Fourth Thursday of the Great Fast


Qeryana I (Old Testament Reading I):

Genesis 14:1-17

Qeryana II (Old Testament Reading II): Joshua 8:30-35
Engarta (Epistle Reading): Romans 10:17-11:12
Evangalion (Gospel): John 7:1-13
 

Abraham is an abode of forgiveness and care. When Lot’s kinsmen fought against his, he took initiative in giving whatever Lot wanted. Abraham took only what was not taken by Lot. Lot is now in trouble and is under captivity. Abraham with just 318 of his men defeats Chedorlaomer and the kings who were allied with him and liberates Lot and his flock. Abraham testifies that he is a true Patriarch. Parents are supposed to take care of their children when they are young. When they are older enough, they should allow them to live independently as Abraham did to Lot. Even if the children do give anything in return, parents should be watchful of what their children doing. If they are in trouble, they should go and help them.

 

Joshua establishes Israel as a God-oriented community. He explains to them the Law of Moses after conquering Canaan. The Law of Moses is inscribed upon the stones and in the heart of the Israelites. After the tumultuous exodus through the wilderness and planned takeover of the Promised Land, they gather around the altar of Yahweh. It is the altar that is the final destination of everyone. All the patriarchs have constructed altar for Yahweh wherever they went. Great Fast is a time where we construct and reconstruct altars in our life, family and community.

 

Though they gathered around the true altar by their great leaders, Israelites altered their life in search of false altars. They recklessly disobeyed Yahweh. Hence, Paul says that it is not the birth that makes you great, but the work. Be committed to the call. True altar is the altar of Jesus. Be counted among the loyal ones. Be graceful at the Cross. As Abraham went to Lot, Jesus is after us. Are we able to go with him from the captivity?

 

Jesus is preparing for the showdown. He is heading towards the Cross. He is clear about His mission. He is clear about His commitment. Commitment is equal to death. Commitment to God was death for Jesus, both mental and physical. What Israelites lacked was this commitment to Yahweh. Jesus testified this lack of commitment among them and hence they hated Him. They hated Him because He testified against their unfaithful nature. Jesus as a symbol of total surrender to Yahweh was and is a model for everyone of us.

 

Credits: Father Joseph Varghese Kureethara, CMI

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