St Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church, Bensalem, PA will be celebrating the 114th Memorial Feast of St Gregorios on November 4th, 5th and 6th.
Very Rev. PM Zacharia Corepiscopa (NY), Rev. Fr. Dr. Ninan K. George (Professor, Orthodox Theology Seminary, Kottayam), Rev. Fr. Shinoj Thomas (Vicar, St. Gregorios, Clifton, NJ) and Philadelphia area Orthodox Priests will lead this years Perunnal.
We cordially invite you to this blessed occasion.
Dear Beloved in Christ,
St Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Church in Bensalem is celebrating the Parish day of our Church on May 21st, 2016 from 11am-2:30pm.
Please join us for an afternoon of delicious North Indian and South Indian food, entertaining cultural songs and dances by SGMOC members, short felicitations by Bensalem community leaders, a video documentary on the history of the Indian Orthodox Church and much more!
We are saddened to inform you of the passing of Dr. Shibu Kuncheriah (43), who was called to the Eternity on Tuesday, April 5 at San Antonio, TX.
Dr. Shibu is the beloved husband of Mrs. Lincy, our member till her marriage, the beloved brother of Mrs. Shyla George and the beloved brother in law of Mrs. Princy Mathai.
SGMOC parish family offers heartfelt condolences and prayers. May God give peace and rest to the departed soul and comfort the family.
May Dr. Shibu’s memory be eternal!
The viewing & funeral
Puente & Sons Funeral Chapel
14325 Judson rd,
San Antonio TX 78233
Times and Services:
Friday, April 8 – Viewing: 5pm-9pm
Saturday, April 9 – Viewing: 8am-9:30am
Holy Cross cemetery:
17501 Nacogdoches rd,
San Antonio TX 78266
Saturday, April 9 – Procession to Cemetery and Service: 10:30am-12pm
All times noted are Central time zone
It is with saddened heart and tears, we inform you, the heavenly departure of our beloved Aniyan Philip (53), after a long and tireless battle with Cancer. He was called to Eternity, Thursday, February 25th at 7 PM, peacefully, after receiving all sacramental rites and surrounded by the family with prayers and tears. He is survived by, wife – Mrs. Suja Philip and Children- Arun Philip & Austin Philip (our beloved Acolytes ). Aniyan Philip was a righteous man, lived his life according to the faith and practice of the Holy Orthodox Church, silently with smiling face. He was basically a family man, worked tirelessly with his job at Red Cross, for the welfare of his family. we acknowledged his sincere and efficient service to the Managing Committee of the parish for the year 2013. The selfless Service of Mrs. Suja Philip and the Sacred Service of Mr. Arun Philip & Austin Philip as acolytes are priceless. The SGMOC family, offers all support and prayers to the bereaving family in this difficult time. May God give Rest and Peace to the departed soul and console the family with HIS Everlasting peace.
Trusting in the perfect will of God, and with the hope of resurrection, Let me inform you all about the sudden demise of our sister Jokline Joseph (39), yesterday evening at the Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia. She was survived by his beloved husband Mr. Jacob Philip (Joint Treasurer of our parish), and children Joshua, Anna and Christin.
I know it’s a very tough time for the family and the parish family. Let us face it and get through this by the Grace and Mercy of the Lord. The only thing we can do at this time is to pray for the departed soul, and to give comfort and support to the family.
Remembering the love, and service of Philip family to our parish especially the silent service of Jokline. May God comfort the family.
Memorial Prayer Service:
Thursday and Saturday @ 6.30 PM at the house of Jacob Philip & Jokline, 1124 Willian Penn Drive, Bensalem, PA 19020.
There will be a prayer service at the residence of Jokline’s parent’s house on Tuesday evening.
Monday and Wednesday, there will be evening prayer at Jacob’s house.
Viewing Service: On Sunday, (November 8)
3 PM – 4 PM: family and church family.
4 PM – 8 PM: Public viewing.
Funeral/Interment Service: Monday, (November 9)
9 AM – 10 AM – Viewing followed by funeral service and interment at SGMOC Cemetery at 11.30 am.
All service related with viewing and funeral will be at our church.
Lord Have Mercy,
Mid Lent feast to be celebrated – Holy Qurbana on Tuesday 3.10.15 @ 6:30pm
In God’s creation story there is an interesting point to notice and to think it over. God said, “It is good” after creating the universe – sky, earth, water, sea, plants, trees, animals and so on. But He said no comments about the man and woman, He created. Instead, He blessed the male and female saying, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it.” [Genesis 1:18] The reason may be this: The man and woman are not perfect, but they have the possibility left in them to grow into perfection, even to the last day of their life. That means, we should not underestimate and condemn a person as bad man or woman. There is always a chance for a person to change and grow in good character; there is goodness inside, because God’s image is within him/her.
We can make a person to look good or bad. There are two factors that lead people to the possibility of becoming a good one or a bad one. They are, 1. Love: 2. No Love. Love can awaken the source of goodness in a person. By loving the person whom we think he does not deserve our love will bring positive changes in that person’s life.
It is the great lesson that the resurrected Christ taught us for example that His disciples deserved some rebuke and scolding from Him because they behaved thankless and rude to Him. Jesus lived with them for more than three years and defended them against the critics and justified their weakness and shortcomings. Yet they left Him alone and ran away to save their life when Jesus was in trouble. One of the disciples betrayed Him. They turned to be thankless and without loyalty. They knew that they were wrong and feeling fear and guilt while they were sitting in the closed room. It was at that time the resurrected Jesus appeared to them. Instead of complaining and criticizing them Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you.” The love towards them really transformed their lives completely. Then they decided that they would stand for Him forever even if they have to give up their lives. Jesus showed so much love and trust in goodness of their hearts. That trusting nature of Christ would be the reason for Him to influence the whole world.
Jesus always looks who we can be, rather than who we are. Then He will transform individual life by being with them, like changed water into wine.
The problem with us is that we do not have sound mind and attitude to trust others. Trusting may not be acceptable for practical thinkers. Jesus Christ put His trust in Peter and changed him, entrusted to him the key of the Church. The history teaches us that Jesus was not at all wrong by trusting Peter and His other disciples. Later, the world said about them “The men who turned the world upside down”
Reprimands and punishments may make people obedient but in their hearts they may nurture a grudge. Only the people who love and trust others unconditionally can bring out the goodness in them and make them change their mind and lives. We make big mistakes when we guess and form certain negative opinion about others. Sometimes our opinion may be right, sometimes wrong. Our opinions may have been formed out of certain incidents in the past. We may say such people may not change. We may be criticizing with the intention to make them good. But this negative approach may not work.
What is the right way?
When dealing with children, parents should be aware of implications of scolding them. Many a time, issues can be resolved with a look or stance. Here I give an example story of Ryokan, a Guru and Spiritual Consult, for our attention and understanding. One day the mother of his nephew complained Ryokan about her son, “He does no work, squanders his father’s money in wild parties and is neglecting the estate. If he does not reform, we will be ruined.”
Ryokan visited his nephew who was genuinely pleased to see him. The two of them had spent many happy hours together. The young man knew why his uncle had come and braced himself for the scolding he was sure he would receive. But Ryokan said not a word in rebuke, the whole day. The next day morning when it was time for him to go, he put on his garments and then said to his nephew: “Will you help me tie the thongs of my sandals? My hands shake and I cannot do it.”
His nephew helped him willingly.
“Thank you,” said Ryokan. “A man becomes older and feebler day by day. You remember how strong and robust I used to be?”
“I do,” said his nephew, thoughtfully. “I do indeed remember how you used to be.”
It was the moment of truth for him. He suddenly realized that his mother and all those who had looked after him had become old and that it was now his turn to look after them and to take on the responsibilities of the household and the community. The boy gave up his dissolute life forever.
Rude way of reprimands and punishments may not be fruitful, even though we may do it sometimes, depending the seriousness of the matter. Advice wrapped in love may be very effective.
‘For indeed, the Kingdom of God is within you.’ [St. Luke 17:21]
As per today’s scripture reading, we have the discourse of Lord Jesus Christ with His disciples, upon occasion of an inquiry of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God that is, the kingdom of the Messiah, which there was great expectation, should appear.
The Pharisees asked Jesus, ‘when the Kingdom of God would come on earth?’ Answering to this question Jesus said, the kingdom of God does not come with observation, it has already come in the world. Kingdom of God had commenced in this world through Jesus Christ who is the king of the kingdom. Jesus had told, whoever had seen me had seen My Father, God. But Pharisees could not realize that Jesus is the Son of God and Messiah whom they were expecting for centuries. Kingdom of the Messiah was to be a spiritual kingdom, and not temporal and external. At the birth of Christ, the wise men from the east, forecasted by seeing a special star in the heaven that a divine king is born in Judea. They came in search of the new born king, met Him in manger of Bethlehem and worshiped Him.
Kingdom of God is a spiritual reality present within the Christian believer and within community of the Church. “Within you” can also be translated “among you” or “in your midst”. The Kingdom of God is not a future entity to go after the death, but it is a present experience while we are living on the earth. Where there is Jesus Christ there is heaven.
According to the Holy Bible there are six conditions to enter into the Kingdom of God.
Due to limitation of time for the sermon I would like to limit our detailed discussion only on the first point in above conditions.
Desire to serve the people especially the poor. [Ref: St. Matthew 25:34-35]
The cited scripture reference is concerning the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Last Judgment and the end of the world. We have here a description of the process of the last judgment in the great day which talks of the separating between the sheep and the goats, and the dialogues between the judge and the persons judged.
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. The godly are like sheep – innocent, mild, patient, useful: the wicked are like goats.
Then the King will say to those on His right, ”Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world For I was hungry, and you gave Me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.”
Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Contextually I would like to witness you that there are many people in the world who are in same pathetic situation as Jesus described who need our sincere support and help in their helpless conditions. During my mission in Kerala I came across many such people in Vazhoor who needed sincere help from us. Their cry and tears was really a heart opening scene for me.
Jesus Christ was always seen as a service minded divine person, having mercy upon the sick, hungry and all the people in the community who were in need, not only poor but also generous rich. Serving those in need is a part of divinity. Wedding host in Cana (St. John 2:1-10) was possibly a rich man. Still He was the Lord of mercy there taking care of their needs. He is looking after every Godly while sitting in the right side of His Father in heaven. So being His disciples, we cannot and should not close our eyes towards those who need our help and support to sustain life.
In order to do noble deeds we need to have noble thoughts in our hearts. Noble thoughts become noble deeds as word became man, Jesus Christ.
Glory of the Kingdom of God does not strike men’s fancies, but affects their spirits, and its power is over their souls and consciences. The kingdom of God will not change men’s outward condition, but their hearts and lives. When it comes it makes those humble, and serious, and heavenly that was proud, and vain.