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    MARY VISITS ELIZABETH: A True Spiritual friendship

    Aelred of Rievaulx, the 12th century monk wrote in Spiritual Friendship; “what happiness, what security, what joy to have someone to whom you dare to speak on terms of equality as to another self”. This is truly an apt description of Mary and Elizabeth’s spiritual kinship. Both women faced unusual, yet joyous, and miraculous circumstances! While reading this gospel passage, can we recall some of our special friendships, current or past, we have experienced during our lifetime. Certainly you may need to call a friend or share a meal together, and reminisce about your friendship. Wholeheartedly tell you friend the ways in which you consider her or him as a blessing.

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    Annunciation to Zechariah

      Like Abraham and Sarah, Zechariah expresses doubt when God promises that a child will be born to him and his wife in their old age. Since he doubted, God silences Zechariah until the child is born. What if we were to receive the most precious desire of our heart today? How would we respond? Can we reflect on this, in a journal or notebook using our own words? Also try to reflect on the times when we experienced periods of doubt, silence, listening or waiting. This Sunday’s Gospel depicts that such periods of ‘spiritual stillness’ can be a prelude to some new birth in our life, as it was…

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    HOODOSH EETHO Sunday: “The Feast of Dedication of the Church.”

    HOODOSH EETHO Sunday: ‘Hoodosh Eetho’ means “The Feast of Dedication of the Church.” Luke 20 depicts a series of questions the Jews ask Jesus in order to trick him. They ask Jesus three questions and today’s Gospel reading is about the first one; they question about the authority of Jesus. If we continue reading the chapter, Jesus responds by asking them twice as many questions and by telling them a parable. We might want to list the questions in this chapter of Luke and ponder why Jesus asks so many of them. Then ask ourselves, “Do we respond to people’s problems with our answers or do we try to listen…

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    Various Classifications of periods in the Lectionary in Malankara tradition

    Reviewing the available literature, there are at least four to five different classifications of the periods in the Church Lectionary in the Malankara tradition. All of them have the same arrangement of Sundays, order, and themes with minor differences in the gospel readings and other readings from Old Testament and New Testament. Over the years, liturgical calendars were published in two forms- the tables of Easter and related movable feasts; and a calendar of saints. The two have separate origins. The former were a matter of controversy in the ancient church. Eventually, a single one of 532 years (taqlab in Syriac sources) was adopted as the norm. They again differed…

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    Seven Periods in the Church Calendar

    The 52/ 53 Sundays in a calendar year has been divided to Seven Cycles in the Church Calendar. The first Sunday according to the Church Calendar is the Koodosh Eetho Sunday (Sanctification of the Church). Koodosh Eetho is the Sunday that falls between October 30th and November 5th. Again, the entire church calendar is divided into 7 cycles. I. Sanctification of the Church* to Christmas (Yeldho) II. Yeldho to Epiphany (Dan’ho) III. Dan’ho to the Beginning Sunday of Great Lent (Kothine) IV. Kothine to Easter Sunday (Kymtha) V. Kymtha to Pentecost VI. Pentecost to the Transfiguration VII. Sleebo to Sanctification of Church (Koodosh Eetho) Knowing this arrangement will help us…

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    Sermon on the Koodosh Eetho Sunday (Sanctification of the Church): Mark 8:27-33

    Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Happy New Year! Am I nuts! Greeting Happy New Year on the first Sunday of November, then really I must be crazy. But some of you may know why we wished happy New Year today. Because today is the first Sunday of the Church Calendar year; we call this Sunday Koodosh Eetho, which means sanctification of the church. We are also commemorating the perunnal of St. Gregorios of Parumala. Unfortunately we do not realize the purpose and meaning of many of the arrangements, many of the important days, rituals, feasts that are important for us. And that’s the unfortunate part; we…

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    Sanctification of Church: Confession and Purification Leads to Cross

    “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus further asks this question to his disciples. “Who do you say I am?” They mumbled and gave him ‘others’ opinion! But he was looking for a personalized reply; “I say…” not a, “Someone says…” This situation is true for us too. We always depend on jargons and text book definitions to answer this question. But Christ is straight away rejecting ‘second-hand’ testimonies! “Who do you say I am?” No other question will ever be as important to us, as this one question. Peter’s declaration was indeed a confession which leads to a holistic purification. This confession and purification helped St. Peter and…