28 December 2014

posted 25 Dec 2014, 06:06 by C S Paul   [ updated 25 Dec 2014, 06:07 ]

28 December 2014

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

First Sunday after Christmas (Yeldo)

Gospel Reading for this Sunday - St.Luke 2:40-52
New King James Version (NKJV)

40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

The Boy Jesus Amazes the Scholars

41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 

42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 

43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother[b] did not know it; 

44 but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 

45 So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 

46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 

47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

48 So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”

49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” 

50 But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

Jesus Advances in Wisdom and Favor

51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Fear, Family and Christmas

Feast of the Holy Family by Fr. Gerry Pierse, C.Ss.R.

Once again the Church reminds us of the importance of the family by celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family on the very first Sunday after Christmas.

If Jesus is to be born today he must be born in the hearts of people. He must be born especially in the hearts of the members of families if family life, and society in general, are to be better. The presence of Christ is the presence of love. 

Fear drives out love, just as love drives out fear. Unfortunately, all too often there is violence in families. Husbands are cruel to wives, wives sometimes are cruel to husbands. Parents are cruel to children, children sometimes are cruel to parents. Insecurity, another word for fear, is often at the root of this cruelty. The father may feel his authority is being challenged or threatened, so he asserts it by being authoritarian, the only way he knows. Other members react cruelly in defense. One violence leads to another kind of violence.

Very often we do not have listening in a family because there is fear. There may be fear of appearing weak, of losing face or authority, or of being refused or punished. This fear leads one to want to control by threat or violence so that the other person then becomes afraid. If, on the other hand, there is honest listening there will be a realization that there is a fearful human being at the other side. It is very hard, but necessary, for parents to admit their own fears and weakness to themselves and sometimes to their children. When the other's fearfulness and human condition is heard sympathetically fear is driven out and love can come in.

If we want Christ to be born in our families we should try to give each other the most important gift of all. It does not cost much. It does not need a wrapper. It is the most genuine sign of love. It is to just simply listen to one another from the heart without any defensiveness. It takes time to learn to do this. Just make a start.

Many find that one of the best ways in which to learn to listen and to overcome fear is through the daily practice of meditating. Just be still and know that God is there within you and many of your fears will vanish. This will make you a more sensitive and loving family member