Sunday, January 17, 2016

Homily Notes and Scripture Readings - 2nd Week after Denaha

The Liturgical readings of the second week after Danaha ( Jan 17, 2016)  were

Evening :St.John1:26-34 , Morning :St.John1:35-42

Before Holy Qurbana
Holy Qurbana
The fathers really  prescribed , we spent time trying to read and meditate on the words from Scripture prior to coming to Church and hear attentively from the noble priest the Homily.
Through various activities that we have filled our lives , We often neglect this practise and even  when if I listen quite often forget what was preached. In this week  ,  some thoughts that felt  really meaningful
( I Peter 3:15)
 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;   ( I Peter 3:15)

 ( Hebrews 1: 14- 2:4)
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation
 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.   For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,   how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,   God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

These words really made sense so much reflecting on the Homily on St. John 1:43-51 given by our priest asking each of us to ask if a Christ centred experience through  whom the Apostle Nathanael whose doubts were cleared that he had to  exclaim out " “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

 Our Priest explained  the experience what led  the Apostle to have the experience. See it here explained in the Coptic synaxarium on the life of the Apostle thereafter ending in Martyrdom.

The key message that I believe that our priest was trying to convey is that each of us  instead of using the lives , piety ,holiness of the others etc. to set up our baselines, We come to realize that we have a Lord who knows all of us and who awaits and knows our inner needs  and to whom we must approach and be changed as the Apostle did first and which he abided through out his life.

In our Church school discussion , we also had opportunity to reiterate this message  by God's grace, as  the topic of discussion was on St. Basil who writes of his own experience with Christ

" I had wasted much time on follies and spent nearly all of my youth in vain labors, and devotion to the teachings of a wisdom that God had made foolish. Suddenly, I awoke as out of a deep sleep. I beheld the wonderful light of the Gospel truth, and I recognized the nothingness of the wisdom of the princes of this world"

Also the words of our Lord came up in our lesson  St. John 12:46  - I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

May the Lord bless and His mercy upon us through the prayers of St. Mary and all the saints

Lord Have Mercy, Amen

Jan 17, 2016


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lesson on Lord's Prayer from Anoushka's grade 2 South West Diocese Church School

Lesson 12 - The Lord's Prayer

God wants to hear you talk to Him and He wants to see you pray the way He taught His disciples to pray using the Lord's Prayer

Prayer is talking to God , and God loves when we pray. The disciples, Jesus's closest friends, wanted to learn how to pray. The disciples were with Jesus all the time and they were with Him when He went to pray. Yet, they were still not sure how to pray.
Jesus teaches us we should pray with humility. God listens no matters if our prayers are long or short.  God knows what we mean in our heart even when we have trouble finding the right words.
Jesus also teaches us that we should not 'show off'' when we pray. God doesn't want us to pray just so people can see us, or pray loudly just so people will know we are praying. He loves when we pray in a quiet place with our own words and for our needs, what we are thankful for, praises, and what we are sorry for.
Jesus taught us a special prayer called 'The Lord's Prayer', which we should say often at home and at Church.
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come ,Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day , our daily bread and forgive us our debts and sins as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever .
 Let us understand each part of this special prayer that Jesus taught us. :

Our Father, who art in heaven

We start the prayer out this way so we know that we're praying to God. He is our heavenly Father , and we are His children.

Hallowed be Thy name

This means Holy is Your name. Even though God wants us to call Him Father, He is still God. It is sometimes really hard to understand who God is and what He is like. How did He
make us? How is He perfect and never makes mistakes? God just wants us to remember that we need to treat Him super special because He is God and when we pray to Him we need to be respectful.

Thy kingdom come ,Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We should think all the time about living with God. This part means we are praying that people would live in peace and love with one another the way it is in heaven with God. It reminds us that we should be living the way God wants us to everyday.

Give us this day, our daily bread

God provides everything we need to live a life of a Christian. Too often we think about asking God to give us video games and princess dolls ,but forget to thank Him for the food we eat, the water we drink, even the air we breathe. When we ask God for things, that mean we trust Him and we will leave the decision to God.

and forgive us our debts and sins as we also have forgiven our debtors.

The next part of the prayer is asking for forgiveness for our mistakes . Forgiveness means that we are sorry for something we have done and we don't want to do it any more. But we also need to forgive people who have done wrong to us. Sometimes others hurt us very badly, so we need to ask God to help us forgive them because it's really hard or we don't want to . If we forgive others, God will forgive us.

Lead us not into temptation , but deliver us from the evil one.

This part of the prayer is really neat because it asks God to help us know the right thing to do. He will protect us against the evil that is in the world and  keep us away from it. Temptation is the idea that is in our heads, that might lead us to do the wrong thing, and we ask God to give strength to listen to Him and do what is right.

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amin

The last part of the prayer is the best part! . We say out loud that God's kingdom will be forever. With God , we will always win !
We should not only say the Lord's prayer , but it's so important to think about what we are saying. When we pray, we should think about all the things we have to be thankful for and how God has given us everything we need . When we pray ''forgive us our debts'' ,we ask for forgiveness for those things we did wrong including those that we may have forgotten .
Prayer is our special way of talking to God, so remember to pray as many times as you can. God loves you and wants to know everything about you and how you are  doing.
Thank You Sunday School Text Book team- South West Diocese
George Varghese
Calgary, Canada
January 3, 2016