My new questions are;
1. The meaning of 'let the dead bury their own dead (St. Math 8:22). Is it a proverb in Hebrew?
2. Should we sell all the properties and give it to poor to become true X'ians?
3. How the kingdom of god is related to non X'ians? We read all the nations will be gathered before our Lord and will be judged according to their works.
4. The meaning of 'shubaho veekkoro u segutho u rabisiyo yuso....' in the morning prayer.
5. The name in Syriac for the arch works in front of the thronose like in Manarcadu church.
Repy 1: The matter is a sort of tricky answer from Jesus. This is against selfish and proud attitude of people. There are people who think they have to things all by themselves which is practically impossible for any one. Here in this case, the young person can not busy his father all by himself. He needs few more people to do that. If he joins the fold of Jesus, he will become a child of heavenly father and will be a brother to Jesus and all other followers of Jesus would become his brothers and sisters. Consequently his father will become the father of all the followers of Jesus. They it is not any more just the responsibility of this young person to bury his father, rather there will be a larger community including Jesus himself to join him as brothers and sisters to bury his father. If that does not happen, he has to live his life and do things all alone and that will be just equal to be dead. Then he can bury his father as another dead person who has no one to share his life and struggles in life. This is what happened to Adam in the garden of Edan. He was still alive though God had warned him that 'when he eats of the fruit of the garden, he would die'. Even after eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, still he was physically alive. But his relation with his wife became stratified, his children's relationship became strayed and one killed the other. In fact he became a dead person in terms of relationship. This would have happened to the young person who wanted to follow Jesus after he buried his father. Jesus wanted him to be a wise man and be part of a larger caring community.
Reply 2: If you follow the pattern literally, when you sell your property and give it to the poor, you will become poor and then the one who got the property will have to sell it to give to some other poor person. Again since you have become poor some one else has to sell his property and give it to you. Then that person will be poor, further a third person has to sell his property to give to this fellow. Those who got the property of the rich man may become rich and later he has to sell it. What happened in Kerala was some thing similar to this. When feudalism was abolished, those Christian tenants got all the property they worked on and the feudal lords became poor. But we Christians never gave any thing to any one except a microscopic percentage in the name of charity.
The point is, Jesus did not mean what he told the rich person to be taken literally. There are things valuable in life and priorities have to be set. As for this person, he wanted to get in to the kingdom of God. But for him priorities in life were not fitting to be in the kingdom of God. His attitude was that it can be achieved by following the Mosaic law and commandments. Jesus had already told the people about the limits of the law of Moses in Matt. ch. 5 and else where. Formation of the law and giving of commandments had a purpose. That was to guide the community in a balanced and just manner under a given socio-political environment. Laws will change, but basic values can not. The primary value is to love God and the next one is to love fellow beings or creation of God. On the contrary, he loved riches and possessions. Then he thought simply knowing few laws and living them will save a person. When Jesus asked him to sell his property, he simply vanished. This clearly shows his attachment to riches. This can be compared with what he said about limb and eye causing hindrance (Mark 9:47). He was not asking people to chop off limbs and eyes, rather asking them to keep the priorities in place and if there is any thing that does not help do that, simply take control over it. If you are too much attached to your property, control that. This can happen regarding our attitude to children, husband, wife, father, mother, education, carrier, power any thing in this world except God and our love towards Him and His creation.
Reply 3: Why do you worry about non-Christians? You mind your own life with God. After Jesus' resurrection while He was talking to His disciples, Peter asked Jesus about the fate of John. Jesus' answer was, in today's English, 'mind your own business, I will decide what should happen to him' (John 21: 20ff.). Ultimately one's final destiny is decided by God. If we were more loving those Hindus would have become one with us. We never did that (blame it on us). So my reply to your question is in the same line, leave it to God to decide the destiny of Hindus and people of other faiths. You live your life according to what you learned.
Reply 4. Stuthiyum stotravum vanakkavum valiya pukazhchayum manjupokatha nalla unnathiyum pithavinum putranum parisudha roohakkum nirantharam karettunnu.
Reply 5: This is not seen in Manarkadu Church alone. It is seen in many other Churches. It is called the holy of holies or Khud Kudsin. This symbolizes the tent that housed the ark of covenant, now the holy table of our Lord.
Regards and prayers
We, four friends were discussing the meaning of the Kukiliyon lines, "Atmam matram tharuvil kai vittu; nija saramsham meniyil nivasichu". After pondering over more than half an hour what we thought was like this.
Jesus died on cross. But Jesus was man and God. When he died on cross, the man in him died and thus the purpose of His coming to earth in flesh accomplished. The soul was separated at this death as is stated in gospels. But the man remained with the body, that is the dead body. The God in Him remained alive and that is why He could resurrect and also before resurrection, He could preach gospel to the dead. When He resurrected, he was transformed and was only God in Him and noman.
Thirumeni, we do not know to what extent we are right and wrong. I look forward to a clarification from Your Grace. Instead of asking the meaning straight, I thought we will share with Your Grace what we understood of our own.
Your spiritual son,
First of all, it will not wise on our part to dissect meditative hymns and prayers with sharp theological reasoning all the time. Many of the hymns and prayers our liturgy has its development stages and they may not always reflect strict theological ideas. This is a caution we need to take when we try to understand our liturgical prayers and hymns.
The early Church was troubled with the question of how can Jesus be both God and human. To their experience, He was both. But to explain it was not easy, particularly in human language. This crisis can be seen in many places in many forms.
It is a fact that Jesus did die on the cross. But how that affects His body and Godhead is the question. Since He is God, Godhead cannot die, and since the body of Jesus is the God incarnate body, it cannot be estranged from Godhead. This is the situation. What exactly is death also has to be put in perspective here. Death is the body losing the spirit (this spirit can not be confused with H. spirit. This is the breath that keeps body moving and doing things). In death sprit loses its control over the body. The question here is does it mean that the body loses the Godhead united to it? This is this question the hymn addresses. The hymn says, no, it continues to have the Godhead (saramsam) with it. To sum up, of course the body God took died and the spirit was separated from the body, but it did not lose the Godhead’s presence with it. This is what the hymn is talking about.
This provides us with hope even in death. The body Jesus took is that of universal humanity, which our humanity, with body and spirit present. To this the presence of God which was lost in Adam is added through Jesus’ incarnation with His life, death, resurrection, ascension and being seated at the right hand side of the Father. When we die, the body is separated from the spirit. But what happened in Jesus’ death effects in us and the presence of God is not lost either to our body or to our spirit. This is why we confess that at the second coming the body transformed will be resurrected. Any thing that is united to God can not be lost, but only can be transformed. So at the second coming we with body transformed and spirit in one person will stand before God.
Regards and prayers