Mar Giwargis Sahada



Qeryana I (Old Testament Reading I): Daniel 6:5-24  
Qeryana II (Old Testament Reading II): Acts 12:1-23  
Engarta (Epistle Reading): 2 Corinthians 12:1-14  
Evangalion (Gospel): Matthew 10: 37-42+16:24-27+19:27-30  

The pericope tells the story of Daniel in the den of lions. This devout Jew refused to pray to Darius, the king. Instead the young man dared to pray to and thank the Living God. As the king came to know this disobedience, he threw him into the lion’s den. However Daniel’s God sent His angel and shut the mouths of the lions. Then the king honoured Daniel. Mar Giwargis was a new Daniel, who sacrificed his life for the sake of Christ. Now the King of kings had exalted him as his beloved disciple. He participates in the glory of heaven.

 

King Herod tried to wipe out the ‘way’ of the Risen Lord. He executed Yakob Shliha. This he did to please the Jews, the enemies of Christians. Then Herod arrested Peter the head of the Church, and put him in prison. But the Lord miraculously rescued him. The king was struck down by an angel. Thus the Word of God continued to increase and spread – a phenomenon which was repeated by the martyrdom of Mar Giwargis Sahada.     

 

St Paul, who underwent great trials and tribulations for the sake of the crucified and risen Lord, was bountifully rewarded also here on earth. He was caught up to the third heaven and could hear inexpressible things that humans are not permitted to tell the apostle was granted visions and revelations from the Lord, which provided him a foretaste of the heavenly bliss. It enabled him to find delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties for the sake of Christ – as Mar Giwargis Sahada has done. Paul had wanted to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings in order to become like him in his death (Phil 3:10).

 

The gospel texts demand us to imitate the example of Mar Giwargis who loved God and Christ above everybody else, took his cross and followed the Master, and was willing to lose his life for Christ’s sake. Thus the saint became worthy of the Son of God, and found eternal life. This disciple demand himself for the sake of his Master was not willing to gain the whole world and to forfeit his soul. Mar Giwargis could say with Peter: I have left everything to follow you. Christ richly rewarded him and allowed him sit with Him in heavenly throne. Now the saint enjoys the bliss of eternal life. His Dukrana feast provides us the model how to participate in the passion of the Son of Man, and become the glorified son of resurrection. Mar Giwargis took part in the Christ’s sacred mysteries, and became its living memorial (Dukrana). He invites us to follow his example and live as the loving Dukrana of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection on earth.

 

 

Father Paul Kalluveettil, CMI <paulkalluveettil ' at' gmail.com>

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