I have uploaded a video to my web site and also to my Youtube Channel. This video contains my Easter Message for St. Gregorios Orthodox Congregation in Jeddah. This was recorded on March 28th 2015 at St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Church, Los Angles, Whittier.
08 Apr 2015 Leave a comment
I have video with pictures from St. Thomas Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of Los Angles, Whittier, California. where I conducted Easter Service. Vicar: Rev. Fr. Yohannan Panicker. Thanks to Mr. Winson Varghese for the snaps and La Moriyo Segtho for the background music. The Video can be seen in my site, my blog and in my Youtube channel
06 Apr 2015 Leave a comment
I have uploaded a video to my Youtube channel. This video is with pictures from my Good Friday Service at St.Thomas Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Whittier, California. I thank Mr. Winson Varghese for providing these pictures. Vicar: Rev. Fr. Yohannan Panicker
04 Apr 2015 Leave a comment
A Meditation for Hasa Friday
(Death is not the end, resurrection is the climax Originally posted in ICON)
There are lot of people who feel the pain of being lost, abandoned, neglected, taken for granted or put to shame for some reason. The first question such a person should ask is why. Asking such a question shows a positive attitude to the situation. Many people find answers with a negative tone. They would say, it was because of someone else’s fault. Some will look into self and try to find whether it was because of something done or said by self. In any case the question why is a positive response to the situation one might face instead of counting it as fate.
Life of Jesus in this world was a quiet life until the age of thirty. After that there were two dimensions to it. One helping people in need and two, addressing the leaders of His community for their rebellious and unholy ways of being in charge of God’s people. Though both were part of His saving activity, they brought Him to a point where He had to find the end of His life in this world. He was arrested by the temple army, brought before the high priest of His own community first and then the Roman ruler and who and judged to be hanged till death on the cross. He was abandoned by those whom He helped; humiliated, tortured and unjustly punished by his own community leaders. It was painful to see every one leaving Him, it was humiliating to be ill-treated by His own creation. So He had to ask why all this happened. The question was addressed to God “My Lord, my Lord why have you forsaken me”? (Matt. 27:46. Also see. Ps. 22:1; 71:11; Isa. 53:10). This question is one step further to the usual question people may ask when they are in some kind of trouble. To Jesus all this happened because God left Him alone without having any consideration for him. Jesus was not raising the question at any one who left Him or those who persecuted Him. He posted His question at God. Because He believed that without God knowing this would not have happened. He did not want His followers to cry for Him. He asked them on the other hand to worry about themselves and their children. He did not curse those who persecuted Him. He only prayed for them that God may not account their sin. His question was to God.
Of course many people would follow this when they face hardship in their lives. They would ask why this happened to them. This question implies that they are sinless and this happened either because some one did some thing against and God allowed it or God has no concern for them. Jesus had all the reason to ask why did God abandon Him. Because He knew that He was sinless and that He was crucified for what good He did to others and also in the community in terms of correcting the wrong in it.
This question was not the last word from Jesus on that day. The last one was, “I commit myself in to your hands oh God” (Matt. 23:46). This implies that Jesus did get an answer to His earlier question from God and the answer should have been, ‘No I did not abandon you’. Since no one heard this and is not recorded any where we can only assume that this was the reply. But this assumption is valid since the last utterance express a total trust in God. He knew that His self, its safety and identity will be secure with God. That was proven to be right. Resurrection was made possible because of this surrendering, a resurrected state in which no adversary can do any thing against. But at the same time can continue to do the saving and correcting acts He has been doing. Being resurrected is a state of mind for us. A state of mind due to the confidence that God has not abandoned, that no harm can be done by any evil doer and that such a person can continue to do the good work that he/she has been doing. This is an attitude that can be achieved even in this world before death. According to Paul ‘we walk in the newness of life as Christ was raised from the dead’ (Rom. 6:4). We are all participants in the resurrection of Christ through baptism. So we need to take heart, trust in God and accuse no one for what misfortune or difficulties we may have to face. In other words the question Jesus asked was asked on our behalf.
Jesus knew always that He and His Father are one and did not doubt for a moment that God would ever abandon Him (John 10:30). But He had to go through all the stages and feelings of humans who had gone away from God. So He was born, grew up as a child and lived like a human being. But always under the guidance of God as any human being should have lived. Then He had to face the violent end not like a human being in God’s purpose, rather as a sinful man away from God. This end on the one hand was due to the estrangement of human from God and on the other hand a natural end of any one who would live the life of a just human in an unjust world. So any one who would face hard realities can ask only two questions. One, why is it, am I still away from God? Two why is it, is it because of doing the right thing that I should be doing? The first will certainly bring suffering as a careless driver would face accident on the road. The second as in the case of a mother toiling for the sake of bringing up her child. If the answer in both are to the negative, then only it should be due to the sin of others. In such case there is no reason to say either they be cursed or God has abandoned the sufferer. Jesus asked God ‘why have you forsaken me’ because that was what humanity always asking. After Him no one need to ask that question, instead only to say, I myself, my problems and my concerns all I submit in to your hands. This is what Peter asks us to do in 1Peter 5:7 “because He cares for you, cast all your anxiety on Him” (also see Matthew 11:28- “Come unto me who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest). Any thing that is surrundered over to the hands of God will certainly live and if at any point experience death, it will certainly be resurrected. So Jesus’ cry “My God My God why have you forsaken me” shall not be repeated by any one who knows that it was not due to his fault and believes in Jesus and in His resurrection. Death is not the end, resurrection is the climax.
Yuhanon Mor Meletius Metropolitan
04 Apr 2015 Leave a comment
I conducted the Feet Washing and Pass Over liturgies at St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Los Angles. This is a video presentation of them with pictures
30 Mar 2015 Leave a comment
A Video is uploaded to my youtube channel with pictures from the Palm Sunday service at St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Los Angles, CA
19 Feb 2015 1 Comment
Vattully (near Chelakkara. in Thrissur district in Thrissur diocese) St. George Orthodox Chuch has been closed down without worship for four decades. We engaged in talks with the Jacobite Church parish leaders and decided to settle the matter through negotiations. We got the Church as part of the deal. The first ever service in the Church was held on February 14th 2015 and that was the first time a bishop was conducting Holy Qurbana in that Church after 45 years. It was a memoral day for all of us. All the priests from the diocese with representatives of the parishes in the diocese and people from other Churches and denominations attended the function. The whole village was in a jubilant mood due to resuming of regular service in the Church which is mother Chruch for Malankara Catholic and Jacobite parishes along with an Orthodox parish in the nearby area that belong to Kunnamkulam diocese.