My Christmas Message 2013


My Christmas Message audio both in English and Malayalam with pictures is available on my Youtube channel.

http://youtu.be/P1cVFRwLHwo

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1cVFRwLHwo&feature=youtu.be

I Turn 24 in Thrissur Diocese


 

With my parents on either side

With my parents on either side

Mr. K. Karunakaran felicitating

Mr. K. Karunakaran felicitating

My Reply

People and priests liturgically welcomes me

People and priests liturgically welcomes me

I Turn 24

On this date twenty three years back (Dec. 26th, 1990) I assumed the charge of Thrissur diocese of the Malankara Church. So much has happened since then in history and in my life and also in the lives of thousands of people who are in one way or other related to me because of what happened in my life. I thank God for every thing He has done in my life. Some of them were for joy and some of them were not for so much for. But all of them were with lessons for me to further my life.

The Church was divided in to two and I was part of one group then. People on both sides thought I will be always loyal to partisanism. I would have unless there was an order from the highest court of the land which said ‘the Church has been one till 1971 and has to be one from now onwards”. The Patriarch of Antioch who consecrated me as bishop told me in person and through H.H’s encyclicals, ‘follow it as it is the will and voice of God’. But some of my people (still they are mine) did not follow that and some among them say I was wrong. Well it their opinion and hence their problem, not mine. But I had to do it to be true to myself and so I joined hands with other who were in the front to work for the unity of the Church. It finally happened in 2002. But some of my people did not join me. I consider them also as my people, but under mislead people who want to keep the Church divided and make benefits out of. I do not blame them or hold grudge against. I can not expect every one to have the same wisdom.

Today, looking back to my life in the past 23 years, I am happy that I was able to do few things in this diocese and in the community at large particularly to unite my Church. The Malankara  Church has been, in the beginning, one indigenous community and part of the wider society in this land. Then people who came from various parts of the world tried to change its nature. Now it stands divided. Of course I can not change the whole world, but I am happy at least I was able to make a small change in uniting the divided Church. This gives me immense joy and satisfaction. For helping me do that I thank my Lord. I am confident that even those people who do not agree with me on this do not hate me. That is why they are once in a while spread the news that I will join the 2002 society that calls itself “Jacobite Syrian Christian Association”. Sure I will join them if they will join me in making the Malankara Church one with them too.

Yes there are problems, many I admit. But where can one see without them? It is not bad to have issues. It depends on how you deal with. It is where you have problem. Otherwise those ‘so called’ problems are just challenges. And I can not run away or keep off from facing them as I am consecrated to work with my Lord to face them and make a change towards a better world. This is what I am trying to do. I am sure many if not all do understand my position. Yes thousands of people have understood it. I hope it God others who do not, also eventually will do. And I work tirelessly with that hope. This makes me live my life with even greater enthusiasm. See you on this day every year for quite some time, of course God willing. Yuhanon Mor Meletius Metropolitan in the service of God to His creation. 26th Dec. 2013.

Bye For Now My Hero


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela my hero has gone to the other world. 

He needs no introduction. Every one knows what his contributions are to the world and humanity and specially to  to every one who wants to be a free being. Even if I try to, I will be short of words. Only thing I can say is, I SALUTE YOU and SAY BYE FOR NOW. THIS BARRIER THAT SEPARATE US NOW, “WE SHALL OVERCOME SOME DAY”

I visited his home town and was in his home in Johannesburg in 2010.

Nesen Mandela2Mandela Home 1 Mandela Home 2 Mandela Home 3 Mandela Home 4 Mandela Home 5 Mandela Home 6 Mandela Home 7 nelson-mandela-004

Meditation on Luke 1:39 ff.


Meditation on Luke 1:39-56 (for the Sunday of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth.

Originally posted in ICON). Yuhanon Mor Meletius Metropolitan.

mary-and-elizabeth

In what is called ‘the Magnificat’ or the ‘Song of Mary’ it is said, “… surely from now on all generations will call me blessed” (v.48b). In this meditation I want to talk about Mary’s blessedness. Translation of the Greek word makaritzo as bhagyavathi (ഭാഗ്യവതി) in the Bible Society of India’s Malayalam Bible is not an apt one. Bhagyam (ഭാഗ്യം) is a neutral and secular term where God has no role in it. Where as the English translation ‘blessed’ is active and it suggests some other person’s involvement in it. Here the state is an after effect of what God did in the life of Mary and hence ‘blessed’ is the right word.

There is a bit in a song sung at the beginning of every episode of an old comedy show Cheers that goes, “… you want to go some place where every body knows your name and they are always glad you came”. It would give you a wonderful feeling that you are remembered and acknowledged where ever you may visit. In the context of the song, remembering is only physical and limited to the same place and generation. To be remembered is a blessed state, and to be blessed through generations is the greatest thing to happen to a person. This is what St. Mary was sure of having for her.

In the modern world, blessedness is mostly interpreted as being successful in life. At least this is what the so called ‘prosperity gospel preachers’ advocate for. I do not find any thing wrong in being successful in life. But the question is, how one would define success? I would imagine most of the time people think of success in terms of material gains like good education, good career, better pay and those kind of things. Here again these are not bad in themselves. How ever it may not always help, for sure, to be successful and remembered through generations. Mary is confident that she will be remembered as blessed not only during her life time but through all generations (as matter of fact she was not much appreciated by people during her life time [Mark 6:3]).

If we consider her case, none of her life situations guaranteed a state of success. On the contrary her life was full of miseries, hardship and suffering. She was unmarried and pregnant, was an un-wedded mother in the Hebrew society of Jesus’ time, her son behaved ‘strange’ from the time he turned twelve and when he grew up, his main concern was not the welfare of the family or its affairs. Finally she had to see him abused, tortured and killed like a criminal for no good reason. However, we do not find her change her statement any time during those 33 years of her life with her son or afterward. She considered herself even still blessed eternally.

I am not suggesting that one can be blessed only if people go through similar situation.  Rather what is suggested is, life threatening, negative situations and lack of material possessions need not take away blessedness. So those who wish to be remembered as blessed need not run hysterically and unjustly after material possessions.

This is where the Word of God or the message from God in this passage becomes relevant to us. We need to have clarity of understanding regarding success in life. Our life in this world, as far as our faith and confession are concerned, is not limited to just few decades in this globe. It should transcend time and space (remember the call by the priest at the time of the H. Qurbana who would say, “let the hearts and minds and understanding be where Christ is seated at the right hand side of God the Father”. This is a pre-taste of the actual and everlasting experience of blessedness). American theologian John Cobb Jr., following the famous philosopher Alfred North Whitehead of Process Philosophy, has said that, ‘we shall enter in to the mind of God for eternity at death. By virtue of that we shall also be living in the minds of people of God. People of God or the Church, travels to beyond time and space, through generations with God to eternity. Any one who is in the memory of God as blessed will also be in the memory of people of God, the Church, as blessed through generations.  This memory is not primarily based on what one has in life, rather what one does in and with life. This is where St. Mary becomes an intercessor to all the faithful. According to Jesus every one in the world has to be blessed just like Mary is (Mk. 3:35; Luke 8:20). What one has need not necessarily be a hindrance to blessedness, but may become one based on how it is used. This is what the rich man had problem regarding (Mtt. 19:21-24).

What Mary did was not a simple thing in her life. She dedicated all she had, her life with her dreams and aspirations to the cause of salvation of creation. The incarnation of God had to happen through her. Incarnation, or God becoming present is not a one time event. Every moment or at every occasion, in the history of creation under the guidance and work of the Holy Spirit, incarnation is happening (John 14:26; 16:13). Incarnation as the revelation of God in Christ by the Holy Spirit through humans is happening every moment. What ever happens to the edification and salvation of creation is God becoming present and therefore is incarnation. This is not to diminish the importance of the classical incarnation event in Jesus, rather to make it a present reality at every given moment in history. We are called to be the medium of incarnation.

Mary became the mediator for us not only because she prays on our behalf, but also by becoming a model for us to be called blessed by all generations by we becoming medium of incarnation in continuity. We are not something  just to be born in to the world, lived a ‘successful’ life, died and forgotten. Rather one to be born and lived to be remembered as blessed through generations. To this effect we have to say what Mary said, “be it unto me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38). Just as she did, we need to use our life and what we have in accordance with the word that came from God, so that continuity of incarnation will happen though us. Again just as she did before Elizabeth, we will also be able to testify before any one and every one we may visit that we shall be called blessed by generations. This is what is called name written in the book of life. Every child baptized will be baptized for its name to be entered in to the Book of Life as seen in the liturgy of baptism of our Church. In the silent prayer of the celebrant it is said, “… we beseech you Oh Lord, to inscribe his/her (the baptism candidate) name in the Book of Life”. The question is who can with confidence proclaim to the world like Mary did before Elizabeth saying, “surely from now on all generations will call me blessed” or at least say, “I shall with all my sincerity shall try to be called blessed by generations- help me God”. Yes, let the little title song of our episode in this world be  ‘I want to go some eternal place where every body remembers my name, call me blessed and they are always glad I came’.

St. Gregorios Feast at Jacksonville FL. Orthodox Church


St. Gregorios Orthodox Syrian Church, Jacksonville, Florida is a small parish of just 13 families. But they were able to purchase a property and remodel the building there to become their worship place. They have made it really beautiful. Rev. Fr. Cyril Davy from Thrissur is the vicar. He invited me for their feast of St. Gregorios and I was deeply impressed by the kind of fellowship the parishioners have among them. A couple of former members of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Philadelphia, whom I knew for several years are currently the members of this Church. That was a pleasant reunion too. Rev. Fr. Alexander Kurian (Director, Strategic Planning, State Department, US government), Rev. Fr. Dr. Jacob Mathew (vicar St. Paul Orthodox Church, Orlando and Visiting Lecturer University of Central Florida), Ref. Fr. Joseph Kalppurayil (Vicar Atlanta Orthodox Church) were also present. The Holy Qurbana was conducted as con-celebration and Rev. Frs. Alexander Kurian and Jacob Mathew con-celebrated with me. Photo courtesy George Cherian (Saji)

A video is uploaded to my Youtube channel

http://youtu.be/P0vOxwq5xdM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0vOxwq5xdM&feature=youtu.be