4th Friday of Qaita: Marth Sh'Mooni and her Seven Sons

Qeryana I (Old Testament Reading I): Daniel 3:25-45  
Qeryana II (Old Testament Reading II): Acts 6:8-7:2 + 7:51-8:2  
Engarta (Epistle Reading): Hebrews 11:3-10, 32-12:2  
Evangalion (Gospel): Matthew 10:16-33  

The East Syriac tradition celebrates on the 5th Friday of the period of Summer Marth Simoni and her seven Sons whose story we read in the second book of Maccabees.  They were severely persecuted by Appollonius the military major at the bid of Antiochus IV the Emperor.  This celebration is primarily meant to proclaim the nobility of submitting oneself completely to the design of God even at the risk of one’s own life.


A man was questioning God’s arrangement of the universe. He said, “why does God make a big tree with small nuts, and a small plant with large watermelons. It does not make sense.” Just then a nut fell out of the tree and hit him on the head. He said: “Thank God that was not a watermelon”.


In the gospel we find a number of exhortations which do not possess their context. Matthew has grouped these disparate saying materials in the mission discourse of Jesus. The central theme here is God’s providence in the context of mission and suffering. God’s protection is so minute that he takes care of even the human hairs. A normal person is supposed to have 145,000 hairs on his head. The fact that the hairs are numbered should give Christians courage and the confidence that God’s watchfulness and concern is paramount. Whatever happens they have to put their trust in God’s care for them.


Further, Jesus exhorts the missionaries to have no fear because God’s protection will keep them from all uncertainties. They have to fear God alone and not human beings. God is a paternal figure who loves and cares for his beloved. As disciples we have to surrender ourselves before him and rely on his care. Thus we can remain bold and courageous even in the midst of uncertainties. Of course those who are committed for the kingdom will have to suffer rejection, persecution and death. But Jesus is giving us encouragement. He tells that God has a plan in everything. Each one has to look forward to this future plan and heavenly life hereafter. What matters most is not the present agonies but the final judgment and the resurrection of the dead.


“The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth that God governs in the affairs of men” (Benjamin Franklin).



Fr. Sebastian Mullooparambil, CMI

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