Arulvakku

03.02.10 NATIVE PLACE

Posted under Reflections on February 2nd, 2010 by

He departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. (Mk 6,1-2)
Native place, in the case of Jesus, seems to raise a question. Native place is where one has grown from his childhood days. The people of the place know the individual thoroughly. They know his origin, his parents, his talents, his strengths and  weaknesses.
They have a slot and one has to fit into that fully. The way one dresses, speaks and moves about can be easily 
detected (and predicted) if one knows the place of the origin of the individual. One is cultured in his own village.
When one behaves differently in his own native place then people wonder as if something has happened to him. 
People expected him to be another synagogue preacher. They expected him to tell people how to obey the law of God. They thought that he would explain the prophets.
But he was speaking on his own authority: and from where he was, the kingdom was etc. This is the odd thing. But they have heard what he has done in other places and what he has preached and how people followed him in crowds.
Lack of faith, it seems, seriously hinders Jesus’ power. This is an important message. 
When Jesus is seen with human eyes, social eyes etc, then he is a Jew and all that he has that belong to the 
town of Nazareth. 
When he is seen with an eye of faith, then he is the Son of  God, Messiah, preacher of the kingdom of God and 
miracle  worker.
Will we find faith in the native place, in our relatives and friends. Caution: this should not be an excuse for our inactivity.
Faith yes, even in the native place!!!

02.02.10 PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

Posted under Reflections on February 1st, 2010 by

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male  that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,”  (Lk 2,22-23)

God created the world. 
All creation belongs to God. 
Every new creation also belongs to God.
 And whatever comes out of the created world also belongs to God. 
Since they belong to God, man cannot have any claim over them.
Every fruit from the trees,
every grain from the fields, 
every sheep even 
every child that is born belongs to God. 
And hence man has no claim over them. 
Man has to offer them or bring them to God. 
It is this conviction that made the people of Israel to offer the first fruits to God. They offer the first fruits and say to God ” I have toiled and brought forth these fruits. They all belong to You.
But I offer some of them to you so that I may have the rest for my use” 
Thus the tradition of offering the first fruits come to be  practiced. 
The first child that opens the womb also belong to God and hence it has to be offered to God.
A practice which becomes a tradition later enters into legal  system. In this legal system there is also the  possibility of  offering a substitute offering. This is the practice that we in todays reading.
What is important is the prophecy of Simeon: “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” This again gives the role of Jesus in his ministry. He has to reveal God to the non-Israelites and bring the glory of God to the people of Israel. A  beautiful mission.
So can we say that all creation belong to God and all have the same mission: to reveal God and the glory of God.
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