25 June 2017

posted 23 Jun 2017, 03:15 by C S Paul

25 June 2017

Scripture reading and Sermon

Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Third Sunday after Pentecost

Scripture reading for this Sunday

John 6:35-46New King James Version (NKJV)

35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 

36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 

39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 

40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Rejected by His Own

41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 

42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 

44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 

45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

Bread of Life

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Our Lord and Savior established the sacrament of Holy Eucharist for the continuation of His blessed master plan of salvation as well as for the confirmation of the salvation of the coming generations. By the grace of God, we have to meditate the verses spoken by our Lord at the time of the establishment of the Sacrament for the salvation of the faithful. First of all, our Lord introduces Himself as the bread of life. The people who are starving could only enjoy the taste, greatness and satisfaction after having the bread or what we call the food. Those who are spiritually hungry only could enjoy the taste and satisfaction of the Holy Eucharist, which is the real spiritual food. Though the Holy mystery, the body of our Lord looks like the worldly food, its greatness and uniqueness would be experienced by the ones who would partake it.

We must make it a point not to attend the sacrament only as onlookers. Whereas when we would participate the sacrament with proper spiritual preparation, devotion, expectation and prayer, we could also experience the difference. Our Lord promises "the ones who would partake from this bread and drink will never hunger or thirst."

"Whoever drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up in to everlasting life" St. John 4:14. Again in St. John 7:37 we read: "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink". And also in Revelations 22:17 we read, "And let him that is thirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life free". We will have to think well how long we could ignore the free promise of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In our Lord's version, God the Father is giving the faithful to Son the God. (See the 37 th verse) Immediately after this, our Lord exposes His precious and highly valuable promise. "Him that comes to me I will no wise cast out."

How many of us are so strictly following the above verse of our Lord and acknowledge it, though we have accepted our Lord as our Lord and God and we might attend the Holy Eucharist every week and accept the Holy Eucharist as and when possible? We will have to think about it so seriously. When we might have a worldly problem or when things might not end as we expected, or if we happen to be a patient or so, what would be our position? Would we be strong in our faith that our Lord God is sufficient for all our needs? Or would we lose all our hope? We turn to be people like who lost all their hope and faith. Where goes our faith and how our hope gets vanished? Why we lose our hope as we have meditated several times on the following verses from the Scriptures, including: "Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither he help evil doers". (Job 8:20) and "Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land" (Isaiah 1:18-19)

Now let us look at the 40 th verse of today's reading. "And this is the will of the one who sent me that everyone who sees the Son and believes on him may have everlasting life; and I shall raise him up at the last day." Where we have to see the Son? How we could see? We have to think about these and find out the answers for such small questions. Only because of the answers for these questions we often go to Church as congregation and attend the traditional prayers and the Sacraments.

In our daily lives we come across many who might question us. "What is the need to go to Church, Can't we pray anywhere we like, after all are we not praying to Lord God?" etc. This is the answer for such who advocate the sectarian teachings. Our Lord only taught us to believe him by seeing him. We have to look at the living and life giving body and blood of our Lord. When we look at His body and blood we could see Him. Our Church is strictly following the Holy Sacrament in lines with the instruction of our Lord and savior. But still we must think whether we could see our Lord God properly even though we attend the divine services regularly. Think whether we could realize our Lord properly. May God Almighty enable us all to attend the holiest worships with the full presence of our minds and bodies and to learn more about our God and to realize Him by tasting Him.

Now let us look at the 45th verse of today's reading. "It is written by the Prophets and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto me". How true are these verses? How much we have heard about our Savior and we have studied about His wonderful salvation mission. Are we attracted to Him by our Father in heaven? Think whether we could follow the teachings of our God. God promises in Isaiah 54:13 that our children will be advised by Jehovah and their peace will be great. May God enable us to accept God's instructions and advises on the spot. Let our and our future generations' minds be filled with the peace of God.

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