The Church has entered into the season of Great Lent. The season of Great Lent is the celebration of Liberation that one experiences in and through Christ Jesus. Why Lent is a celebration? It is a celebration because through Christ Jesus’ death on the Cross and resurrection, we are redeemed from the bondage of sin. So Great Lent is the celebration of liberation. During the 50 days of Great Lent, we commemorate Jesus’ forty days fasting in the wilderness, and Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem where he gave his life on cross to redeem humanity. So lent calls us to follow the path of Jesus. During lent we meditate on the life, ministry, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us look into some of the important aspects of Great Lent.
1. Great Lent: A call for repentance and homecoming This year Great Lent is from February 15 to April 5. February 15 the Sunday is called Pethurtho Sunday. This Syrian word means “to come back”. So Pethurtho is a call of God to “return to Him.” It is a call to return to God’s divine love and care, where one experiences forgiveness and peace. So the Church enters into the season of Great Lent through Pethurtho, where we are reminded to “Return to God through Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life (Jn.14:6).” We are reminded to turn away from our sins in repentance and penance, thereby returning back to God who is forgiving and caring.
2. Great lent: A call to be reconciled and forgive others Shubkono was on Monday (February 16, 2015, i.e. next day after Pethurtho Sunday). Shubkona is ‘day of forgiveness and reconciliation.” Unless we are reconciled with others, lent and fasting is not acceptable. So Shubkona is considered as the “door to proper lent.” As we enter into Great Lent, we have to be reconciled with our fellow-beings and also with God. As God the father has reconciled with the world through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20), we ought to reconcile with others. In St. Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus says, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift. So fasting, praying and offering is not acceptable to God, unless we are reconciled with others. Jesus taught us to pray: “Forgive our debts and sins as we forgive our debtors.” So Father God is forgiving to those his dear children who forgive others. So Great lent is thus a call to “forgive and be reconciled.”
3. Great Lent: A call to be in Christ As season of Lent is a preparation for Easter, the believing community fast. Fast and Feast always go together. Without fasting there is no feasting. Fasting is a voluntary act of abandoning the worldly things. Fasting is in one way “giving up”. Here we giving up all those to which we are much fond of. Traditional way of fasting was to give up meat, milk products, fish and all those ‘so called healthy foods.’ But I would suggest to give up ‘all those’ to which we are very much attached/attracted to. When Jesus was hungry, Satan tempted Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread. But Jesus answered, “It is written Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Fasting is ‘being detached from worldly/material/perishable things’ and is also being attached to God who is Eternal and Imperishable. It is giving up lust, and being fully immersed in Christ. Lent in therefore crucifying the self in the love of Christ.
As we are into the Great Lent season, let this time be a time of celebration of liberation where we are detached from the worldly pleasures and seek true joy which is in Christ Jesus. Wishing you all “Happy and meaningful lent season.”
May God keep us in His Warm and comforting Embrace. Rev. Shinoi Joseph Vicar
Due to Lent meetings, Edavaka Mission will not hold any meetings in March.
Mr. & Mrs.
Thomas Paul, 214-09 Hillside Ave, Queens Village
Mr. & Mrs.
Mammen Samuel, 5 Country Court, Hicksville
Mr. & Mrs.
Joseph K. Mathew, 1557 Rosser Ave. Elmont
Mrs. Shinoi Joseph, Parsonage
Edavaka Mission Activities
Thoma Voluntary Evangelist's Association was found by our late
Metropolitan Most Rev. Abraham Mar Thoma out of his strong conviction
that each Mar Thomite is an Evangelist. Evangelism
is the utmost mission of this Organization. The Parish level unit is
known as the Edavaka Mission and at the Long Island Mar Thoma Church,
New York, we give stress to the seven fold activities such as
Intercessory Prayer, Bible Study, Sharing of Experience, House Visit,
Visiting the Sick, Group Activities etc
Edavaka Mission regular
meetings are conducted every Thursday at 7.30 PM at the Church as well
as Members' houses with prior announcement at the Parish on Sundays.
Fasting Prayer meetings are conducted once every month at the members' houses either the last Saturdays or Thursdays depending upon members and Achen's
convenience with prior announcement at the Parish on Sundays.
Edavaka Mission also support various Mission projects such as sponsorship of students at St. Thomas School,
Visakhapatanam, India. Sponsoraship of an Evangelist in India. Medical
and financial aid to different individuals and families based on
requests received by Achen time to time. Edavaka Mission welcomes
donations from members for the above mentioned activities and
sponsorship. For details, please contact our Achen Rev. A. B. Binu, Mr.
Mammen Samuel or Achamma Jacob.
On Saturday, March 21, YuvajanSakhyam is organizing a one-day trip to Sight & Sound in Lancaster County, PA to watch the show “MOSES”. The rates are: Adult - $110; Teen - $75; Child - $60 (includes breakfast and lunch). Bus will depart from LIMC at 5:30 AM.
1. Monthly meeting will be held on Sat., March 28that 10 AM at the church. 2. The North East Regional SevikaSanghom conference will be held on Saturday March 14th, 2015 at St John's Mar Thoma Church (90-37 213th St., Queens Village.) Registration will begin at 8:30 AM. Theme: "We were made for a mission" Main Speaker: Rev. Y. George, Bethany Mar Thoma Church Fee: $10.00