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

Shunoyo Feast/ Assumption of St. Mary

Volume 5 No. 299 August 14, 2015

If the Journal is not displayed properly, please click on the link below (or copy and paste) to read from web
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_299.htm

Archives: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/Default.htm

Theotokos with Child Jesus From Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, Caey, Ohio, USA. Photo by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World
Theotokos with Child Jesus

From Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation - A major Marian Pilgrimage Center in the United States, in Cary, Ohio. This shrine is famous for many miracles and is a magnet for thousands of devoted pilgrims of all faith from all over the world - a holy and powerful place of prayer.

Photo by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World

TABLE OF CONTENTS
If you are not receiving your own copy of Malankara World by email, please add your name to our subscription list. It is free. click here.

1. Special Announcement - Issue 300 of Malankara World Journal

It is the time for celebration. The Tri Centum Issue of Malankara World Journal will be released on Chingam 1, 1191 (The Malayalam New Years Day) or on August 17, 2015. Like our Issues 100, 200 and 250, this will be a Souvenir Issue with expanded coverage that, we hope, will become a Collector's Edition. ...

I. Shunoyo Feast in Church (August 15)

2. Bible Readings for Shunoyo Feast (August 15)

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

3. Sermons for Shunoyo Feast (August 15)

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

II. This Sunday in Church (August 16)

4. Bible Readings for This Sunday (August 16)

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Lectionary/Lec_1st_sunday_after-Shunoyo.htm

5. Sermons for This Sunday (August 16)

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

III. Articles on Shunoyo Feast

6. The Dormition of the Theotokos - The Orthodox Faith

According to Orthodox Tradition, Mary died like all humanity, "falling asleep," so to speak, as the name of the feast indicates. She died as all people die, not "voluntarily" as her Son, but by the necessity of her mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world. ...

7. Orthodox Hymns For The Dormition of the Theotokos

8. Assumption of the Virgin Mary

It seems to me, that most of the Christian world has lost their understanding of the significance of the Theotokos.

Many modern Christians have dismissed the notion that the Panagia is the portal through which all salvation occurred for humanity. The events in her life were no accident. She didn't just happen to be at the right place at the right time. The Virgin Mary was part of God's plan, revealed to the prophets and devout people of the Old Testament who had dedicated themselves to Judaism. ...

9. Jesus' Care For His Mother

First, let us see what our text says about Mary. She was such an example of love and devotion to her son. Likewise, most mothers have such devoted love for their children. That is one reason why we honor our mothers, especially on Mother's Day. Now, based on this text of Scripture, I want to challenge all mothers who hear this message to have the same kind of love & devotion to your children that Mary had. ...

IV. Malankara World Shunoyo Supplement

Please visit Malankara World Shunoyo Supplement to learn more about St. Mary - nativity, life, death etc. You can find prayers of intercession, homilies, articles etc. too. You will find it here:

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Shunoyo/Default.htm

10. From Malankara World Journal Archives (Theme: Shunoyo Feast)

Malankara World Journal Issue 232 (August 15, 2014)
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_232.htm

Malankara World Journal Issue 157 (August 13, 2013)
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_157.htm

Malankara World Journal Issue 90 (August 14, 2012)
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWNews_90.htm

Malankara World Journal Issue 18 (August 12, 2011)
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWNews_18-August-12-2011.htm

V. General Articles

11. Recipe: Layered Oat Squares

Great snack idea

12. Family Special: Don't Hurt Me - Handling Disagreements in Marriage

What usually happens when you and your spouse get into a disagreement? If you're like most couples - according to the research of Dr. John Gottman, professor emeritus at the University of Washington - the wife does six times the amount of fussing and scolding, and the husband is 85 percent more likely to be the one who goes into stone-wall mode. ...

13. Career: Development of a Positive Mental Attitude

A subject of paramount importance in the development and maintenance of a positive mental attitude is believing where belief is justified. Let us review some of the circumstances which call for belief. ...

14. Career: A Positive Mental Attitude is The Right Mental Attitude

We know that our belief in our ability to achieve the outcome we want determines our outcome. In this way we actually create our destiny, our future, with one "I think I can, I think I can" mantra at a time. ...

15. About Malankara World

Special Announcement - Issue 300 of Malankara World Journal
You may have noticed that you are reading issue is 299. That means next issue of Malankara World Journal will be Issue 300. It is time for celebration. The Tri Centum Issue will be released on Chingam 1, 1191 (The Malayalam New Years Day) or on August 17, 2015. Like our Issues 100, 200 and 250, this will be a Souvenir Issue with expanded features that, we hope, will become a Collector's Edition. The theme of the Issue will be, "Christian Life."

Shunoyo Feast/Assumption of St. Mary (August 15)

Bible Readings for Shunoyo Feast (August 15)
Sermons for Shunoyo Feast (August 15)
This Sunday in Church
Bible Readings for This Sunday (August 16)
Sermons for This Sunday (August 16)
Articles on Shunoyo Feast

The Dormition of the Theotokos - The Orthodox Faith
The Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on August 15 and August 28 (according to Old Calendarists), using the Gregorian Calendar, Julian Calendar, and Revised Julian Calendar. This feast, which is also sometimes called the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification of Christ's mother. It proclaims that Mary has been "assumed" by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence.

According to Orthodox Tradition, Mary died like all humanity, "falling asleep," so to speak, as the name of the feast indicates. She died as all people die, not "voluntarily" as her Son, but by the necessity of her mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world. The feast was added to the Roman calendar in the seventh century as the Dormitio. In the eighth century, the title was changed to the Assumptio (Assumption).

The Apostles were miraculously summoned to this event, and all were present except Thomas when Mary passed from this life. She was then buried.

Thomas arrived a few days later, and desiring to see her one more time, convinced the others to open her tomb. Upon doing so, the Apostles discovered that her body was no longer present. This event is seen as a firstfruits of the resurrection of the faithful that will occur at the Second Coming of Christ. The event is normally called the Dormition, though there are many Orthodox parishes in English-speaking countries with the name Assumption. In Greek, Dormition is Koimisis - falling asleep in death - from which the word cemetery derives.

As with the nativity of the Virgin and the feast of her entrance to the temple, there are no biblical or historical sources for this feast. The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary is without personal sins, as well that Mary truly needed to be saved by Christ as all human persons are saved from the trials, sufferings, and death of this world. She truly died and was raised up by her Son as the Mother of Life and participates already in the eternal life of paradise. This life of paradise is prepared and promised to all who "hear the word of God and keep it." (Luke 11:27-28)

Source: Dormition of the Theotokos The Orthodox Faith by the V. Rev. Thomas Hopko

Orthodox Hymns For The Dormition of the Theotokos
Troparion (Tone 1)
In giving birth you preserved your virginity,
In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.
You were translated to life, O Mother of Life,
And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

Kontakion (Tone 2)
Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos,
Who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions.
For being the Mother of Life,
She was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.

Troparion (Tone 4)
Dance with joy, O peoples!
Clap your hands with gladness!
Gather today with fervor and jubilation;
Sing with exultation.
The Mother of God is about to rise in glory,
Ascending from earth to heaven.
We ceaselessly praise her in song as truly Theotokos.

Kontakion (Tone 4)
Today the universe dances with joy at your glorious memorial,
And cries out to you, O Mother of God:
"Rejoice, O Virgin, pride of Christians!"

Assumption of the Virgin Mary

by Father Nick Milas

Dormition of the Theotokos

It seems to me, that most of the Christian world has lost their understanding of the significance of the Theotokos.

Many modern Christians have dismissed the notion that the Panagia is the portal through which all salvation occurred for humanity. The events in her life were no accident. She didn't just happen to be at the right place at the right time. The Virgin Mary was part of God's plan, revealed to the prophets and devout people of the Old Testament who had dedicated themselves to Judaism.

Roman Catholics understand how important she is. They created a special feast day in her honor, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Although, the theology of it can be questioned, the intentions are honorable. It underscores the correctness of the idea that the Virgin Mary did not become the center of salvation by accident, but rather that she was, indeed, part of God's plan for humanity. In fact, believe that Panagia was sanctified not just by her life but she was sanctified in the womb. Her parents, her life in the Temple, and her personal faith groomed her in every possible way to accept the important role she would play.

As you may or may not know, her parents were quite advanced in years when she was conceived. They were so thrilled to be having a child, that when she was born they promised to dedicate her to the Temple. But, as you might imagine, they adored that little girl so much that, as devout as they were, as time passed, they became more and more reluctant to let her go. But God's Will must be done, and after three years they gave their only child to be raised in the Temple. Tradition says, that even though she was only three years old, she accepted this responsibility with dignity and grace. She gazed up at the Temple Priest, who was waiting for her, took his hand and happily entered another world, without tears, without fear and without even looking back.

In the movie, the Passion of the Christ, the screen play writers took the liberty of having the disciples refer to Panagia as "Mother." Whether there is historical evidence for this, is not important. It captures the import role she played during the Ministry of Her Son and, especially, after the Resurrection.

After Christ's Resurrection, the Virgin Mary traveled extensively with the ministers and leaders of Christ's Church. She embraced her new responsibilities and was loved by everyone who came in contact with her.

At one point, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary invited her to visit them on the island of Cyprus. Her ship was blown off course, and it landed on the east coast of what is known today as Mt Athos. She loved it there. To this day it is referred as the Virgin's Garden.

Her extraordinary life was only a prelude to the amazing events that characterized her last days and her death, or more correctly, her Dormition.

In the year 45 AD she was visited by the Angel Gabriel, once again, and this time was told that she was soon to leave this life and enter the next. She was told to prepare for herself for burial. And, as she had done so many times in her life, she obeyed without question.

She began by calling the Apostles back to Jerusalem. We hear the words she spoke to them during the Paraklesis Services of Dekapentavgousto.

"O Apostles, come from afar and be gathered together here in Gethsemane to give burial to my body. And Thou, my son and my God, receive my spirit."

It was Sunday, August 15, at around 9:00 AM.

She had prepared her body, put on her burial clothes, and laid on her funeral bier.

The Apostles began arriving to be with her. All of them made it back to be with her, except St Thomas.

To be certain, St Thomas was beside himself. His ministry was in India, and for all practical purposes, on the other side of the world. Once again, events in St Thomas' life, would reveal the incomprehensible mysteries of Incarnation and Resurrection.

While he was traveling back to Jerusalem, he found himself in a supernatural state, floating in semi-consciousness. In his mind, he saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. She handed him something and he clutched it in his hand.

St Thomas arrived too late to say good-bye to her. Panagia had been dead for three days. She has been placed in a sarcophagus in Gethsemane. St Thomas was devastated that he was the only Apostle to be excluded from this event. The Apostles, on the other hand, felt so sorry for him, and that they agreed to pull off the heavy stone covering her and let him venerate her sacred and holy remains.

When they pulled off the lid, there was no body in the tomb. All they found were the burial cloths.

In his hand, St Thomas was holding the item that the Virgin had handed him, when he saw her in his vision. It was her belt (cincture, girdle or zoni). Everyone recognized it because she had woven it herself and wore it most of her life

The Belt of the Theotokos, can be found today on Mt Athos, in the monastery of Vatopedi.

It is too bad that we can not join together like this more often to honor and to celebrate the Mother of our Lord.

It would do us well to understand her more than we do.

It would help us if we could really understand:

  • who she was in her life
  • who she was to Christ Himself
  • who she was to the Apostles
  • who she was to the people who knew her
  • who she was to all the people she met after the Resurrection.

And especially, who the Virgin Mary continues to be to all the people in the world who turn to her for help and for comfort.

If we haven't done so yet, let us open our minds, our hearts and our souls to the Mother of God, that with her help, we can find comfort and peace.

As Panagia says in the Gospel of St Luke, "From henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed. For the Mighty One hath done great things to me; and holy is His name."

Source: © 2015. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Jesus' Care For His Mother

by Dr. Stephen Felker

Gospel: John 19:25-27

Introduction

Many times in Scripture the New Testament writers make an appeal to us based upon the example of Christ. For example, in Philippians 2 Christ is the supreme example of humility and self-sacrifice. He was willing to leave heaven, take on human flesh, become a servant, and even die for others. Jesus is our example in so many other ways, including the way He honored, and cared for His mother. Jesus knew and practiced Exodus 20:12, the 5th Commandment, "Honor your father and your mother…."

One example of His obedience to that Commandment was when He was 12. You may remember the story found in Luke 2. Jesus had gone to Jerusalem with His parents and He went to the temple, and starting talking to the learned teachers of the Law. Meanwhile, His parents had packed up to return to Nazareth. They assumed that Jesus was with the other children in the caravan. After they had traveled some distance, they discovered that Jesus was not with them. So they rushed back to Jerusalem to find Jesus. Well, they found Him in the temple, and Mary expressed how concerned they were for Him. Jesus replied, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" Then v.51 of Luke 2 goes on to say, "Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them…." He was obedient to His parents. In fact, that is one of the best ways a child can show love and honor to their mother. In John 14:15 Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Even so, one way you can show love for your mother is by obeying her commandments.

Not only do we have that example of Jesus when He was young, but we also have a good example from Jesus as He faces the end of His earthly life. Here in John 19 we see that He honors and cares for His mother. Even as He was dying, He fulfilled the Commandment to honor His mother. Today, I want to encourage you to honor and care for your mother the way Jesus did.

However, first let us see what our text says about Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was such an example of love and devotion to her son. Likewise, most mothers have such devoted love for their children. That is one reason why we honor our mothers, especially on Mother's Day. Now, based on this text of Scripture, I want to challenge all mothers who hear this message to have the same kind of love & devotion to your children that Mary had. So let's see our first lesson found in John 19 v.25:

I. FOLLOW MARY'S EXAMPLE AS A MOTHER

There were many near the cross of Jesus that day: the religious leaders were there to mock Him, & see Him suffer and die. They were the ones who spearheaded His death. They taunted Jesus saying, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him" (Matthew 27:42).

Then there were the curious spectators. Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims at Passover. The place of crucifixion was along a busy road leading in and out of Jerusalem. The Romans wanted many people to see crucified victims as a warning not to violate Roman law. Then there were the Roman executioners, who were indifferent to the suffering of Jesus. There were also two who were crucified with Him.

But one group of people received special notice. They came close to Jesus in His time of suffering because of their love and devotion. In John 19:25 we read, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene." Matthew (27:55) spoke of women beholding from afar, but John mentions three or four women (1) who have clearly drawn near the Cross by now. They were near enough to hear Jesus speak, and near enough to see the anguish and agony on His face! He who showed such love to others does not die unlamented. In the midst of rage & fury, loving followers stand near Him in His dying moments.

Now the one that we will focus on this morning is Jesus' mother. She headed the list. In fact, John alone mentions the mother of Jesus in the group. Our heart goes out to her. To watch your child suffer & die must be one of the worst experiences of life.

Mary's example challenges us first of all to:

A. Have Steadfast Devotion for Your Children

The thousands whom Jesus had fed, healed, blessed, and comforted had turned away - but His mother was there near Him. Mary showed her love and devotion to the very end. They convicted Him of blasphemy, but she still believed that He was the promised Messiah. She & the other faithful followers at the cross exhibited the words of the Song of Solomon: "love is as strong as death…. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it…" (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).

You know, you can usually count on your mother to stand by you, even when others won't. Isn't it wonderful to have a mother like that, who will stand by you through thick and thin? How can we not fully appreciate the heart of a mother!

I hope every mother here will follow Mary's example, and be devoted to your children as she was.

Secondly, Mary's example teaches us to:

B. Be Strong for Your Children

Moms are endowed by God with great strength. After all, being a mom is one of the most difficult assignments a woman will ever accept. Mothering is no job for a weak person! Someone said that if motherhood were going to be easy, it never would have started with something called labor.

Mary's strength was exhibited in at least two ways:

1. Unlike all but one of the male disciples, she & the few other followers displayed a lot of courage to be at the cross.

We see her standing strong in the face of such hostility by the religious leaders, the crowds, and the thieves crucified with Him. They could have been accused of guilt by association. At the very least they could have been objects of scorn. Yet they drew near the cross, and clearly demonstrated that they were His followers. There are some women who show courage like few men do.

What a contrast they were to most of the male disciples. Where was Peter, the big, bold fisherman? Where was Thomas, who had said, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him" (John 11:16). Where were the other disciples? Mt. 26:56 says of theme, "They forsook Him and fled." As we see from John 19:26 that only John returns to follow Jesus to the cross. (2)

2. Another evidence of her strength is the fact that she did not flee the terrible sight.

Though her heart was filled with sorrow, I believe that she kept her composure. She would not let anything keep her from being there for her son. That is one characteristic of mothers that is worthy of honor. A mother's love and devotion enables her to keep going when others would quit. A mother will make heroic sacrifices for her children.

Years ago, a young mother was making her way across the hills of South Wales, carrying her tiny babe in her arms, when she was overtaken by a blinding blizzard. She never reached her destination alive, and when the blizzard had subsided her body was found beneath the snow. But the searchers discovered that before her death she had taken off all her outer clothing and wrapped it about her baby. And when they unwrapped the child, to their great surprise and joy, they found he was alive and well. She had given her life for her child, proving the depth of her motherly love. Years later that child, David Lloyd George, grown to manhood, became prime minister of Great Britain, and without doubt one of England's greatest statesmen. (3)

Dear mothers, will you be strong for your children? Are you spiritually the kind of mother that your children need?

Finally, Mary's example teaches us to:

C. Be Willing to Suffer for & with Your Children

Can you imagine how difficult it was for Mary to be there, to watch her son suffer so much? What a horrible sight for a mother to look upon! The same head that Mary kissed and caressed in a cradle now bleeds from a thorny crown on a cross! The crowd was screaming and mocking, her son was bleeding, and she was watching it all. She experienced the fulfillment of Simeon's prophecy (Lk. 2:35). He told her some thirty years before that someday her own heart would be pierced through also. We can only imagine how much Mary suffered that day with grief and sorrow that only few can imagine.

Being a mother or father is a great experience, but we must be realistic and expect the possibility that it can be a source of great suffering and pain. Being a mother begins with great pain. Some of you have buried a child. Others of you have worked long hard hours to provide for, and care for a child. Many parents have experienced the heartbreak of a rebellious child. Oh yes, there can be great suffering in being a mother. But there is also great reward! Many rewards are yet to come! So don't flee from the responsibilities of being a parent just to avoid suffering. Accept suffering as a necessary part of being a parent.

Now I want every child here today, whether young or old, to appreciate what Mary illustrates, that your mothers have been devoted to you, strong for you, and have suffered for you. They are worthy of your honor, respect, obedience, and love. And so that leads to my next scene in this drama at the cross. We also see here:

II. FOLLOW JESUS' EXAMPLE AS A SON

In this text of Scripture we see an amazing demonstration of our Lord's love and concern for His mother, even as He was experiencing great suffering on the cross. Let me ask you a question. What happens when you stub our toe really badly? Are you at that moment concerned about the stock market? Ladies, are you concerned about what you are going to serve your family for the next meal? I tell you what happens. The more we hurt, the more we all tend to become very self-centered. We become preoccupied with our own pain & suffering. Yet even though Jesus was suffering greatly, atoning for our sin, He took time to care for others. He was engaged in tremendous suffering. Yet, He was not so preoccupied with His own problems that He did not consider others.

As we have noted, the Gospels record that Jesus spoke seven last sayings on the cross. The first three of them all express Jesus' concern for others. Even in death, Jesus showed more concern for others than for Himself. As they nailed Him to that cross He was thinking of others when He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." As He hung on the cross, He took time to offer the hope of forgiveness & eternal life to the repentant thief. And as He hung on that cross, He thought, "But what about mother? What will happen to her?" He was concerned for her safety. He was concerned for her shelter. He was concerned for her sustenance. Jesus gives us an example of honoring and showing love for our mothers.

We are going to look at 3 actions of Jesus, and then draw lessons for us based on the example of Jesus. First of all, notice in John 19:26 that:

A. He "Saw" His Mother

Don't you imagine that her eyes were filled with tears? Don't you think that a look of anguish was in her face? It would seem that she was suffering almost as intently as Christ. When the child of a parent suffers, you can be sure the parents suffer also, and would wish that they could suffer in the place of their child. So the suffering of Mary was quite evident. Yet He did not ignore her, but He looked upon His dear mother, and no doubt was moved with compassion for her. Surely, Christ noticed her suffering!

I believe there is an application to us. Just as Jesus took note of His mother, even so, Jesus knows what you are going through. When you and I get into problems, we sometimes think that Jesus is too busy running the universe to care about us. Don't believe it for a moment! As the song says, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He's watching me."

Several years ago Cheryl & I went up to Lynchburg to help Andrew move out of his dorm. Cheryl did a good job cleaning up his dorm room. That took a while. Then we ate a nice meal at Cracker Barrel. It was at least 3:00 p.m. by the time we left Lynchburg. Then as we were nearing Crew, VA we heard a severe thunderstorm warning on the radio. Then the sky became dark, and strong wind was blowing. It started raining so hard I could hardly see more than 30 feet in front of me. In fact, up ahead on 460 a tree had been blow down over the road, and I barely stopped in time to go around it. Then it started to hail. We were caught in a terrible storm & we started to pray for God's protection. And it was a comfort to know that God knew we were going through that storm. He sees us, and He cares! Sure enough, God saw us through the storm, & we arrived home safely. Of course, we also need to make application to us as children. We are to look after our mothers. And the older they get, the more important it is to check up on them from time to time. There's an expression that says, "Out of sight, out of mind." We must not let them be out of sight for very long. Be like Jesus, and look upon your mother, especially in her time of need. Don't ever neglect her.

Not only did Jesus see His mother, and notice her suffering, but also:

B. He Spoke to His Mother

In the last of John 19:26 we read that "He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!'" How it must have encouraged her soul just to hear her son speak to her yet again!

Even so, I believe we should speak to our mothers with regularity. Call them. They want to hear your voice. Write them. Stop by and visit them.

Now let's not get concerned about the way Jesus addressed His mother here. This isn't the first time He called His mother, "Woman." About three years earlier He was at a wedding in Cana, He addressed her in this way (John 2:4). The title "woman" was not a harsh designation in that day, but a rather common one. In fact, I found 5 other examples in the New Testament. (4) It would be similar to "Mam" or "Mrs." today. [But He may have addressed her in such a manner for at least 2 reasons. First, to protect her. At the very least identifying Mary as His mother could expose her to the rudeness of the crowd. Secondly, Mary had to realize that natural ties were to be replaced by spiritual. Christ no longer was to be her son, but her Savior & Lord. Mary needed a Savior just as much as you do.] So don't regard this form of address as a sign of disrespect. Christ would never use a disrespectful term to address His mother. He would never violate the commandment to honor His mother, and nor should you.

Another way Jesus honored & cared for His mother was this:

C. He Selected a Protector & Provider for His Mother

Jesus knew that He was about to leave this world. It was quite evident that His mother was a widow. He knew that she had no government support. But He would not leave her uncared for. The eldest son was responsible for a widowed mother, and now she would need another to look after her. So He seeks to provide a home for his widowed mother. So beginning in the last of John 19:26 Jesus "said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother!'" Before He died, He appointed a protector & provider for His mother.

I want us to answer several questions concerning what Jesus did here:

1. When Did Jesus Do This?

He did it when He was a grown man. Our obligations to our parents do not end when we become adults. We still should love them, honor them, and, if need be, even provide for them. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." When our aging parents need our help, we should provide for them. After all, they provided for us for 18+ years! Granted, Gen. 2:24 says that a man shall leave father and mother, and be joined to his wife, but that does not end all responsibilities toward parents. Clearly, Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the Law, and so this act was His final discharge of His earthly duties. Jesus kept the commandment to honor His parents. He did it with His last breaths on the cross.

What does this mean for us? It means that we, too, must honor our parents in such a way. After Cheryl's mother was hospitalized from a serious illness, she did not hesitate to go to GA to care for her. Then when was discharged from the rehabilitation center, she brought her mom to our home here in Virginia. She has been devoted in her care of her mother, and she is another example of honoring mother in such a way.

2. How Did Christ Provide for Her?

Jesus is the Son of God. Yet He did not send manna from heaven to provide for her after His ascension. No, He provided through His people, in this case, through John. In John 19:27 Christ said to John, "Behold your mother!" From now on, John would take His place as the son who would be responsible for the care & protection of Mary. No doubt, this was a burden he gladly bore. We read in the last of John 19:27, "And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home." One tradition says that Mary lived with John in Jerusalem the next 11 years and died there. Another says that she did not die in Jerusalem, but followed John to Ephesus, and died there at a ripe old age.

The same is true today. Just as Jesus said to John, "Behold, your mother." Even so, He may say to us, "Behold, your mother. Care for her." James said that pure religion includes visiting widows in their affliction (Jas. 1:27). Or perhaps there is someone else you know that is in need. They have no family, or no believers in their family. Perhaps the Lord would say to you, "Behold, your brother; care for Him." We are our brother's keeper (cf. Mt. 25:40). I wonder how many children need grandparents. Their flesh & blood grandparents are hundreds of miles away. Yet you could develop a close relationship with those children. Would Christ say to you, "Behold, your grandchildren."

3. Why Did Christ Choose John to Provide for Her?

In the kingdom of God, spiritual ties take preference over natural ties. Galatians 6:10 says, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Jesus asked in Mt. 12:48, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" Then in Mt. 12:49-50 he provides the answer: "And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'" So Jesus gave John the responsibility of caring for Mary. (5)

When Jesus linked His mother to John, He was conveying a deeper reality: The cross of Christ is intended to make family of all of us. When we become believers in Christ, we become brothers and sisters - by the blood of Christ. We share the new birth. We partake of the same Holy Spirit. We have the same destiny, a home in heaven.

Though my physical mother has gone to heaven, I have many mothers in Christ. Though my brother lives 500 miles away in Georgia, I have many brothers in Christ right here in this church. Though my sister in the flesh has died, I have many sisters in Christ in this church. I have many spiritual sons and daughters. I have a few spiritual fathers as well.

You know, this story ends on a good note. Look over at Acts 1:14, "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers." Note the victory that came - His whole family became believers. Something happened between the death of Jesus, and the events of Acts 1. We know from 1 Cor. 15:7 that the risen Christ "was seen by James," the brother of Jesus. No doubt He gave testimony to His brothers and sisters, and they all believed in Jesus.

Conclusion:

Are you showing honor to your mother by your words? Children and teenagers, are you showing honor by your obedience? Grown children, are you showing honor by properly caring for your widowed or aged mothers? If not, I encourage you to make things right starting today.

Footnotes:

1. Robertson says that Solome, who was there (Mark 15:40), was John's mother. She may have been Mary's sister. It may be that His mother's "sister" was also called Mary. If so, it could not have been her blood sister. She was probably her husband Joseph's sister. This Mary was also among the few women who came to the tomb that 1st Easter morning (Mt. 28:1). But also gathered there was "Mary with wife of Clopas." Then, there was Mary Magdalene. Jesus had performed a wonderful act of mercy, having cast 7 demons out of her. She knew what it was to be bound by sin and then freed by the savior! What love and devotion she had! These women showed greater love and devotion than most of the disciples. Where would we be without the love and devotion of women!

2 He fled like the others, but then later, the changed His mind, and returned to be near Jesus. He was the one who seemed to love Jesus the most! When we turn away from Jesus, we should repent, and come back to Jesus. May I ask you a question: have you wandered away from Jesus? Come back to Jesus!

3 G. Franklin Alleo in Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: #3648 (Rockville, Maryland: Assurance Publishers, 1979).

4 See also Matthew 15:28; Luke 13:12; Luke 22:57; John 4:21; 20:13.

5 Besides, John may have been her nephew, the son of Mary's sister.

Sources:

Dr. Ernest L. Easley (notes from his sermon on this text dated 2/18/96)

John Gill, An Exposition of the Old and New Testament, 1760 (accessed from Online Bible);

Oliver B. Greene, The Gospel According to John, Vol. 3 (Greenville, SC: The Gospel Hour, 1966);

William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: John (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1955);

Herschel H. Hobbs John: A Study Guide Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1965);

Fred. W. Krummacher, The Suffering Savior (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1855), 399-409;

John Macarthur, Jr., Crucifixion & Resurrection: Study Notes on John 18-20 (Panaroma City, CA: Word of Grace Communications, 1984);

Tony R. Nester (notes from his sermon on this text);

Larry Pierce, Online Bible [CD-ROM] (Ontario: Timnathserah Inc., 1996);

Arthur W. Pink, Exposition of the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975);

A.T. Robertson, New Testament Word Pictures, Vol. 14 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1931, accessed through Online Bible);

Merrill C. Tenney, John: The Gospel of Belief (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948),

Warren W. Wiersbe, "Be" Series: New Testament Volumes 1 & 2, John (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989).

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982).

© Dr. Stephen Felker. Used with Permission.

Malankara World Shunoyo Supplement

Please visit Malankara World Shunoyo Supplement to learn more about St. Mary - nativity, life, death etc. You can find prayers of intercession, homilies, articles etc. too. You will find it here:

http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Shunoyo/Default.htm

From Malankara World Journal Archives (Theme: Shunoyo Feast)

Malankara World Journal Issue 232 (August 15, 2014)
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_232.htm

Malankara World Journal Issue 157 (August 13, 2013)
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWJ_157.htm

Malankara World Journal Issue 90 (August 14, 2012)
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWNews_90.htm

Malankara World Journal Issue 18 (August 12, 2011)
http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Newsletter/MWNews_18-August-12-2011.htm

General Articles

Recipe: Layered Oat Squares

by LeAnn Rice

Ingredients:

■ 1 cup unsalted butter
■ 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
■ 1 teaspoon vanilla
■ 3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
■ 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
■ 3/4 cups natural, no sugar added, peanut butter

Directions:

Line a 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking dish with foil or parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Put butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the butter starts to melt, add the brown sugar. Continue to cook and stir until butter is completely melted and you have a smooth mixture. Stir in vanilla.. Add the oats and cook, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. (Warning! Do not taste this mixture. If you do, you won’t be able to stop yourself and you will have to make another batch to continue with the recipe!)

Press 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave or over a double boiler. Once the mixture is melted, pour it over the oat mixture and spread to coat evenly.

Take remaining oat mixture and sprinkle over the chocolate layer to coat. Press gently into the chocolate to set it.

Place in refrigerator until cool. Then cover and return to refrigerator for several hours to set.

To cut, lift the foil out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Let sit for about 30 minutes then cut into squares.

Store bars in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Family Special: Don't Hurt Me - Handling Disagreements in Marriage

by Dennis and Barabara Rainey

One who is married is concerned about . . . how she may please her husband.
- 1 CORINTHIANS 7:34

What usually happens when you and your spouse get into a disagreement? If you're like most couples - according to the research of Dr. John Gottman, professor emeritus at the University of Washington - the wife does six times the amount of fussing and scolding, and the husband is 85 percent more likely to be the one who goes into stone-wall mode.

But as Emerson Eggerich told our radio audience recently, it's not merely the amount of the wife's talking that pushes her husband into silence and rejection. It's the way she talks.

To every wife reading this, I know that this just seems to confirm that every man is overly sensitive and not willing to deal with the truth. But Emerson, who has over two decades of experience helping couples, asks you to take this challenge: "After you've had a fight with your husband, go into the bathroom, shut the door and reenact your responses as best as you can in front of the mirror. Look at yourself and how you're coming across. Is there any man in your husband's world who talks to him that way? Is there anybody in his world who talks to him that way?"

Usually, all you have to do to avoid his stonewalling is to soften the tone, brighten the facial expression and control the pointing finger. You can pretty much talk to him all day long - even with deep, impassioned emotion - if you avoid berating, dismissing and emasculating him.

Men are typically able to handle negative content. We do it all day long. We just can't easily handle it when it comes across with the volume turned up on contempt. The disrespect drowns out the message from being heard. If the goal is communication, the gateway to his heart is through respect, even when you don't think he deserves it.

DISCUSS

Is this pattern true of your marriage? What makes you want to attack verbally? What makes you want to clam up?

PRAY

Pray that you will better understand how to communicate with one another with mutual respect.

Source: Moments Together for Couples

Career: Development of a Positive Mental Attitude

by Napoleon Hill

A subject of paramount importance in the development and maintenance of a positive mental attitude is believing where belief is justified. Let us review some of the circumstances which call for belief:

• Acquire an enduring belief in the existence of Infinite Intelligence from which your Creator makes it possible for you to receive the power necessary to help you take possession of your own mind, and direct it to whatever ends you may choose.

• Acquire an enduring belief in your ability to become free and self-determining as your greatest gift from your Creator. You should demonstrate this belief in actions fitting to its nature.

• Believe in that way of life and form of government which guarantees the freedom and precious privileges for which men in every century and all parts of the world have fought and died.

• Believe in those with whom you are associated in your occupation or calling in life, and recognize that if they are not worthy of your complete belief, you have the wrong associates.

• Believe in the power of the spoken word and see to it that you speak no word which does not harmonize in every respect with your positive mental attitude.

Source: PMA Science of Success Course. Educational Edition. The Napoleon Hill Foundation. 1983. Pg. 231.

Career: A Positive Mental Attitude is The Right Mental Attitude

by Dr. Judy Williamson, Director of Napoleon Hill World Learning Center, Purdue University

Great men are they who see that the spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Remember the sentence - A positive mental attitude is the right mental attitude in all circumstances. Turn these words over in your mind and really consider what they mean. There is only one mental attitude to cultivate at all times and that is a positive one, never a negative one. Holding negative attitudes will never make you a positive person, so it is not worth the time you spend on them. Thinking about, dwelling upon, and acting upon all the negative emotions that humans engage -- fear, hatred, anger, envy, greed, jealousy, revenge, irritability, and superstition -- will never contribute to your desired success. Each of these negative emotions creates a downward spiral that makes the hole we dig for ourselves harder and harder to climb out of because we are moving in the wrong direction.

When moving in the wrong direction, just recall the special children's book that was read to many of us as youngsters - 'The Little Engine That Could!' by Watty Piper. Instead of going downhill, this little engine wants to make it up a very big incline with all its heart and soul, but the hill is steep, and energy is at a premium, and rather than backing down, the little engine just decides to repeat the self-suggestion "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" as it struggles to make it to the top of the hill.

After much huffing and puffing and inward struggle, finally, almost miraculously, the little engine reaches the peak and glories in its accomplishment. How did it achieve this improbable outcome? -- by thinking! Thinking with Positive Mental Attitude and belief in the outcome causes the little engine to exert every ounce of energy it has, and it turns out to be enough.

We know that our belief in our ability to achieve the outcome we want determines our outcome. In this way we actually create our destiny, our future, with one "I think I can, I think I can" mantra at a time. It seems silly to say this, but whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you are correct. So, it is natural to assume that whether we choose to end up on the highest mountaintop or remain in the deepest valley of despair, it is our thinking that makes it so! Be Positive. Think only those thoughts that hold you to the goodness you deserve and that you want to call into your life. Always remember the Little Engine That Could and you will give yourself that additional push in life by saying over and over again, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. And you will!

About Malankara World
With over 6000 articles and hundreds of links to outside resources covering all aspects of Syriac Orthodoxy that are of interest to Family, Malankara World is the premier source for information for Malankara Diaspora. In addition to articles on spirituality, faith, sacraments, sermons, devotionals, etc., Malankara World also has many general interest articles, health tips, Food and Cooking, Virtual Travel, and Family Specific articles. Please visit Malankara World by clicking here or cut and paste the link on your browser: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/default.htm

Malankara World Journal Subscription

If you are not receiving Malankara World Journal directly, you can sign up to receive it via email free of cost. Please click here: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Register/news_regn.asp

Malankara World Journal Archives

Previous Issues of Malankara World Journal can be read from the archives here.

Malankara World Journal is published by MalankaraWorld.com http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/
Copyright © 2011-2015 Malankara World. All Rights Reserved.