Fourth Wednesday of the Great Fast

Qeryana I (Old Testament Reading I):

Genesis 13:8-18

Qeryana II (Old Testament Reading II): Joshua 8:18-29
Engarta (Epistle Reading): Romans 9:30-10:17
Evangalion (Gospel): John 6:51-70

Abraham is a peace loving man. He takes initiative in settling the dispute which did not emanate from him. The greatness of Abraham is seen his words to Lot, “If you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.” Abraham’s magnanimity is rewarded with the promise of uncountable descendants and immeasurable land by the source and fullness of magnanimity. Abraham takes solace at the altar of Yahweh which he constructs wherever he goes.


Joshua destroys the whole of Ai. He sets fire to everything impure as commanded by Yahweh. Yahaweh demands a total dedication from His chosen ones. When we deal with our sinful nature, it is the clean sweep that God asks us. Do not leave anything for a later return. It is this absolute dedication that was missing from the Israelites many a time and hence led to their disasters. When we take orders from God, do not dilute them for our temporal pleasures.


Covenant is for both the parties involved in it. Since God is the initiator of the Covenant, we have a greater role to play. It is not out of necessity that God entered into the Covenant with each one of us. But for us, it is a necessity. Hence, our response to the everfaithul and ever-loving God must be of complete surrender. If we want to be counted among the few who are saved, we must be completely loyal to Him. God knows our frail nature, but does not wish us to take advantage of the frailty. We should not forget our role in the covenantal relationship. Role clarity itself is a virtue.


Paul is reaffirming the promise, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." It is the undivided faith in Yahweh that helped Abraham and Joshua to be victorious. It is the undivided faith in Jesus that brings salvation to all. There is no distinction in the call we received. It is not what we were that matters but what we are. Are we able to burn our past and put all our eggs in one box? Are we able to to confesswith our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead? Only then we will be saved.


Jesus is the bread from heaven which gives eternal life. Life in fullness is offered only by Jesus. Faith in God is faith in Jesus. Faith in Jesus is the faith in what He preached. Words of Jesus were beyond human comprehension. He says,”Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” Though these words were hard, Simon Peter sets the requirement of the new Israel: "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."


Great Fast is a time for reconciliation. Identify all others who are against us. Possess the broadmindedness of Abraham. Reconciliation is the reconciliation with God and reconciliation with the fellow beings. Construct ‘altar’ for God in every critical juncture of our life. Because ours is a demanding God. A God who wants our total commitment. A God who wants us share with Him the same Body and Blood.


Credits: Father Joseph Varghese Kureethara, CMI

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