Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
BEGINNING OF THE 15-DAY LENT
Fasting and Lent observation enable one to attain a spiritual discipline of mind and body. If we are ready for true repentance and observe our Lents it will definitely lead to the renewal of our commitment to the commandments and laws God has given us and told us to observe. Church has set apart 15 days from Aug 1st to Aug 15th as days in remembrance of the Virgin Mary who yielded to the will of God. She humbled herself to the angel of the Lord and said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word”. The 15-day Lent emphasizes Mary’s absolute faith in God and perfect obedience to the will of God without question. We too are called to be children of God and to be in obedience to His call for action which can lead us to the redemptive plan of God.
In Some western Churches, this Lent is observed in commemoration of the assumption of the Virgin Mary and is called Shunoyo. All prayers are tuned in adoration and supplication to St Mary. The Mar Thoma Church does not interpret this as the feast of assumption as it is not supported biblically. But observing lent means we are spending time in prayer, fasting, and interceding and reconciling with God. It is recorded in our books that Abraham Malpan Thirumeni conducted the Holy Communion service on the 15th of August following the Taksa he had formulated according to the Holy scripture.
Here is today’s portion for devotion Jesus teaches us how to respond to insults and persecution. Earlier in this chapter, Jesus said: Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets, I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. :(5:17). There were strict laws among Jews regarding adultery, murder, divorce, false swearing, and taking revenge on one another. The rules were tough and hard, and they observed them without fail. But in this passage, Jesus shows us how to go beyond the timely observance of these laws and to act with a spirit of love to be like true children of God who reflect God’s love and God’s will in everyday situations and relationships. Jesus suggests acting with love and not retaliating or engaging in vigilantism by taking the law into our hands James 4:7 reads: Be subject therefore unto God but resist the devil and he will flee from you.”. In our life’s journey as we attain a stage when we can pray for and love our enemies and not retaliate tit for tat our fasting and lent observations will become meaningful.
Lord give us the strength and spirit to forget the atrocities that are done against us and forgive our enemies who plot evil against us.
Thought for the Day
But now abideth faith, Hope, Love, these three and the greatest of these is Love”.
Dr Thomas Jose
The Mar Thoma Church Staten Island