Metropolitanís Message - Messenger, July 2015Date : 22-03-2016

Peace-loving people (pacifists) and philanthropists everywhere are deeply saddened by the increasing tendency of the violation of human rights and the rise of religious fanaticism threatening the sense of security in the world. It is high time for the faith community to respond in a Christian manner, when we witness the scenes of brutal killing of innocent people. The horrible scenes of genocide are telecast through social media. The social media, nowadays, are full of scenes of such atrocities. The demolition of historic and cultural monuments due to communal hatred is to be condemned seriously. The ancient civilization of India is famous for religious freedom and religious tolerance. The Constitution of India is the noblest in the world in attributing freedom to exercise one’s own ideology or religious faith, continue to follow it and to proclaim it, no matter, whether one is a believer or an atheist.  The effort to tarnish the noble vision which the constitution envisages is to be discerned as the clear evidence of cultural disintegration. At one stage of the religious discrimination, each community, instead of trying to correct those who were considered higher than themselves, found satisfaction and solace by looking at those who were below their rank. Those on the lower rank found solace by watching birds and animals.  he advocates of ‘Ghar Vapassi’ should make it clear whether they want to go back to a state of cultural disintegration. Atrocity against any religion or church is to be condemned. As Christians, it is our responsibility to pray that such inhuman activities will not be repeated and that the minds of those engaged in such activities will change.

 

The earthquakes in Nepal and neighboring countries, and some of the North Indian states have caused incalculable havoc and terror. Two years ago, when there was a cloudburst in the State of Uttrakhand near the Himalayas, the Church undertook a housing project for those who were rendered homeless.   The construction of the 20 houses that are built by the Church is in the final stage. We are planning to dedicate those houses and hand them over to the villagers by the end of July. We had to spend 0.5 million rupees for a house and thus a total of 10 Million rupees for 20 houses. We thank God for the members of the Church, parishes and institutions for their cooperation in this noble cause. As a Church we have to shoulder the responsibility with the nation and the society to care for those who are passing through the misery and pain due to these natural calamities. When we pray for their welfare and rehabilitation, we have to extend our helping hands to wipe their tears. Folded prayerful hands and open helpful hands must become the symbol of sincere love of the true believer.

 

Many of our teachers retired from their long and dedicated service after shining as lamps of knowledge. May new doors of service open before them.  Some of our youth who have completed their courses, seek new careers. May God help those who choose new careers to take each step recognizing God’s will for their lives through earnest prayer. Let us pray that God may help them to reach higher stages in life with composure. May God help each one to use the new avenues for work, not merely to satisfy their selfish desires, but also for the development of the nation and society.

Let us thank God for those who have entered the ministry after completing their theological training. May God help them to perform the ministry well and to glow as beacons in the places where they are appointed, realizing the responsibilities God has entrusted them with. Let us remember the parents and the families who offered them for the ministry through the Church.

 

Our beloved Valiya-Metropolitan has entered the threshold of age 98 after completing 97 years. There were celebrations arranged by the Church on his birthday. Let us thank God for the health, enthusiasm, creative responses and the grace of God which help Valiya-Thirumeni to radiate light as a light house in the society at large. Thirumeni will be a centenarian after 2 years. Let us wait for the appropriate celebrations on that day. Let us also pray for a healthy long life for Valiya-Thirumeni.

 

The Rev. T. A. Koshy (69) who did a blessed ministry in different parishes and in the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association entered into glory. The leadership Achen gave as secretary to the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association (MTEA) and to the Maramon Convention is commendable.  He did a meritorious service as the secretary to the late Alexander Mar Thoma Valiya-Metropolitan. I thank God for Achen’s services and express the heartfelt condolence of the Church to the bereaved family, especially, Achen’s baskiomo and others. 

 

When the Second World War shattered the hopes of humanity, it was Christo-centric theologians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who came to the scene rekindling hope. Among them was the social theologian Dr. M. M. Thomas from our own fold. The Church is making arrangements to celebrate his Birth Centenary in a befitting manner. Let us pray that this remembrance may be an opportunity to ignite social consciousness and hope in the present chaotic socio-political realm.

 

During Passion Week, we remembered Christ's words, "My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers". It is a warning to those who use religious realms for self accomplishment and exploitation of others. How will Jesus, who wept over Jerusalem, respond to our attitudes? Just as faith without works is futile, works without faith may end up as a mere show.


We can see faith and work complementing each other in Jesus. He was earnest in doing the will of the Father and completed the tasks assigned by Him, by holding fast to His faith in the Fatherhose who kneel before God in prayer with contrite hearts can rise up like our Lord with a clear vision. When we face manifold crises and turmoil in life, we need not bury ourselves in tombs of despair, saying that all is lost. The Jesus who can transform any tomb into a source of hope will raise us up by holding our hand with His hands.

 

This is the time of conferences, youth meetings, V.B.S. etc. May these conferences help our young people to recognize the mission of their lives, by submitting themselves to Christ and thus to grow in communion with God the creator and with fellow creatures.

 

May the Grace of God be with you all.                                                     

 

Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan