“The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…by the Apostle… or Evangelist…” (Taken from the Order of Worship for Holy Qurbana)
Dearly Beloved in Christ Jesus,
Last month we tried to understand the significance of the Epistle reading during the Holy Communion service. This month we will try to explore the significance of Gospel reading during Holy Communion service.
The liturgy of the Word has a special significance in Holy Communion service. The Liturgy of the Word includes four readings of Bible and a sermon (preaching). The Gospel portion is read only after the other three readings i.e. 1st lesson, 2nd lesson and the Epistle portion. This signifies that Gospel is the fulfillment of all the other readings. Thus Gospel reading is the epitome or climax of the Liturgy of the Word. I would like to make four important significance in relation to reading of the Gospel.
1. Gospel is Jesus the Christ The Greek word for Gospel is euangelion which means “good news” or glad tidings and this good news is Jesus the Christ, the God incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Jn 3:16). So Gospel is only one i.e. Jesus Christ but there are four version/writings of Jesus Christ i.e. of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These writing are words and deeds of Jesus the Christ. The good news for the world is that God has incarnated and has redeemed the world through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So the Gospel is Jesus Christ. He is the Gospel from God the Father and in believing in Him is eternal life. He is the Logos, the Word of Life from Above.
2. Gospel reading signifies Christ Presence Our worship are the proclamation of the salvific work of God in Jesus Christ. The words of Jesus are ‘life-giving words’ that leads one to eternal life. Before Gospel is read Deacon announces, “let us stand in silence, awe and reverence and listen to the proclamation of the living Word of God from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord.” The congregation is reminded to stand and be silent. There should not be any movement or any sort of
disturbance during this time. Jesus Christ himself is the GOSPEL, listening from Gospel signifies “listening to Jesus himself”. Therefore through Gospel, Jesus is speaking to his people. So reading from the Gospel signifies the presence of Jesus Christ himself in our midst. So one has to be cautious of not to dishonor Jesus who is speaking to us through Gospel. 3. Gospel is Life Giving Proclamation St. Paul says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek (Rom1:16). The Gospel proclaims life and salvation to the world through Jesus Christ as against the sin of humanity which brought damnation and death. Jesus through his sacrificial death and resurrection on the Cross redeemed the humanity from the evils of sin. So Jesus is the Life and Salvation to the world. Jesus is the absolute truth of the salvation history. So reading of Gospel affirms that salvation is possible only ‘in and through Jesus Christ’ who is ‘God incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary.’ In reading the Gospel this salvation is proclaimed and the covenantal relationship between God and humanity is remembered.
4. In Listening to Gospel we proclaim our belief and faith The Holy Scriptures are read not only for instructional purposes but these words also lead the worshiping community to repentance and sanctifications. Thus liturgy of the word enable us to partake in the Holy Qurbana. When the celebrant elevates the Bible and says ‘The Holy Gospel of our Lord…,” the Congregation glorifies God the father and seeks God’s blessings upon the world. In reading, listening and preaching the Gospel portion we profess our belief and affirm our faith in Jesus Christ. In other word the community affirms and proclaims the absoluteness of truth of the Gospel as written in the Bible.
May God keep us in His Warm and comforting Embrace.
Edavaka Mission meets every Thursday at 7:30PM at the following locations:
Address & Phone
& Mrs. Joseph K Mathew
1557 Rosser Ave., Elmont, NY 11003
& Mrs. V.G. Abraham
260-19, 81st Avenue
Floral Park, NY 110043
& Mrs. Yohannan Varughese
25 David Avenue
Hicksville, NY 11801
& Dr. Shinoi Joseph
2350 Merrick Avenue
Merrick, NY 11566
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.