SpecialGifts.com
Exceptional Values. Save Big!
GrandmasRemedies.com
Quality Vitamins and Supplements
EntrepreneurismBible.com
Your bible for entrepreneurism and personal development.

Home

Search

Holisticonline Home

Inspirational Reading

Healthy Recipes

Nutrition & Diet

Meditation

Prayer/ Spirituality

Selected Prayers

Preferred Providers
Conditions/ Treatments
Alternative Therapies
Feedback
Alternative Medicine

Stress Management

Yoga

Register

Media

Herbal Medicine

Holisticonline.com

Christmas Message -2002
By Rev. Fr. John K. K.

“How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Luke 1:34.

Luke’s annunciation dialogue is impressive and natural. When Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced the birth of Savior, Mary’s reaction was quite simple, straightforward and honest which revealed her chastity, humility and innocence. Her immaculate (do not confuse with Immaculate conception theory) mind could not comprehend or assimilate an idea of conception without involvement of man for there was no precedence in history. Though an element of wonderment deserves recognition Mary’s question is a sober requisition for further clarification.

Mary’s assertion that she knew no man attests her virginity. Mary was betrothed to Joseph but they had not come together. Jewish custom required that betrothed man and woman were called husband and wife but forbidden from intimate contacts before marriage. Marriage was usually solemnized after one year from the day of betrothal. Thus the word ‘husband or wife’ does not indicate consummation of marriage. Similarly ‘father’ (Luke 2:48) does not mean biological father. Luke states here how Jesus and Joseph were known in the society, verse 3:23. None other than Mary, Elizabeth and Joseph knew about the supernatural conception for, it was hidden for the safety of Child Jesus. Had the true identity of Child Jesus been revealed, the plan of redemption would have been in jeopardy as is evident from the narration of infanticide by Herod, Mat 2:7-18. 

All incidents were fulfillment of past prophecies. Mor Ignatius Noorono says, “The virginity of Mary, her giving birth and death of the Lord were hidden from the prince of this world, three mysteries loudly proclaimed but wrought in silence of God,” Eph 19:1. So let no one twist the Word of God to utter a blasphemy that Mary had conjugal relations with Joseph, she bore again, Jesus had blood brother, etc for one’s own perdition. 

Mary was no doubt startled at the unexpected salutation and announcement and yet she was conscious to seek clarification. The angel encouraged her repeating, “fear not,” and clarified the matter. Whether or not she fathomed the whole mystery, I believe she did at that point, voluntarily and willfully submitted to the divine plan and that special quality exalts Mary from all the rest.

Abraham and Sarah had similar dialogue with angel who said to Abraham that he would be father of nations. He was 100 years old and Sarah was 90. Their first reaction was ‘how can it be?’ Abraham and Sarah laughed at the idea as totally unrealistic for they had passed childbearing age. God did not punish for their disbelief. God accommodates human weaknesses. 

Zechariah, the priest had the same thought for the same reason. Angel considered his response as disbelief and punished him with dumbness till the prophecy came to pass. Zechariah can be vindicated from human perspective because there was no prophecy for 400 years from Malachi, a turbulent period in Israel’s history because of conquest of Phillip of Macedonia, Alexander, Hellenistic culture, persecution by Antiochus Epiphanus, destruction of Jerusalem temple, scattering of Jews all over the Hellenistic world, rise and fall of Maccabees, Roman invasion, dynasty of Herod who was Edomite, etc. Since God was silent during this tumultuous period he too did not anticipate any unusual occurrence. But God does not see as humans, 1 Sam 16:16. Zechariah, being matured priest, should not have disbelieved when the angel said. This serves a stern warning for all, especially priests and bishops who are not conscious and not vigilant of their calling.

Zechariah and Mary are not the only who crossed the threshold of trying moments. Joseph was righteous before God and faithful to his master. Yet he was unjustly imprisoned. Sons of Jacob returned from Egypt without Simeon and wanted to take Benjamin before Pharaoh. Jacob was thoroughly banished saying, “All things are against me,” Gen 42:36. 

Men of Ai smote Israelites and they failed. Joshua fell down to earth and asked God, ‘How can it be,’ Josh 7:6. Job was perfect, upright, shunned evil and feared God and yet he lost all wealth and all his children. Sore boil affected him from toe to head. He sat down in ash and scratched his skin. He could not understand why he had to face such perils. He cursed his own birth. 

David, man after God’s own heart, 1 Sam 13:14, faced countless problems. He fled from Saul for fear of death. Incest and revolt broke out from within his house. He fled in utter despair from his palace in exile fearing Absalom, his son. 

Prophet Jeremiah lamented if had an inn to get away from the stubborn and sinful people. Elijah fled for fear of his life and said, “It is enough now Oh Lord, take away my life,” 1 K 19:4. Daniel, man of great esteem, faced lion’s den for his devoutness in prayer.

Perplexing conflicts are common in life. Abrupt information whether good or bad would turn people blue as in excitement of winning lottery, union of long lost friend, etc. There are more than enough reasons for us to bewilder, natural calamities, terminal illness, financial lose, death, etc. Year 2000 ended in grip of fear due to foolish prognosis about end of the world coupled with Y2K problem. 2001 ended in panic followed by, 9/11 terrorism, collapse of WTC, etc. 2002 was not too good either. Recent sniper attacks in DC outwitted even Columbine shooting. Normal life came to a standstill. Danger of war hangs on a slender thread. On the one-hand doctors, bio-scientists, social reformers, leaders, charitable agencies, etc tirelessly work to ameliorate human suffering. On the other hand injustice, exploitation, lawlessness, violence, destruction, hate-crime, immorality, etc imperils the very existence of life. War is deadliest form of terrorism. One wonders why peace-loving governments would pursue it! Who knows what is in store for 2003?

Today as never before we have too many reasons to feel sad. There is a paradigm shift in the family concept. Nucleus family replaced joint family. Individual unit replaced family unit. In most cases today’s family is nothing more than a dwelling place. Each member in it comes, goes, eats and sleeps at different times to suit job and educational conveniences. TV replaced bible and prayer. Persons live like islands under the same roof due to absence of love and communication. No wonder, despite all scientific and technological advancements human society has reversed to 3500 years when, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” Judges 21:25 that is lawlessness and immorality.

All these never ending calamities tempt an honest person to ask why man is unable to shun evil ways and turn to God? General Omar Bradley, Chief of Staff said, “With the monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has clearly outstripped our capacity to control it. We have many men of science, but too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Man is stumbling blindly through a spiritual darkness while toying with the precarious secrets of life and death. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more killing than we know about living. This is our twentieth century’s claim to distinction and to progress,” from his speech at Boston on Nov 10, 1948. Then nuclear warfare was an infant. Present nuclear warfare is 1.3 Million times more potent.

Biological weapon is another monster. Man spends $10 Million each minute world over for warfare. Advancement of technology and improved living standards could not ameliorate human suffering or to attain harmony. “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these things were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us.” Thus said Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago when the social fabric was comparatively far better than today. I wonder, with the moral upheavals that took place by the passage of time what he would have said of today!

Had Isaac Newton not questioned his intellect why the apple fell to ground instead of flying upwards we would not have got the law of motion and gravitation. Had James Watt not asked himself why the lid of the boiling pot pushed itself up, we would not have got steam engine! Behind every invention/discovery and its applications, without which the present society could hardly function, there is a mind that questioned, how could it be? Inquisitiveness is good.

Angel answered Mary’s question with reverence for God favored her. She is full of grace and model for all Christians. Mary led a sinless life. Ironically, we accept Christ yet live in sin. Let us change! 

Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year!

[More Recipes][More Great Reading][Holistic Living Home][Holisticonline Home]

1stholistic.com and Holisticonline.com are developed and maintained by ICBS
Send mail to: info@holisticonline.com with comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1998-2013 ICBS Terms of Use
All Rights Reserved.