Devotional thoughts for the first Sunday after Pentecost – 26th May 2013

By the Grace of God we are entering the first Sunday after the long service of Pentecost, when and where we were supposed to gain the renewal and fullness of the Holy Spirit in us. It is a time of renewed spiritual strength for all the faithful. The last Friday was Golden Friday when we remembered the first miracle of the Apostles in the name of our Lord and Savior. The observation of the day reminded us that everything is possible by Him who has created us and saved us.
In today’s reading Lord Jesus reveals a unique nature of humanity. In the first verse of today’s reading we find: “Jesus answered them and said, verily verily I say unto you, You seek me not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves and were filled.” Our Lord was telling to a group of people whose entire aim and ambition was purely worldly. Wherever our Lord spent hours together, He had fed them well. Feeding mission was one of the most important missions of our Lord during His blessed Public Mission. Unfortunately there are mentions of the incidents when 4000 men and on another occasion 5000 men were fed and filled with satisfaction are mentioned in the Scriptures. We should not forget that our Lord’s mission were: Teaching Mission, Feeding Mission and Healing Mission. To the crowd who followed our Lord without fail from place to place, He openly said: you are not following me by believing the miracles, but because you were filled when you ate the bread distributed by me.” Their intention in following Christ the Savior was to fill their stomachs or to satisfy their worldly desires and needs.
We try to follow Christ our Lord through attending the common prayers or worships in the Church. Our intention is not different from the wish and desire of the people who followed Him from place to place. Are we not praying only for our worldly needs and desires. The modern revival groups advocate for demanding the personal needs and likings. We are supposed to pray for the daily bread, and of course for not the food of many days together. But what we are doing? We come to the Church with a long list of our needs and do pray for such needs. Are we not supposed to pray for the forgiveness of our sins so far.  Of course we not bothered about these things. Let us try to re-model our prayer style and style of behavior.
Our Lord‘s first message prior to the beginning of His Public Mission was “Repent and believe the Gospel.” We are obliged to believe that our Lord was assigned by God the Father for the salvation of the entire mankind and the entire creation. We are obliged to confess our faith in Him as our Lord, God and Savior. Though we recite the creed entrusted to our Fathers daily in our prayers, we have to confess our faith in Him every now and then. Our ancestors, though they were not much educated and they were toiling hard in the agricultural fields, they used to say “my Lord and God” intermittently. It was the expression of their solid and concrete faith and utterance of their staunch belief. Why can’t we accept the footsteps of our fore-fathers? Let us practice to pray the Jesus prayer, silently, during all possible occasions. If we would practice to recite ‘Kuriyelaison’ meaning ‘Lord have mercy on us’ inaudibly would be enough to seek the forgiveness of our sins and to submit ourselves for His mercy and compassion. In verse 36 our Lord tells, “You also have seen me, but believe not.” We all have been blessed to live in Him as well as to enable Him to live in us. Still we should not create a situation in which our Lord might deny our faith and belief. Let our belief in Him be real and genuine. Our aim in going to Church to attend the divine worship must be to see Him and to intake Him to our human body. If we give prime importance for this need, we would definitely attend the services with more seriousness. Then only we could feel the need to attend the worship from the very beginning till the end with perfect devotion and repentance. It is true that our faithful are not serious in attending the sacraments with due reverence and seriousness. We all must bring in a total change Our Lord advises us not to labor for the bread that might perish soon. Our Lord advises us to pray for and look for the bread that never perishes. The flesh and blood of our Lord is the bread that one would not perish. The Holy Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is the bread that will not perish.
May God bless us all
Jose Kurian Puliyeril, Kottayam.



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