, however, isn't simply for us to look at and admire; it is a call to respond to his invitation of love. Jesus was calling these three apostles to a deeper level of love and trust in him; he is doing so with us, too.

2. Listen to Him:

At this sight, the apostles are awestruck and don't know what to say. Peter feels compelled to say something, although it seems he really didn't know what he was saying. The question is: Why did he feel as if he had to say something? Often in the spiritual life, we can struggle with the temptation to say too much. In this Gospel passage we hear the portentous words of the Father: "This is my son with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!" Christ is calling us to listen attentively to his words and not to feel compelled to have to say something. He is looking for a response in action more than in words.

3. Get up. Be Not Afraid:

When his Transfiguration is over, Jesus gets the three apostles up. This experience of Christ was beyond them. Yet Christ is educating them as to his true nature, his divine nature. They don't have to be able to explain it or understand it fully; they need to act in faith. This is what we are called to do: act in faith. There is no time for us to be afraid of what the future will bring. We must get up out of our comfort zones and our attitudes, listen to Christ, and do as he says in faith. There is so much for us to do and so little time in which to do it. We need to make use of every instant to learn from the Lord himself through prayer and the sacraments and to make a real difference in the world by bringing more souls to know, love and live for Christ.

Conversation with Christ:

Lord Jesus, thank you for revealing yourself to me and for showing me how to listen to God and do his will faithfully. I know that I can frustrate you, putting my two cents in and talking when I should be listening to you. I need to continue to learn how to listen more attentively to you. Please help me to be open and docile to you and your loving messages for me.

Resolution:

In my prayer time today I will dedicate myself to listening to the Lord.

Source: Regnum Christi

General Articles

Recipe: Zucchini Herb Bread

by Dr. Shila Mathew, MD., Food and Living Editor, Malankara World

Summer time is a great time to have plenty of fresh Zucchini squash and herbs. So, this recipe will allow you to take advantage of these fresh vegetables from your garden to make a healthy bread.

Note: When using fresh herbs, triple the amount called for dry herbs.

Zuchhini Squash plant. Photo by Dr. Jacob Mathew
Zucchini Squash
Photo by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano (or 3 tsp fresh)
1 tsp. dried basil (or 3 tsp fresh)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder, optional
1 tbs. minced onion
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated zucchini
1-1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (175 deg C).
  2. Stir together flours, baking powder, salt, oregano, basil, garlic powder, minced onion and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Combine zucchini, milk, egg and vegetable oil.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients.
  5. Stir just until blended.
  6. Pour batter into a greased, floured loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inches).
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.
  8. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes.
  9. Turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: Makes 1 loaf

Family Special: Can Trust Really be Rebuilt?
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."
- Matthew 18:21-22

A pastor told a story about his teenage son who was dating a girl and was only allowed to see her on certain nights. On one of the nights he wasn't supposed to see her, the son told his parents he was going over to a friend's house. Well, mom and dad discovered the truth that the boy had actually gone to visit his girlfriend.

When the son got home, the father took out a fine English tea cup from the cupboard and smashed it on the floor. He told his son that restoring trust between them would be like gluing that cup back together again. The son said it would take too long, to which the father responded, "Well, that's how hard it is to build trust again."

So the son spent weeks carefully reconstructing that cup and gluing it back together. Through the process, he learned an important lesson: Trust only takes a single act to break, but often takes much longer to rebuild.

Maybe today, you've been wronged and someone has broken your trust. Give them the chance to rebuild it. And if you've done something to break someone's trust in you, get to work rebuilding it. While it may take time, trust-building will be a worthwhile endeavor that will restore relationships for the glory of God.

Prayer Challenge

Pray now and ask God to help you rebuild relationships of trust that have been broken in your life.

Questions for Thought

  • Has someone ever done something that broke your trust in them? How did it make you feel?
  • When you think about relationships in your life where trust has been broken, how can you be an active agent in rebuilding the trust that was once there?

Source: Daily Living for Seniors

Always Do Your Best

by Wes Hopper

"A university study of 450 adults found that those individuals that scored highest on a perfectionism test had a 50% higher chance of an early death than average."
- Dr James Rouse

Are you a perfectionist? Most of us have some level of perfectionism in us and it serves a useful purpose by motivating us to do our best.

We can take pride in our actions and our work when perfectionism urges us to do the very best we can. We can call what we do "a job well done."

Where perfectionism goes wrong is in the situation where we have our own worth tied up in getting everything just exactly right.

The thought that anything we've done is less than 100% perfect causes massive internal stress and anxiety for people with this disorder. And in its extreme version, it is a disorder.

The anxiety and negative self talk actually cause internal physical stress which over time can be a killer.

What's the cure for perfectionism? The first medicine is to recognize that being perfect is an illusion. Everyone make mistakes.

The second medicine is to remember to always do your best. You may remember that advice from don Miguel Ruiz's book, "The Four Agreements."

We all know when we haven't done our very best. We get in a hurry, or under time pressure, and the results are less than our best. So don't agree to do something if you can't do your best with it.

If you always do your best, you can accept the occasional mistake and still sleep well at night.

You'll also make fewer mistakes.

Source: Daily Gratitude

Shunoyo Lent Begins on The Sunday Eve (August 9th, 2015)
Shunoyo Lent begins on the Sunday eve (August 9th, 2015) and ends on the Shunoyo Feast Day, Saturday, August 15, 2015)
 
Note: In Malankara we traditionally have a 15-day shunoyo lent. That lent began on Aug 1. (Syriac tradition is a 6-day lent for Shunoyo.)
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