Metropolitanís Message October 2015Date : 22-03-2016

Hope you all had a blessed Christmas.

 

Our motherland India has been hailed as a nation of religious tolerance and harmony from time immemorial. It is by the redemption of this sense of fraternity that Kerala ought to become God's own country in its true spirit. In some of the temples in South Kerala, the procession preceding the festivals start after paying respect (giving obeisance) at the gate of an ancient church. Even though the Aranmula boat race is held under the leadership of a particular religious community, we must not forget the historical fact that it is a water festival of brotherhood which makes the whole locality jubilant and unites them in one accord. This shows the rich heritage of our land. The festival in one of the ancient churches in Central Kerala started after the lamp was lit by the senior member of the Hindu family in the neighbourhood. Even Thiruonam was celebrated as a festival of love and cooperation of all people. Many such examples could be cited to support this state of religious harmony and brotherhood which prevailed in our land.

 

But the reports of some incidents in North India make us to doubt whether the evil influences of religious animosity gradually intrude into our society and sow the seeds of poison. A person who was passing by the front gate of a temple was burned to death after noting that he was from a lower caste. Transporting cows in a truck from one place to another ends up in murder. An unlawful situation develops when a person eating goat meat (mutton) was mistakenly blamed as eating beef. In Punjab, a labourer was hung upside down and beaten to death. When such incidents occur in a democratic nation of international repute like India, people may naturally ask, where is our nation heading? We must seriously view the fact that the silence those in authority maintain, even after witnessing all these atrocities, will lead the nation into grave situations. Those in the government as well as the common person must realize the fact that constant vigil is the price that we must pay for the freedom we enjoy in democracy.

 

Our Geevarghese Mar Athanasius Thirumeni who is in charge of the Ranny-Nilackal Diocese was installed as the Suffragan Metropolitan of our Church on October 2, 2015 at a special service during the Holy Qurbana held at the Christos Mar Thoma Church, Ranny. Thank God for the godly grace that prevailed in that blessed installation service. Congratulations to the Christos parish, nearby parishes and the diocese for giving proper leadership for all the arrangements of the day. It gave me one more chance to recollect the happy memories of serving in that parish as a deacon 58 years ago. In addition to conveying greetings and appreciation to Geevarghese Mar Athanasius Suffragan Metropolitan, my prayers for God's grace on him to serve with more strength and blessings.

 

This is a time when untoward tendencies are creeping into the society as well as politics. We must be diligent to prevent such tendencies from entering into the Church. The church is not a crowd to receive the malignancy of a malignant society, on the other hand it is the body of Christ called and separated to give healing to the malignant society. I exhort everyone not to act forgetting this truth. Those who give leadership in various organizations also are exhorted to be diligent to give proper sense of direction.


The Government of India organized a noteworthy program entitled, "Harmony of Religions" in Indore in October. This was a program meant for the recognized leaders of the different religions from India and abroad. This was significant at a time when there is disharmony among the various religions of the world. I too was invited to address that gathering.

 

The keys of the 20 houses we built as a Church for the rehabilitation of the people who lost houses near Badrinath Temple in North India were handed over to those deserving. About Rs. 700,000 was spent for each house. These are the people whom we have not seen or known before. But it is the mark of stretching out of our hands in love for these brethren of ours who lost everything in the natural disaster.  Generous contributions are needed from individuals and parishes to the Disaster Management Fund of the Church to help people who may be affected by such natural disasters in future. Donations for this noble cause may be sent to the Sabha Office.


Adv. Babu Varghese, member of our Church, was appointed as the Additional Advocate General in the High Court of Kerala. Congratulations to him and pray that God will help him to discharge the duties faithfully and diligently.

 

The Rt. Rev. Dr. M. C. Mani (87), the former bishop of the Madhya Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India (CSI) was taken to his heavenly abode. We remember with gratitude the service he rendered. He was the founding Secretary of the Nilackal Ecumenical Movement.

 

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Tharanath S. Sagar of the Methodist Church, who was the President of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), was called to eternal rest. He was a powerful voice of the Ecumenical Movement.  He worked earnestly to bring the Methodist Church also into the Conciliar Fellowship of the Church of North India (CNI), CSI and the Mar Thoma Church.

 

The world renowned Syriac scholar and the former Vaideeka Trustee of the Jacobite Church, The Very Rev. Dr. Kurian Kaniamparampil Arch Corepiscopa (103) departed from this world. He was a person whom the Mar Thoma Church cannot forget and to whom the Church owes a great deal. He was instrumental in composing and giving tune to many of the lyrics in our worship book.


The Mar Thoma Church joins in the sorrow of the Churches and families on the demise of the above reputed persons and conveys its condolences.

 

The Church also conveys its condolences to the families of its members: Dr. Samuel Paul, Niranam, (former Adviser of the World Bank, the former Director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and Economist), the Rev. T. P.  Koshy (Thadathil) who has rendered blessed service in different parishes of the Church, and Mr. Sunny Kuruvilla (Niranam) who served in the Secretariat of WCC in Geneva.

 

Wish you all a Happy New Year! May God bless you all abundantly in 2016!

 

Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan+