Fourth Friday of the Great Fast


Qeryana I (Old Testament Reading I):

Genesis 14:18-15:15

Qeryana II (Old Testament Reading II): Joshua 9:1-14
Engarta (Epistle Reading): Romans 11:25-36
Evangalion (Gospel): John 7:14-36




Divine-Human encounter is most sublime in the Yahweh-Abraham relationship. In the Abraham episode we see the human face of Yahweh and divine transformation of Abraham. His call and response, his subsequent actions and his final atonement are unique. But this is the a blue print for anyone who wishes to have a divine experience. His encounter with Melchizedek, king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, his response to the offers of the king of Sodom, his hope in the hopelessness and his destiny were not accidental. They establish Abraham as the father of faith.

 

Prudence is a gift of God. In taking decisions in life, this gift has to be efficiently used. Unless one is prudent and vigilant, the distance to trouble in one’s life is much less. Here, Israelites are bluffed by Hivites because of their quick judgement and lack of prudence. On the contrary, Hivites saved themselves from complete destruction by their prudent action.

 

For Paul, the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Jews and now Christians have an upper hand in the process of Revelation. But this irrevocable call and gift from God gives greater responsibility. Gospel and patriarchs give a responsibility that is unavoidable. Paul is a perfect representative of those people who were responsible to their call and grateful to the gift they received. As a Jew and as a Christian, he is in the rank of the patriarchs.

 

Jesus tells what His origin is and foretells what He would do. He asks us to learn the obvious, the priority of mercy over law. What law intended was love and mercy but what it lacked was them. It is this contradiction that led to the Original Sin and the subsequent sinful nature of human beings. It finally led to the Crucifixion of Jesus. Even now the message is clear, i.e., “Stop judging by appearances, but judge justly.”

 

Revelation of God was not an exclusive one and hence salvation is not a monopoly of some group. There are parallel ways and diversified means whereby God revealed His plans to all the created beings. Melchizedek is the best example for this. God wants us to look deeply into ourselves and proclaim publicly His plan on each one of us during this Great Fast and subsequent seasons in our lives.

 

Credits: Father Joseph Varghese Kureethara, CMI

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