22 July, 2012

posted 19 Jul 2012, 21:02 by C S Paul   [ updated 19 Jul 2012, 21:24 ]

22 July, 2012

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Devotional Thoughts for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Gospel Reading Mark 8:1-10

King James Version (KJV)

1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.

St. John 6:47-59

New King James Version (NKJV)

47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 

48 I am the bread of life. 

49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 

50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 

54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 

55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 

56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 

58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

I am the Bread of Life

by Rev. Fr. Mammen Mathew, Houston, Texas

Jesus is the Bread of our Spiritual Life. He gave his spiritual body in the form of physical bread and gave His life giving blood in the form of wine.

God the Father gave the Israelites Manna during their journey to the Promised Land in the desert to nourish their physical body. Manna was perishable, but it was the foreshadow of the non-perishable food of God from Heaven to come. This food of Jesus is for everlasting life. 

When we receive Jesus’ body and blood, our perishable body gets everlasting life and resurrection. Our body becomes His. His everlasting blood flows through our spiritual veins.This heavenly body came to us through St. Mary. 

The Holy Spirit made visible the invisible God, the second person in the Trinity, to us as a human being. The Word became flesh so that we can see, hear, feel, and believe. The Father sent His only begotten Son to this world to save the world, and show us the path to the Father. 

Like a farmer Gabriel sowed God’s seed in the womb of St. Mary, Mary received that seed like a good ground of earth. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary brought the Son to the world. The Son took all the sins of the world on Himself, and sacrificed His body to the Father as atonement for us. He broke his body and shed his blood for the world to receive as life giving food. 

He wanted us to partake that food as often as possible. He instituted the Holy Eucharist on the day of Passover and wanted us to continue to celebrate that feast till His second coming. He wanted us to participate in that feast whenever we gather to worship or have fellowship. 

During our heavenly pilgrimage, He wanted us to refresh and refill from his body and blood as often as possible.His body and blood nourishes our weary body, mind and soul.It refreshes us and strengthens us.It gives us peace, comfort and joy.It takes away our fear, worries, sorrow and tears.It gives new direction and hope in our journey.

Partaking His body and blood removes our emptiness and unworthiness.It equips us with God’s strength, grace, and protection.All these benefits we will only receive if we truly believe in His words and accept them as He meant. 

When we come to Him in His holy sanctuary with humility, brokenness, and repentance, and faithfully receive the Holy Eucharist as His true Body and Blood, we will benefit all those things that are mentioned above.Jesus wants us to be partakers of His body and blood, not as on-lookers. 

Those who participate in consuming them with very good preparation and full faith will get everlasting life as He had promised.Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us receive Him with full faith, with utmost preparation, and partake in the Heavenly feast every time, when we participate in the Holy Eucharist. 

Jesus is inviting everyone on this planet earth to join in His heavenly banquet. Let us join Him every Sunday and on all festive occasions to eat and drink from His table for everlasting life.