My beloved Church Family members in Christ.
“ God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” ( Psalm 46:1 )
As the whole world , especially vast majority of our Church members are in Medical Field and other Essential Family system. They risk their life to save others. Let us bow our heads before them and pray for them as well for us.
“ Our Father who art in Heaven, enter my house, take away all my worries, diseases, and fears. Please help us and protect us in this afflictions that are severely before us. “
Remember, God’s river of mercy and strength flows for us when we are weak and thirsty. This circle of protection reflects in us when we take refuge in Him. The history teaches us how our unceasing prayer and fasting habits are supporting and saving us from plagues and other disasters.Think, our life does not allow us to go back but does allow us to live each day better than our last. We are all in the midst of pandemic, where every one is suffering from this crisis. Prophet Isaiah says “ Fear not for I am with you. Do not go astray, for I am your God who strengthens you; and I will help and secure you with My righteous hand.” ( Isaiah 41: 10 ) .
In this message , may we share together Two points.
In the Liturgical Circle, we are in the season of the Great Lent. ( The seven liturgical seasons are as follows:
Season of Annunciation, 2.Season of Epiphany, 3. Season of Lent, 4. Season of Resurrection,5. Season of Pentecost, 6. Season of Transfiguration, &. Season of the Cross.)
Remember, we celebrate the Feast of Annunciation to St. Mary on March 25.
This Sunday, March 29, we remember the Healing of a Man Born Blind. ( Also celebrating as the Catholicatxe Day.) The holy Gospel reading is from St. John 9: 1-41. ( Epistle, Ephesians 5:1-14 ). St. John 9:1 says “ Now, as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.” St. John 9: 11 says “ He answered and said, A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘ Go to the pool of Siloam and wash, so I went and washed, and I received sight.”
This healing is the sixth sign in St. John’s Gospel.. Remember the blind man is a symbolic of all of us, of all humanity. This healing teaches us that we all need ILLUMINATION by our savior Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. The Church Father St. Irenaeus sees in this mixture of clay and saliva, a type of the creation of humanity from the earth. As the blind man’s eyes opened, the Lord also illumines us in the midst of sick and suffering and death.
How we can cope with Anxiety and Stress?. This is a call for us to be positive in our thinking and action. Every facet of life has been altered by a pandemic. We can be more united in prayer , caring each other by information of safety approach and guide lines. Remember, sickness and difficulties are moments of kneeling down before God Almighty. A crisis on this scale can reorder the society. But crisis moments are also be our present opportunity . We can spent our isolation with Meditation and Prayer and should reflect our Deep faith, Liturgical services, Biblical themes , Devotional Hymns etc. that opens door of positive thinking. Thus, proactive about creating small moments of happiness with positive emotions . Let us give our brain a chance to process an atmosphere of Pease of mind and mental health. Make our home as heaven, as a place of happiness, togetherness and communication. May Almighty God help us and elevate our mood and make us feel calm. Remember, every dark cloud has a silver lining and this is our chance to thicken that lining. May our wisdom thought reflects our Mental Health. So, in the midst anxious and stress, in this unusual time, we can rise ourselves in an unforeseen difficulties. May God comfort all my Church Family Members to be strengthened and comforted.
“ God is: Above you to bless you; Below you to support you; Before you to guide you; Behind you to protect you; Beside you to comfort you; and He is inside you to sustain you "
May God Bless you All.
Rev. Dr. Varughese Plamthottathil Cor Episcopos
Vicar and President of St. Baselios Orthodox Church, New York, U.S.A.