15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my
son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls
into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him
to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
It was a great
experience for me to be with the children of Asha Bhavan,
Pathanapuram,Kerala, an institution of the Mar Thoma Church.
for the differently abled children, for ten days as part of the VBS
in 1996. Those days helped me to greatly understand the ability and
the dignity of the people who are physically challenged. Those days
with the children, who have their own special skills, also taught
me great lessons about mutual dependency in the community life.
This passage describes the struggles and pain of a young man who
was physically challenged. His father brought him, first, to the
disciples and then, to Jesus. Jesus, after rebuking the disciples
for their lack of faith, healed the young man. Jesus’ words and
action to heal the young man throw light into the responsibility of
the believing community towards the differently abled people.
during Jesus' time, considered ‘disability’ or
sickness a result of sin, a curse or God’s
Punishment (John 9:2). Hence they treated those people as ‘objects’
and did not consider them as dignified persons. But Jesus saw in
him a wonderful vision of God’s salvific works. Bible always
portrays that weaknesses are the best opportunities to experience
the power of God. Moses and St. Paul are best examples for this.
Today, as a believing
community we need to have the attitude of Jesus towards these
people. We should make every effort to uphold the dignity of these
people. We need to create the spaces that accept and include these
people. As Dr. K. C. Abraham said, we have created at least three
barriers against these people: architectural barriers, attitudinal
barriers and liturgical barriers. We need to take bold steps
to overcome these barriers, to accept and include the differently
abled people and to help them lead a life with dignity and honor.
Loving Father, give us a
new vision to see your glory in the life of the differently abled
people and help us to accept them with dignity and honor. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“My grace is sufficient for
you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Cor. 12:9
Note: If the Meditation
appears truncated on your phone, please click on “view this email in
Community Formation Around
Resurrection ExperienceActs 23:1-10 Vinod JohnsonCarmel MTC, Boston,
MA6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others
were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son
of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the
Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is
the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this
particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not
tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist
deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly
visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand!
this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He
seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and
the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resurrection of
Revelation for LiberationActs 27:18-26 Sherine ThomasLong Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small
tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
“After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn.
And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish
clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most
dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry
when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels
like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult
to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that
are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a
weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed.
It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to
tell a child as to why they’ve been abused, abandoned, and …
Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of
Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments,
anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood
among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some
people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed
Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of
God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God
with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an
important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the
statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed
in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests
have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his
people. Two important things from thi…