13 Brain Foods – Boost your Brain and Memory

13 Brain Foods – Boost your Brain and Memory

1. Almonds– increase blood flow to the brain

2. Blueberries – improve learning and motor skills

3. Walnuts — high in omega 3

4. Brussels sprouts — has tryptophan which converts to seroten in brain health

5. Broccoli — assists in brain functioning

6. Cauliflower — assists in cleansing white matter in brain

7. Ginger – anti inflammatory

8. Apples – power food for mind , body & emotions

9. Watermelon- targets brain function

10. Cabbage – help in lowering risk of brain, lung & prostate cancer

11. Lettuce – helps increase blood flow to the brain

12. Rockmelon – supports the brain

13. Pine Nuts — stimulate brain activity

ഞായറാഴ്ച പ്രസംഗങ്ങള്‍: Sunday Homilies / Sunday Sermons: Malayalam, English

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About Mangalapuzha Seminary

Mangalapuzha Seminary

St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha (സെന്റ്‌ ജോസഫ് പൊന്റിഫിക്കല്‍ സെമിനാരി,  മംഗലപ്പുഴ) is a Major Seminary of the Syro-Malabar Church of the St. Thomas Christians.  It is the continuation of several Seminaries and the outcome of the centralization of the priestly formation in Kerala.   It has a long history of untiring service and selfless sacrifice of several missionaries, native clergy and laity.

 In 1964 the seminary was raised to Pontifical status by the Holy See.  His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. James Robert Knox read the Papal Brief at a public meeting in the seminary on 14 June 1964.The Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference (K.C.B.C.) was entrusted with the direction and administration of the Seminary On 12 June 1976.  On 27 October 1973, a formal request was made by the Superior General of the Carmelite Order for the transfer of the direction and administration from the Superior General of the Order to the Catholic Hierarchy of Kerala.  On 12 June 1976 the Congregation for the Oriental Churches communicated to the Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Conference the decision of the Congregation for the Oriental churches and the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples to transfer the direction of the seminary to the K.C.B.C.  The letters of the Congregations recall the concern of the two Congregations for the well-being and progress of the Pontifical Seminary and its continuance as a model of inter-ritual cooperation.  The statutes of the Seminary approved by the two Congregations state ‘St. Joseph’s Pontifical is a pluriritual institution, common to the three Rites, namely the Syro-Malabar, the Latin and the Syro-Malankara.  The seminary belongs to the Holy See and its direction and administration is entrusted to the Conference of Bishops of the three Rites of Kerala, subject to the high authority of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples’.

 The request of the KCBC to reorganize  the seminary on the basis of the Rites was approved by the Holy See in 1996.  Concrete steps for the implementation of the project were taken at the end of the academic year 1996-1997.  With academic year 1997-1998 Mangalapuzha section started to function as the Major Seminary of the Syro-Malabar Church.  Now the seminary is subject to the Holy See under the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and its direction and administration are entrusted to the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Synod.

The objective of the seminary is to provide priestly formation to the seminarians of the Syro-Malabar Eparchies.  Members of Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic life who are preparing themselves for priestly ministry as well as seminarians of other Eastern Churches may also be admitted according to the availability of accommodation.

 The programme of formation given here aims at the development of a fully integrated priestly personality taking into account the human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral and missionary dimensions of priestly formation.  While giving this formation the seminary also gives particular emphasis to the study of traditions and heritages of the Church of St. Thomas Christians and of other Eastern Churches taking into consideration the religious and cultural context of India.  The seminary also gives importance to inter religious dialogue particularly with the religions of India.  There are also con-curricular activities as part of the seminary formation such as cultural academies to train the students in the art of public speaking, social work in order to create in them concern for the poor, the pastoral work for the Theology students to give them pastoral experience.

Mangalapuzha seminary (മംഗലപ്പുഴ സെമിനാരി) has been blessed with the presence of about 22 resident members of the staff and almost an equal number of visiting staff.  Regular staff meetings, prayer sessions and an exclusive annual retreat help to motivate and mobilize them in the desired direction of seminary life and formation.

Aeterni Sacerdotii
Pasce oves meas

 

Aeterni Sacerdotii

On February 24, 1972, the congregation for Catholic Education issued a decree erecting a Theological Faculty in the Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye. The first step towards the realization of the plan for a Faculty had been taken on October 1959, when the Congregation issued a decree affiliating the theology department of the Seminary with the Lateran University. With this, the theology department of the Seminary became “Studium Theologicum” which was governed by norms given by the University and a convention between the Rector of the Lateran University and the Rector of the seminary. In April 1971, the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council sent a petition to the Congregation for the erection of an autonomous Faculty. On February 24, 1972, the Congregation for Catholic education issued the decree erecting the Theological Faculty in the Pontifical seminary. The decree granted the new Faculty all the rights and privileges which were enjoyed by Theological Faculties. It also empowered the Faculty to confer suitable degrees to students who are successful in their studies and research. The power of conferring the degrees of Bachelor and Master (Licentiate) in theology was explicitly granted. On 15th February 1973, the Pontifical Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Alwaye, was officially inaugurated by His Excellecy, the Most Rev.Dr.John Gordon, the then Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to India. On 25th April 1997, through a decree the congregation for Catholic Education separated the Pontifical Institute from the Pontifical Seminary. At present the Pontifical Institute functions at two separate campuses – Mangalapuzha and Carmelgiri, and offers simultaneously courses of theology and philosophy in both campuses.

At present the Institute is empowered to confer the following degrees. Bachelor of Philosophy; Bachelor of Theology; Master of theology; Doctor of theology. For the degree of Master of theology Spiritual theology, dogmatic theology, Pastoral theology and Counseling and Biblical theology are offered by the Institute as branches of specialization.

Though the St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary has been reorganized on the basis of rites(the Mangalapuzha section for the Syro Malabar Church and the Carmeligiri section for the Latins), the Pontifical Institute remains common and is autonomous It is governed by the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council.(K.C.B.C.).

The academic community of the seminary is composed of two categories, namely the resident students and the day scholars. The latter have their religious study houses around the seminary and come to the seminary only for class. The resident students are mainly from the Syro-Malabar dioceses in Kerala and outside. There are also a few students belonging to the Syro-Malankara dioceses and a handful from religious communities having no houses nearby. The number of resident students is 280 and of the day scholars is 144 in the academic year 2006-2007.

Mangalapuzha seminary (മംഗലപ്പുഴ സെമിനാരി) has been maintaining a close collaboration with other seminaries. A common “Programme for Formators” for the staff of the Syro-Malabar seminaries was organized under the auspices of the Syro-Malabar synod of bishops. Informal meetings of the staff of the seminaries were also held with sharing sessions. Such gatherings help the staff to know each other, to share the problems of formation in each seminary and eventually to arrive at solutions. As far as the students of various seminaries are concerned there are inter-seminary matches in Volleyball and Basketball, inter-seminary Quiz Competition, debate Competition, Homily Competition etc.

Mangalapuzha seminary has a cemetery chapel, which is a place of pilgrimage. The bodies of Venerable Aurelian OCD and the Servant of God Zacharias OCD of blessed memory rested there for decades. Their mortal remains were solemnly transferred to the special tombs in the Carmelite Monastery Church at Manjummel.

As regards the finance of the seminary the various papal agencies, namely CNEWA, Opus Sancti Petri and MISSIO have been rendering wonderful service to the seminary. The Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Congregation for the Catholic Education render special care and support to the seminary and its activities.

The undivided St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha, (സെന്റ്‌ ജോസഫ് പൊന്റിഫിക്കല്‍ സെമിനാരി,  മംഗലപ്പുഴ) celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its transfer from Puthenpally to Mangalapuzha on 9th and 10th of March 1983. This year 2007 the seminary celebrates the Platinum Jubilee of its transfer to Mangalapuzha. On this occasion the seminary remembers with gratitude all benefactors and the zealous discalzed Carmelite missionaries for their outstanding contribution to the Church in Kerala especially in the field of priestly formation. The statement of Msgr. Martin Lucas SVD, the then Apostolic Internuncio, on the occasion of the inauguration of Carmelgiri seminary on 24 November 1955, is the best compliment for them. “If the Carmelite Fathers had done nothing else for the Church in Kerala,but build these two splendid and magnificent seminaries, India would never forget them”.

History of Mangalapuzha Seminary

Mangalapuzha Seminary

A Glance Through Its History

(Dr.Pallipurathukunnel is professor of Church History at the Pontifical Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Alwaye. The article is a brief history of the priestly training programme in Kerala from the ancient to modern times .It also traces the growth of the Mangalapuzha Seminary and highlights the contributions which the Carmelite Missionaries have made in this field.)

St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha is a Major Seminary of the Syro-Malabar Church of the St. Thomas Christians. It is the continuation of several Seminaries and the outcome of the centralization of the priestly formation in Kerala. It has a long history of untiring service and selfless sacrifice of several missionaries, native clergy and laity.

Until the sixteenth century the St. Thomas Christians of Kerala followed the general system of education of Malabar known as ‘Gurukulavasam’, which means living with the teacher. Such a system of the formation of the clergy was known as Malpanate.

Seminaries under European Missionaries

With the arrival of the European Missionaries in India in the sixteenth century Seminaries, after the model of the formation houses of Europe according to the prescriptions of the council of Trent, were started by the missionaries belonging to different Religious Orders. These Seminaries helped much in raising the standard of the clergy. With the opening of such Seminaries the Malpanate system gradually died out.

1. The Franciscan Seminary At Cranganore: 1541

A Portuguese Franciscan missionary, Frey Viacente de Lagos started a college /Seminary at Cranganore in 1541. He had the support of the bishop of the St. Thomas Christians, Mar Jacob (1502-1522) and of Fr. George, a St. Thomas Christian priest who studied in Portugal. St. Francis Xavier in his letter to the king of Portugal praised the attempt of Frey Viacente. There were about 100 students in this seminary when the saint wrote this letter.

This seminary was a failure because the missionaries did not take care to teach Syriac, the liturgical language of the St. Thomas Christians. Hence those who studied there could not administer the sacraments in the parishes of the St. Thomas Christians. The priests, who were ordained here, were disowned by them. They served the Latin diocese of Cochin. Mar Joseph, the successor of Mar Jacob, refused to ordain anyone who had studied in this seminary because of the lack of the knowledge of Syriac.

This Seminary was under the jurisdiction of Goa. The college continued to be under the Franciscans even after the establishment of Vaippicotta Seminary by the Jesuits. This college was a success in the sense that it produced well trained and good Latin priests from the community of the St. Thomas Christians. But in another sense, it was a failure since those trained there could be of no use to the St, Thomas Christians themselves. So the St. Thomas Christians stopped sending their children to this seminary and thus it came to an end.

2. The Jesuit Seminary At Vaippicotta: 1581

The Jesuits started a seminary at Vaippicotta in 1581 for St. Thomas Christians. Fr. Francis Roz S.J. was the Rector and the he taught Syriac in 1584. The excellent teaching in the seminary really attracted the St. Thomas Christians and they sent their children to it. It was under the jurisdiction of Mar Abraham, the bishop of the St. Thomas Christians.

This seminary became very famous. It was staffed by the Jesuits. There were 50 or 60 students who were taught the Humanities, Latin, Chaldean, the case of conscience, the rudiments of catholic faith and liturgy.

In 1627, the yogam at Edapilly decided to suppress Malpanates and to give instructions to send the students to Vaippicotta seminary. The following directions were given to the seminary :

To limit the number of admissions to Vaippicotta seminary

To select candidates from noble families

To select only the best to priesthood

To reach others to live as good Christians

Regarding the piety and exemplary life of the students of this seminary, there is a report of 1597. They increased more and more every day in number as well as in diligence to piety. Every fifteen days they receive the sacraments, sometimes more frequently. They do various penances and fasts. They are taught Syriac and Latin. They recite prayers at fixed hours every day. They speak about divine things with ardour.

When the Dutch captured the Portuguese possession of Cochin in 1663, the Jesuits were expelled from Vaippicotta and the seminary was turned to an asylum for lepers. They shifted the seminary to their house at Ambalakad, which was started in 1662. At Ambalakad the seminary for the Syrians was different from the Jesuit house of studies. This seminary was closed down legally with the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773. It was destroyed in 1789 during the raid of Tippu Sultan.

3. The Dominican Seminary At Kaduthuruthy: 1624

Fr. Francesco Donati, a Dominican, started a seminary at Kaduthuruthy for the St. Thomas Christians in 1624. He built a church dedicated to Our Lady and the seminary was attached to it. In the seminary Syriac was taught and Donati celebrated Holy Mass in Syriac and spoke Malayalam, the language of Kerala. The Jesuits opposed the entrance of the Dominicans to Kerala. The Jesuit archbishop Stephen Britto S.J. wrote to the Jesuit General and the Propaganda congregation to ask the Dominicans to withdraw from Kaduthuruthy. The Archdeacon favoured the Dominicans. In 1628 the Archdeacon wrote to the Pope against the Jesuits and recommended Fr. Francesco Donati to be appointed coadjutor bishop of Angamaly. Rome was in favour of such a step. Fr. Donati was called to Rome but on the way he has killed by the Moors. We do not know how long this seminary continued to function and when it ceased to exist.

4. The Discalzed Carmelite Seminary At Verapoly: 1682

Fr. Peter Paul of St. Therese OCD, a Carmelite missionary, started a seminary at Verapoly for the St. Thomas Christians in 1682. He appointed Bartholomew Anna, a Maronite priest to teach Syriac there. He requested the Propaganda to grant certain privileges and favours for the new seminary. This seminary ceased to function on account of the fight between the Propaganda and the Padoado and financial difficulties.

5. The Seminary At Verapoly And Alengad Under Propaganda: 1766 – 1866

After the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653, the Catholic St. Thomas Christians – the Syrians – became divided under two jurisdictions, i.e. Padroado and Propaganda. They could choose to be under any of these jurisdictions. In 1766 a seminary under Propaganda was instituted at Verapoly for the Latins and another at Alengad for the Syrian Catholics. In 1774 both the Latins and the Syrians were put together at Verapoly. Due to the dissension between the Carmelite missionaries and the Syrian clergy, the Syrians demanded separation of the Syrian students from the Latins. Therefore the unification was postponed to a suitable time. The Syrians were trained separately and mostly in the Malpanates and in the seminary at Alengad until 1854. Therefore there was no uniformity in the training of the clergy.

6. The Seminaries Under Native Carmelites

In 1854 all the Malpanates were suppressed and all the Syrian students were sent to five seminaries, namely those at Mannanam, Pallipuram, Pulincunnu, Vazhakulam and Elthuruthu. They were run by Syrian Carmelites. The Latin students continued to stay at Verapoly.

7. The Seminary Under Padroado: 1867 – 1886

The Syrian Catholics under Padroado had no seminary of their own, while those under Propaganda had seminaries conducted by the Carmelites at Verapoly and Alengad. Besides, the Syrian Catholics also wished to reestablish the extinct seminary of Vaippicotta. Therefore, 55 Syrian Catholic parishes of Padroado Archdiocese of Cranganore contributed their share towards buying a plot for a new seminary. The sum was entrusted to Parayil Avirah Varkey Tharakan of Thaikkattusserry. Since the amount collected from the parishes was not sufficient, Varkey Tharakan added Rs. 2000 which his great grandfather had given for this purpose and thus brought a property, covering forty acres at Mangalapuzha, Aluva, together with a two storied Bunglow situated in the property, from a European who was the owner – Mr. Schoetlier of Fort Cochin. In 1866 the ownership of the property was transferred and put in the name of the Archbishop of Goa for the purpose of erecting a seminary for the Syrian Catholics.

In 1867 the seminary was duly begun and Syrian Catholic clerics were regularly trained there. It seems that this seminary was run by the diocesan priests. The priests of the Archdiocese of Cranganore used to assemble there for the retreats and conferences. By the conclusion of the concordat with Portugal on 23 June 1886 and the establishment of the Latin Hierarchy of India under Propaganda on 1 September of the same year, the seminary at Mangalapuzha under Padroada ceased to function. The administration of the property was entrusted to the bishop of Cochin who could not of his own accord legally make any transaction relating to this property. The congregation of Extraordinary Affairs decided that the property should be under the Congregation for the Oriental churches,. Since it had been donated by Syrian Catholics.

8. The Central Seminary At Puthenpally: 1866 – 1932

The seminary at Verapoly was shifted to the new buildings at Puthenpally in the year 1866. In 1888 the seminary of Puthenpally was constituted the Major Central seminary for the whole of Malabar and was placed under the immediate jurisdiction of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide. Important changes were made in the curriculum of studies as demanded by the exigencies of time and circumstances. It was during this time that the study of the languages such as Sanskrit, Greek, Hebrew and Malayalam was introduced in the curriculum.

9. The Central Apostolic Seminary At Mangalapuzha, Aluva: 1932

Owing to the increase in the number of the students and the unhealthy location of Puthenpally, a new seminary with better accommodation was built at Mangalapuzha, Aluva, the same location of Padrado Seminary. On 1 June 1932, the Theological section was transferred from Puthenpally to the new seminary which was still under construction. In December of the same year, when more accommodation was made available in the new seminary, the Philosophy section too was transferred to Mangalapuzha. The official inauguration of the new seminary was performed on 28 January 1933 by Most Rev. Dr. Leo P. Kierkels C.P., the then Apostolic Delegate of India. The seminarians at that time numbered 274. On 2 January 1951 the inauguration and blessing of the chapel of the seminary by Most Rev. Dr. Leo P. Kierkels took place.

The increase in the clerical vocations necessitated further extension. The strength of the seminary in 1954 was 486 even though the maximum capacity of the seminary with all the extensions made was only for 450 students. The problem was soon solved when on 24 November 1955 the new Philosophical Seminary later named ‘Pontifical College, Carmelgiri’ was solemnly blessed and inaugurated by His Grace Most Rev. Martin Lucas, the then Apostolic Internuncio to India.

10. Further Development Of Mangalapuzha Seminary : The St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary

In 1964 the seminary was raised to Pontifical status by the Holy See. His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. James Robert Knox read the Papal Brief at a public meeting in the seminary on 14 June 1964.The Kerala Catholic Bishops Conference (K.C.B.C.) was entrusted with the direction and administration of the Seminary On 12 June 1976. On 27 October 1973, a formal request was made by the Superior General of the Carmelite Order for the transfer of the direction and administration from the Superior General of the Order to the Catholic Hierarchy of Kerala. On 12 June 1976 the Congregation for the Oriental Churches communicated to the Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Conference the decision of the Congregation for the Oriental churches and the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples to transfer the direction of the seminary to the K.C.B.C. The letters of the Congregations recall the concern of the two Congregations for the well-being and progress of the Pontifical Seminary and its continuance as a model of inter-ritual cooperation. The statutes of the Seminary approved by the two Congregations state ‘St. Joseph’s Pontifical is a pluriritual institution, common to the three Rites, namely the Syro-Malabar, the Latin and the Syro-Malankara. The seminary belongs to the Holy See and its direction and administration is entrusted to the Conference of Bishops of the three Rites of Kerala, subject to the high authority of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples’.

The Church of Kerala is greatly indebted to the dedicated missionaries of the Carmelite Order for the excellent formation they had imparted to the clergy of Kerala for over three centuries. It is a matter of great joy and honour for the seminary that the Cause for the beatification of two of its former professors, Fr. Aurelian OCD and Fr. Zacharias OCD has been taken up. Fr. Aurelian had served the seminary for 51 years and Fr. Zacharias for 45 years.

Mangalapuzha Seminary: The Major Seminary of the Syro-Malabar church

The request of the KCBC to reorganize the seminary on the basis of the Rites was approved by the Holy See in 1996. Concrete steps for the implementation of the project were taken at the end of the academic year 1996-1997. With academic year 1997-1998 Mangalapuzha section started to function as the Major Seminary of the Syro-Malabar Church. Now the seminary is subject to the Holy See under the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and its direction and administration are entrusted to the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Synod.

The objective of the seminary is to provide priestly formation to the seminarians of the Syro-Malabar Eparchies. Members of Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic life who are preparing themselves for priestly ministry as well as seminarians of other Eastern Churches may also be admitted according to the availability of accommodation.

The programme of formation given here aims at the development of a fully integrated priestly personality taking into account the human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral and missionary dimensions of priestly formation. While giving this formation the seminary also gives particular emphasis to the study of traditions and heritages of the Church of St. Thomas Christians and of other Eastern Churches taking into consideration the religious and cultural context of India. The seminary also gives importance to inter religious dialogue particularly with the religions of India. There are also con-curricular activities as part of the seminary formation such as cultural academies to train the students in the art of public speaking, social work in order to create in them concern for the poor, the pastoral work for the Theology students to give them pastoral experience.

Mangalapuzha seminary has been blessed with the presence of about 22 resident members of the staff and almost an equal number of visiting staff. Regular staff meetings, prayer sessions and an exclusive annual retreat help to motivate and mobilize them in the desired direction of seminary life and formation.

The Pontifical Institute of Theology & Philosophy

On February 24, 1972, the congregation for Catholic Education issued a decree erecting a Theological Faculty in the Pontifical Seminary, Alwaye. The first step towards the realization of the plan for a Faculty had been taken on October 1959, when the Congregation issued a decree affiliating the theology department of the Seminary with the Lateran University. With this, the theology department of the Seminary became “Studium Theologicum” which was governed by norms given by the University and a convention between the Rector of the Lateran University and the Rector of the seminary. In April 1971, the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council sent a petition to the Congregation for the erection of an autonomous Faculty. On February 24, 1972, the Congregation for Catholic education issued the decree erecting the Theological Faculty in the Pontifical seminary. The decree granted the new Faculty all the rights and privileges which were enjoyed by Theological Faculties. It also empowered the Faculty to confer suitable degrees to students who are successful in their studies and research. The power of conferring the degrees of Bachelor and Master (Licentiate) in theology was explicitly granted. On 15th February 1973, the Pontifical Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Alwaye, was officially inaugurated by His Excellecy, the Most Rev.Dr.John Gordon, the then Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to India. On 25th April 1997, through a decree the congregation for Catholic Education separated the Pontifical Institute from the Pontifical Seminary. At present the Pontifical Institute functions at two separate campuses – Mangalapuzha and Carmelgiri, and offers simultaneously courses of theology and philosophy in both campuses

At present the Institute is empowered to confer the following degrees. Bachelor of Philosophy; Bachelor of Theology; Master of theology; Doctor of theology. For the degree of Master of theology Spiritual theology, dogmatic theology, Pastoral theology and Counseling and Biblical theology are offered by the Institute as branches of specialization

Though the St.Joseph’s Pontifical seminary has been reorganized on the basis of rites(the Mangalapuzha section for the Syro Malabar Church and the Carmeligiri section for the Latins), the Pontifical Institute remains common and is autonomous It is governed by the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council.(K.C.B.C.)

The academic community of the seminary is composed of two categories, namely the resident students and the day scholars. The latter have their religious study houses around the seminary and come to the seminary only for class. The resident students are mainly from the Syro-Malabar dioceses in Kerala and outside. There are also a few students belonging to the Syro-Malankara dioceses and a handful from religious communities having no houses nearby. The number of resident students is 280 and of the day scholars is 144 in the academic year 2006-2007.

Mangalapuzha seminary has been maintaining a close collaboration with other seminaries. A common “Programme for Formators” for the staff of the Syro-Malabar seminaries was organized under the auspices of the Syro-Malabar synod of bishops. Informal meetings of the staff of the seminaries were also held with sharing sessions. Such gatherings help the staff to know each other, to share the problems of formation in each seminary and eventually to arrive at solutions. As far as the students of various seminaries are concerned there are inter-seminary matches in Volleyball and Basketball, inter-seminary Quiz Competition, debate Competition, Homily Competition etc.

Mangalapuzha seminary has a cemetery chapel, which is a place of pilgrimage. The bodies of Venerable Aurelian OCD and the Servant of God Zacharias OCD of blessed memory rested there for decades. Their mortal remains were solemnly transferred to the special tombs in the Carmelite Monastery Church at Manjummel.

As regards the finance of the seminary the various papal agencies, namely CNEWA, Opus Sancti Petri and MISSIO have been rendering wonderful service to the seminary. The Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Congregation for the Catholic Education render special care and support to the seminary and its activities.

The undivided St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of its transfer from Puthenpally to Mangalapuzha on 9th and 10th of March 1983. This year 2007 the seminary celebrates the Platinum Jubilee of its transfer to Mangalapuzha. On this occasion the seminary remembers with gratitude all benefactors and the zealous discalzed Carmelite missionaries for their outstanding contribution to the Church in Kerala especially in the field of priestly formation. The statement of Msgr. Martin Lucas SVD, the then Apostolic Internuncio, on the occasion of the inauguration of Carmelgiri seminary on 24 November 1955, is the best compliment for them. “If the Carmelite Fathers had done nothing else for the Church in Kerala,but build these two splendid and magnificent seminaries, India would never forget them”.

Ecclesia in Asia: An Evaluation

Ecclesia in Asia

 Introduction

Ecclesia in Asia is a document issued by Pope to serve as a blueprint for the expansion of the Roman Catholic faith in Asia. It summarizes ideas and conclusions of the Special Asian Synod held in Rome from April 18 to May 14, 1998. It was officially promulgated by Pope John Paul II in New Delhi, India on November 6, 1999.

The document stated that “just as in the first millennium the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the Third Christian Millennium a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent of Asia.”

We Asian peoples like to think in symbols and images, and do not indulge so much on analytic reasoning or speculations; we prefer evocation to demonstration, intuition to argumentation, wisdom to science. There several cultures here, different kind and coloured people here, numerous languages exist here and the philosophy and theology and the very mind set of the people are different from that of the west. Having in mind all these context of cultural and linguistic veracity of the people of Asia Pope John Paul II inspired by the Holy spirit write this document as it was clear from the very title itself Post-synodal apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in Asia of the Holy Father John Paul II to the bishops, priests and deacons, men and women in the consecrated life and all the lay faithful on Jesus Christ the saviour and his mission of love and service in Asia: “…that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10)

1.  The Structure of the Document

The Exhortation is composed of seven parts dealing with the following themes: the Asian context, Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit as Lord and Giver of life, proclamation of Jesus in Asia (with a focus on inculturation), communion and dialogue for mission (with a focus on ecumenical and interreligious dialogue), the service of human promotion, and Christians as witnesses to the Gospel.

The long document concludes as “The peoples of Asia need Jesus Christ and his Gospel. Asia is thirsting for the Living water that Jesus alone can give (Jn 4:10-15). The disciples of Christ in Asia must therefore be unstinting in their efforts to fulfill the mission they have received from the Lord, who has promised to be with them to the end of the age (Mt 28:20). Trusting in the Lord who will not fail those whom he has called, the Church in Asia joyfully makes her pilgrim way into the Third Millennium.”

The content of the document is the following:

Introduction

The Marvel of God’s Plan in Asia (1)

Background to the Special Assembly (2)

The Celebration of the Special Assembly (3)

Sharing the Fruits of the Special Assembly (4)

 Chapter I – The Asian Context

Asia, the Birthplace of Jesus and of the Church (5)

Religious and Cultural Realities (6)

Economic and Social Realities (7)

Political Realities (8)

The Church in Asia: Past and Present (9)

 Chapter II – Jesus the Saviour: A Gift to Asia

The Gift of Faith (10)

Jesus Christ, the God-Man Who Saves (11)

The Person and Mission of the Son of God (12)

Jesus Christ: the Truth of Humanity (13)

The Uniqueness and Universality of Salvation in Jesus (14)

 Chapter III – The Holy Spirit: Lord and Giver of Life

The Spirit of God in Creation and History (15)

The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word (16)

The Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ (17)

The Holy Spirit and the Church’s Mission in Asia (18)

 Chapter IV – Jesus the Saviour: Proclaiming the Gift

The Primacy of Proclamation (19)

Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia (20)

The Challenge of Inculturation (21)

Key Areas of Inculturation (22)

Christian Life as Proclamation (23)

 Chapter V – Communion and Dialogue for Mission

Communion and Mission Go Hand in and (24)

Communion within the Church (25)

Solidarity among the Churches (26)

The Catholic Eastern Churches (27)

Sharing Hopes and Sufferings (28)

A Mission of Dialogue (29)

Ecumenical Dialogue (30)

Inter-religious Dialogue (31)

 Chapter VI – The Service of Human Promotion

The Social Doctrine of the Church (32)

The Dignity of the Human Person (33)

Preferential Love of the Poor (34)

The Gospel of Life (35)

Health Care (36)

Education (37)

Peacemaking (38)

Globalization (39)

Foreign Debt (40)

The Environment (41)

 Chapter VII – Witnesses To the Gospel

A Witnessing Church (42)

Pastors (43)

The Consecrated Life and Missionary Societies (44)

The Laity (45)

The Family (46)

Young People (47)

Social Communications (48)

The Martyrs (49)

 Conclusion

Gratitude and Encouragement (50)

Prayer to the Mother of Christ (51)

2. An Evaluation of the Document

2.1 Truly Asian, Authentically Christian

While the Pope sees the crux of the matter as doctrinal (Christo-centrism), the bishops’ interventions saw their problem as not with Jesus the Christ – who is widely accepted and loved by Asians – but the presence of a foreign Church burdened by a colonial past. Ecclesia in Asia finds it strange that Jesus the Asian, has become a foreigner in Asia (EA 20). Apart from the indigenous Churches in the Near East and Kerala, most remaining Churches are the result of colonial expansion and missionary outreach working hand-in-hand. Whatever the nuances, however great the social contribution of the mission Churches in the past, however heroic the sacrifices of cross-cultural missioners over the centuries, the fact remains in stark clarity: the Latin Churches of Asia are a foreign presence. They are alien in the official dress of its leaders; alien in its rituals; alien in its formation of cultic and community leaders in foreign thought patterns in seminaries whose professors are foreign-educated; alien in its large, often rich, institutions among people who are generally poor; above all alien in that Christians have had to uproot themselves from their own cultural identity in order to claim a “hybrid” Christian one. This is a major issue for most Asian bishops. However, Ecclesia in Asia mentions it in passing in a single sentence as though the problem was over:”… the Church in many places was still considered as foreign to Asia, and indeed was often associated in people’s minds with the colonial powers” (EA, 9).

Ecclesia in Asia is surely right in placing Christ at the center rather than the Church, whether Latin or Oriental. This is not to separate Christ from his body, the Church, but rather to accept the Church as sign, sacrament and instrument of Christ’s saving presence. The eternal, incarnate, redemptive, cosmic presence of Christ can neither be confined to, nor controlled by the Church. The central problem is neither Christ nor his acceptance/rejection by his fellow Asians. The key missiological problem is rather the Western Church’s alien tone and idiom inherited from colonial times. As for the how of mission we need time, patience and perseverance in order to move away from insulated, devotional practices and re-invent ourselves as dynamic diaspora living out a dialogue of life and action.

2.2 A New Way of Being Church

Another way of making the point for the Asian Synod to have a lasting impact, the Asian Churches must, with courage and creativity, find new ways of being Church, and hence construct an alternative ecclesiology. This ecclesiology, in a sort of Copernican revolution, de-centers the Church in the sense that it makes the center of the Christian life not the Church but the reign of God. Their mission is not to expand the Church and its structures in order to enlarge the sphere of influence for the Church but to be a transparent sign and effective instrument of the saving presence of the reign of God, the reign of justice, peace, and love, of which the Church is a seed. As the Exhortation puts it well: “Empowered by the Spirit to accomplish Christ‘s salvation on earth, the Church is the seed of the kingdom of God, and she looks eagerly for its final coming. Her identity and mission are inseparable from the kingdom of God he Spirit reminds the Church that she is not an end unto herself: In all that she is and all that she does, she exists to serve Christ and the salvation of the world” (EA, 17).

2.2.1 Church as a Communion

The Church, both at the local and universal levels, is seen primarily as “a communion of communities, where laity, religious and clergy recognize and accept each other as sisters and brothers.” At the heart of the mystery of the Church is the bond of communion uniting God with humanity and humans with one another, of which the Eucharist is the sign and instrument par excellence. In this ecclesiology there is an explicit and effective recognition of the fundamental equality among all the members of the local Church as disciples of Jesus and among all the local Churches in so far as they are communities of Jesus’ disciples and whose communion constitutes the universal Church. The communion (koinonia) which constitutes the Church, both at the local and universal levels, and from which flows the fundamental equality of all Christians, is rooted at its deepest level in the life of the Trinity in whom there is a perfect communion of equals.18 Unless this fundamental equality of all Christians is acknowledged and lived through concrete policies and actions, the Church will not become a communion of communities in Asia. Living out this fundamental equality is particularly difficult in Asia, not only because the insistence on the hierarchical structure of the Church tends to obscure and minimize it but also because it goes against the class consciousness of many Asian societies.

2.2.2 Discipleship of Equals

 The understanding of pastoral “discipleship of equals” leads to the second characteristic of the new way of being Church in Asia, that is, the participatory and collaborative nature of all the ministries in the Church: “It is a participatory Church where the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to all the faithful – lay, religious, and cleric alike -are recognized and activated, so that the Church may be built up and its mission realized. This participatory nature of the Church must be lived out not only in the local Church but also among all the local Churches, including the Church of Rome, of course, with due recognition of the papal primacy. In this context it is encouraging to read in the Exhortation the following affirmation: It is in fact within the perspective of ecclesial communion that the universal authority of the successor of Peter shines forth more clearly, not primarily as juridical power over the local churches, but above all as a pastoral primacy at the service of the unity of faith and life of the whole people of God” (EA, 25). A “pastoral primacy” must do everything possible to foster co-responsibility and participation of all the local Churches in the triple ministry of teaching, sanctification, and service in the Church and must be held accountable to this task so that these words do not remain at the level of pious rhetoric but are productive of concrete structures and actions. Only in this way can the Church’s teaching office and the pope’s ministry of promoting unity be effectively exercised, learning from the varied and rich experiences of being Church from all corners of the globe and welcoming respectful but frank warning and correction when errors of intellectual narrowness, moral arrogance, and  spiritual blindness have been committed.

2.2.3 A Dialogical Spirit

The third characteristic of a new way of being Church in Asia is the dialogical spirit: Built in the hearts of people, it is a Church that faithfully and lovingly witnesses to the Risen Lord and reaches out to people of other faiths and persuasions in a dialogue of life towards the integral liberation of all. The universal church must have in mind the necessity of this triple dialogue. In the dialogue with the Asian cultures (inculturation), the Exhortation highlights the areas of theology, liturgy, and the Bible (EA, 22). In the dialogue with other religious traditions, the document emphasizes ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. It quotes approvingly proposition 41 of the Synod: “Interreligious relations are best developed in a context of openness to other believers, a willingness to listen and the desire to respect and understand others in their differences. For all this, love of others is indispensable. This should result in collaboration, harmony and mutual enrichment” (EA, 31). In the dialogue with the poor, the Exhortation affirms the necessity of the preferential love of the poor (in particular, the migrants, indigenous and tribal people, women and children), defense of human life, health care, education, peacemaking, cancellation of foreign debts, and protection of the environment (EA, 32-41). There is no doubt that if the Christian Church is to become truly of Asia, Asian Christians must be engaged, relentlessly and wholeheartedly, in this triple “dialogue of life and heart” and in this way fulfill their inalienable right and duty of proclaiming Jesus to their fellow Asians.

2.2.4 Being a Prophetic Sign

The fourth and last feature of the new way of being Church in Asia is prophecy: The Church is “a leaven of transformation in this world and serves as a prophetic sign daring to point beyond this world to the ineffable Kingdom that is yet fully to come” As far as Asia is concerned, in being “a leaven of transformation in this world,“ Christianity must give up its ambition, so enthusiastically endorsed in many missionary quarters at the beginning of the twentieth century, to convert the majority of Asians to Christ. The report of the demise of Asian religions was premature and vastly exaggerated. In Asia, where Christians still form but a minuscule part of the population after four hundred years of mission, and where non-Christian religions have recently staged a vigorous revival, the prospect of a massive conversion of Asians to the Christian faith is utterly unlikely. Christians in Asia must come to terms with the fact that they are destined to remain for the foreseeable future a “small remnant” who must journey with adherents of other religions toward the eschatological kingdom of God.

The objective of the Church‘s mission of “making disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19) in Asia cannot therefore be adding as many members to the Church as possible, even though baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19) remains the desirable outcome of the Church‘s mission. Rather, the primary task of the Church is to become a credible prophetic sign” of the coming reign of God. This new focus of the Church‘s mission must be the light guiding the ordering of its priorities and the choice of its policies which must not aim at serving the internal interests of the Church but the proclamation of the Gospel through the triple dialogue.

The significance of the Asian Synod and Ecclesia in Asia lies,  not so much in what they say as in the recognition that the Churches of Asia have come of age and must continue to pursue the task of becoming Asian, relentlessly, courageously, creatively. Only in this way can the Christian Church fulfill its missionary vocation which is the task of the entire Church.33 It is only by living out a new way of being Church that Asian Christians will make true what the Exhortation states as a fact: “Contemplating Jesus in his human nature, the peoples of Asia find their deepest questions answered, their hopes fulfilled, their dignity uplifted and their despair conquered” (EA, 14).

2.3 Ecclesia in Asia and the Biblical Pastoral Ministry

In EA, the explicit reflection on our ministry comes in chapter IV “Jesus the Saviour: Proclaiming the Gift”, in the section, “The Challenge of Inculturation” (nos. 21-22). Among the key areas of inculturation, priority is given to theological inculturation: “The Synod expressed encouragement to theologians in their delicate work of developing an inculturated theology, especially in the area of Christology.” (EA 22) This is to be undertaken “with courage and faithfulness“. The thrust of the document in this section is on the inculturation of the Good News. The word inculturation, culture and related words appear one hundred and one times in the document.

3.0 Conclusion

The significance of the Asian Synod and Ecclesia in Asia lies not so much in what they say as in the recognition that the Churches of Asia have come of age and must continue to pursue the task of becoming Asian, courageously and creatively. Only in this way can the Christian Church fulfill its missionary vocation which is the task of the entire Church. It is only by living out a new way of being Church that Asian Christians will make true what the Exhortation states as a fact: “Contemplating Jesus in his human nature, the peoples of Asia find their deepest questions answered, their hopes fulfilled, their dignity uplifted and their despair conquered” (EA, 14). What the Pontifical Biblical Commission says about the actualization of the Bible is valid for a dialogic approach to biblical pastoral ministry. “In any case, the risk of error does not constitute a valid objection against performing what is a necessary task that of bringing the message of the Bible to the ears and hearts of the people of our time” (Interpretation of the Bible in Church, p.117). A dialogic proclamation of the word is not a clearly defined task. It is a venture of hope. It will become an adventure of the Church in Asia. Today we are here to plant the seeds of a future visioning. Our task is to greet from distance that future and to keep sowing the seeds and nurture their growth. May this Apostolic Document strengthen us for such a mission.

Bibliography

  1. Pope john Paul II, Ecclesia in Asia, 1999.
  2. Losservatore Romano, november, 1999.

Eschatological Vision of the Ordinary People

Eschatological Vision of the Ordinary People

Table of Contents

 

Eschatological Vision of the Ordinary People. 1

The Interview.. 1

1. Major Questions Asked. 1

2. Participants’ Statistics. 2

3. Evaluation of the Interview.. 2

3.0 Introduction. 2

3.1 On Death. 3

3.2 On Life after Death. 3

3.3 On Heaven. 3

3.4 On Hell 4

3.5 On Purgatory. 4

3.6 On Judgment 4

3.7 On Soul and Body. 5

3.8 On Parousia. 5

3.9 On People of other Religion?. 5

3.10 On the Teaching of the Sects. 6

3.11 The Terminally Ill on the Last Things. 6

4. Synopsis. 7

5. Conclusion. 7

The Interview

1. Major Questions Asked

1. What do you feel if you came to know that you are going to die within few hours?

2. What is your opinion about death? Do you pray for a holy death?

3. Have you ever thought of life after death? Then, how shall it be?

4. Are you afraid to die? Why?

5. What is your understanding of heaven?

6. Do you expect to go to purgatory?

5. Are you afraid to go to hell? What do you think about hell?

7. How do you think of the Judgment of God?

8. What is expectation of the Last Judgment? Will Jesus come again?

9. What do you think of the people of other religion? Whether they will be saved?

10. What is your opinion about people of different sects teaching about the end of the world and immediate parousia and all? Have you ever been to such groups and what is your comment?

2. Participants’ Statistics

Category Age Group Number Response
Household Men 25-40 3 Rather Good
Household Women 25-40 3 Good
Household Men 40-70 4 Best
Household Women 40-70 4 Very Good
Sisters 40-60 2 Good
Youth (Girls) 15-25 4 Poor
Youth 1 (Boys) 15-20 4 Rather Good
Terminally Ill 20-25 2 Very Good

Total Participants      – 26

3. Evaluation of the Interview

3.0 Introduction

It was a wonderful experience for me to have an interview with all these people in different ways and styles. I have chosen people mainly from the parish of St. Mary’s Church, Njrackal, Ernakulam. I have asked the questions to a few indirectly and to others introducing that I am going to have an interview with them as a part of my study. Both groups responded well. I am satisfied with the persons I interviewed in the sense that they cooperated me well but I am very much dissatisfied with the result I have collected from them. People are quiet ignorant about the basic notions of the Church and at the same time they have got a curiosity to know the things. What they believe is a kind of popular beliefs and superstitial ideas. And as far I understand they are not fed well by the ministers and therefore the ministers do have a duty to educate them with all the possible means.

3.1 On Death

What I understood from the interview is that people generally have fear to die. Two persons told me that they don’t have any fear to die and they are ready at any time to be called by God. But their further reactions to my questions proved that they are also afraid of death. Death is universal phenomenon, perhaps, every living beings on earth has to face. But people are afraid of death and they want live more. Actually they are not prepared to die. They have expectations and hopes with regard to the life in this world. They have their own plans to be fulfilled and do not know what would be the plan of God. Their wish is that if God could do the will of their own. 60% of the people whom I have interviewed have got at least a positive approach regarding death. The 40% are not willing to consider death as something positive. Some of the youth consider death as an intervention by God into the human freedom. For example they say that three of their friends were called to eternal life within last one year. They are therefore afraid of death the villain of their life and they hate such a God who does injustice to his people. The question here may be of unexpected death or innocent suffering and all. But the reality is that they don’t understand the meaning of Christian life and a virtuous life in the context of such catastrophes.

3.2 On Life after Death

People do have a belief in the life after death. 90% of whom I have interviewed have got the clear conviction that they will have a life after the death. Two of the youth girls gave me a negative answer saying that they do not believe in a life after death. For them there is only one life here on earth and they wanted to enjoy it to the maximum. And they also added that they are not worried about hell heaven or a life after the death. Really this answer pained me but I thought it may be because of their age and still pray for them. All others believe that there is life after death. They do have the belief that they will be given a reward from the part of God for all their actions in the world. People are also afraid and at the same time curious to know about the life after state of a soul.

3.3 On Heaven

The traditional belief pattern about the heaven is heard from 80% of the people. Some of them do not believe in such a heaven where there is plenty of honey and milk. They in way understand it as a reward from God for the good works of a person in this world. They do consider it as state of bliss rather than a place of majestic glories. Almost all the people want to go to heaven (for a few if there is heaven) at any cost.

3.4 On Hell

Those 80% who are sure of heaven are also sure f a hell where there is fire and worms. Two people have got the idea of hell as a state of mental agony. Such ones do not believe that there is the so called place hell where there is Satan and all kinds of cruelties by him.

05 of the people have the fear of hell. And they don’t want to go there. 10% do not have any fear about hell. Any way generally people have the idea that I am not worthy for heaven. There is every possibility that I may go to hell, they say. And out of this fear, I saw one old lady who prays every day the litany of the dead and such other prayers saying that it would be helpful for her not to commit sin and to seek the mercy of God.

3.5 On Purgatory

80% of the people also believe in purgatory. They do like to pray for the souls in purgatory. All of them consider it as place between hell and heaven. The general belief is that through the prayers of the relatives of a departed one, the merciful God relives a soul from purgatory and keeps him in heaven. Some people believe that every one has to go through purgatory in order to reach heaven. Those who do not cross the purgatory are the saints they say. People also believe that there is severe fire in the purgatory and the souls suffer for all their sins there in the purgatory unless they were not repaired here on the earth when they were alive.

3.6 On Judgment

All people who believe in heaven and hell do have the idea that there is judgment from the part of God. They are not clear about how this judgment shall be. Any way the general idea is based on the chapter 25 of the book of Mathew. People are not aware of the immediate judgment and the last one. They mix it up; and when I asked distinctly they are in a state of dilemma. Majority believe that the judgment is the Last Judgment at the end of the world. And some say that the soul will be in purgatory until the last coming of Jesus.

3.7 On Soul and Body

The common belief of the people is that they have a body and a soul. The soul will be liberated from the body when one dies. A few people believe that death happens when the soul separates itself from the body. Some others believe on the other hand, that when the body dies the soul leaves the body and it goes to hell or heaven. A few people believe that after the model of Jesus the soul will be moving to heaven or hell only after 40 days. What is interesting in all these people is that they are absolutely certain about all these things. The separation of body and soul is very much deeply rooted in the minds of the ordinary people.

3.8 On Parousia

There is clear and solid belief among the people about the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus. 90% of the people believe that this world will end and 75% of the people believe that Jesus will come again. 10% say that the world will continue to exist. They say the earth may be destroyed, but man will find out some other planet where he can live safe. People are also afraid of the end of the world due to the mis-concepts generated by the sects and all. A few old people told me that it seems to them that the world is going to end without much dely. It will happen in the near future. Those who believe in the second coming of Jesus do have the expectation that Jesus will come in his glory. He will appear on the sky with the sign of the cross. He will gather his people and will judge them according to their sins and virtues.

3.9 On People of other Religion?

70% of the people believe that people of other religion also will be judged by God according to their deeds. They will be saved if they do well according to the norm of their religion. But the 30% believe that there is no salvation for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. According to them those who do not come to Catholic faith will be thrown into the fire of hell. According to them the catholic religion is the true and only religion in the world and those who do not belong to it will be condemned to eternal fire. I found this strong conviction especially among the old women and two Old men. Anyway they also demand a meritorious life for the Christians also to go to heaven.

3.10 On the Teaching of the Sects

I could also ask some questions about the teachings of the sects among our people. Thank God that they are almost aware of the false notions propagated by these sects and the harm hey could impose upon the people. Our priest must have taken some precautions in this area. But there is also a fact that the people are influenced very much by these people. They may not be considering the major concepts against the faith. But the stories and the minor ideas and descriptions influences the people very much. Slowly they began to associate things with these notions. For example, some people and especially the youth are very much certain about what all things are there in heaven. When asked in detail I came to know that all these ideas they have collected from one of the sects active there. They are also sure about the state of soul after the death. And this idea seems to have an influence of Mr. Tom Zachariah and his ‘Spirit in Jesus’.

3.11 The Terminally Ill on the Last Things

I could also meet two terminally ill persons as a part of my interview. Both I met are men around 50 years old. To my surprise these persons are almost prepared for their death. One person is suffering from blood cancer and the other one has lost liver due to over drunkenness and is now also affected by many other diseases (he also undergoes regular dialysis and now is at stage it would not be sufficient to save his life). Interestingly, they feel that they have sinned a lot during there life and still they feel confident in the saving mercy of God. Both of them were addicted to alcohol and smoking in their life and had been a burden to their wife and children. Now they say God has given the proper punishment for their sins. And they are also confident that in some way or other way that the good God will protect their family and will guide the family at their place. Both of them found to be preparing for the death and they really repent on their sins. They also have the confident that the good God will receive them to heaven and will continue to be merciful to their family. One of them seemed to be extremely happy even in the midst of great pain and suffering. They don’t feel that God is acting in an unjust way and has got no complaints against God unlike Job. Their attitude really touched me. They have now received the sacraments after a long time and now pray for a long time. They also have the feeling that if tried they could have lived better in their past life.

4. Synopsis

Generally I was satisfied with the interview. People have differences of opinion and their opinions, as far as I understand, is moulded from their living conditions and particular situations. The answers that I got would have been slightly changed if I could meet the persons from some other area. Anyway the evaluation gave me the conviction that the lay men of the Church needed to be guided in their spiritual as well as intellectual life. For that the priests must be prepared well. They understand and admire the priesthood to a great extend. Not only that they thirst for good priests. People are still in the traditional frame work of belief systems. It is not that easy to change their flow of thought; but gradual progress in their attitude could be a possible thing. At least the basic Catechism should be taught to people. Sunday sermons are to be made use of catechetical instructions too – not in an isolated way but as the part of biblical interpretation and faith formation of the people. There is an element of fear I the minds of the people regarding the last tings. We always have a tendency to make use of them. This attitude is not a Christian attitude. The priests are therefore to be prepared for the proper training of the people of god.

5. Conclusion

The eschatological vision of the Church could be well expressed in the words of the Church itself:

The Christian who unites his own death to that of Jesus views it as a step towards him and an entrance into everlasting life. When the Church for the last time speaks Christ’s words of pardon and absolution over the dying Christian, seals him for the last time with a strengthening anointing, and gives him Christ in viaticum as nourishment for the journey, she speaks with gentle assurance:

Go forth, Christian soul, from this world

in the name of God the almighty Father,

who created you,

in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,

who suffered for you,

in the name of the Holy Spirit,

who was poured out upon you.

Go forth, faithful Christian! May you live in peace this day,

may your home be with God in Zion,

with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,

with Joseph, and all the angels and saints. …

May you return to [your Creator]

who formed you from the dust of the earth.

May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints

come to meet you as you go forth from this life. …

May you see your Redeemer face to face. (CCC No. 1020)

The Catholic Church does have an eschatological vision which is unique to her heritage. The Church does not claim to know the exactness of the eschatological kingdom. Her vision of the last things is related to her understanding of the mysteries. As humans we are not able to know the divine mysteries in its full sense. What we can know is revealed to the church through her saints, doctors and the teaching authority. The church is also waiting for the future glory with the prayer “come, Lord Jesus Christ.”

HUMAN QUALITIES OF JESUS: FILIAFIL INTIMACY WITH THE FATHER (THE ABBA EXPERIENCE OF JESUS)

Pontifical Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Alwaye

 

A

Seminar

Paper on the

HUMAN QUALITIES OF JESUS

FILIAFIL INTIMACY WITH THE FATHER

(THE ABBA EXPERIENCE OF JESUS)

 

 

Bro. Antony Madthikandam MCBS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mangalapuzha

19-09-2009

HUMAN QUALITIES OF JESUS

FILIAFIL INTIMACY WITH THE FATHER

(THE ABBA EXPERIENCE OF JESUS)

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

1.1 PERIOD OF POLYTHEISM

1.2 MONOTHEISM OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL

1.2.1. GOD AS A DISTANT REALITY

1.2.2. GOD WHO TAKE REVENGE AND PUNISHES HIS PEOPLE

1.2.3. FEARED TO CALL THE NAME OF GOD

1.3 GOD EXPERIENCE OF JESUS

1.3.1 CALLED GOD HIS FATHER

1.4 FILIAL INTIMACY TOWARDS HIS FATHER IN THE LIFE OF JESUS

1.4.1 AT THE TEMPLE

1.4.2 EVENT OF BAPTISM

1.4.3 AT THE DESERT

1.4.4 BEGINNING AND END OF THE DAY

1.4.5 ON IMPORTANT OCCASIONS

a) ON CHOOSING THE DISCIPLES

b) RAISING OF LAZARUS

c) AFTER THE LAST SUPPER

1.4.6 AT TRANSFIGURATION

1.4.7 AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH

1.4.8 AT RESURRECTION

1.4.9 ASSUMPTION INTO HEAVEN

1.5 INTIMACY REVEALED BY HIS WORDS AND DEEDS

1.5.1 WE ARE ONE STATEMENTS

1.5.2 ALL MY FATHER HAS IS MINE

1.5.3 WILL OF THE ONE WHO SEND ME

1.5.4 PARABLES OF FATHER’S LOVE

1.5.5 WHEN CHOOSING THE DISCIPLES

1.5.6 RAISING LAZRUS

1.5.7 REJOICING IN THE SPIRIT

1.5.8 AT GETHSEMINY

1.6 TESTIMONY BY DESCIPLES AND OTHERS

1.6.1 SHOW US THE FATHER

1.6.2 DECLARATION OF PETER

1.6.3 TEACH US TO PRAY

1.6.4 THE DEMONIAC

1.7 ABBA EXPERIENCE IN OUR LIFE

1.7.1 LIFE OF SAINTS AS MODELS

1.7.2 EUCHARIST AS THE IDEAL MEANS OF INTIMACY

CONCLUSION

HUMAN QUALITIES OF JESUS

FILIAFIL INTIMACY WITH THE FATHER

(THE ABBA EXPERIENCE OF JESUS)

INTRODUCTION

Revelation of God in the history depends on the intellectual development, culture and the lifestyle of a particular group of people. God revealed himself to them according to their way of thinking. From the very beginning of the history of mankind humans believed to the existence of some kind of super natural reality as God. They had a kind of god experience which was deeply situated at their state and status of life. In order to understand the uniqueness of the God-experience of Jesus it is important to know the history of the People before Jesus

1.1 PERIOD OF POLYTHEISM

Polytheism was prevalent among the people till the time of Abraham. It even continued for centuries and even today there so many people having a god experience in a polytheistic context. The natural and supernatural powers were identified and worshiped by those people. All these powerful creations were considered to be gods and goddesses. It was almost impossible for them to believe in a single God.

1.2 MONOTHEISM OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL

Through the call of Abraham (Gen 12, 1-9) the Revelation of God progressed to the idea of One God. The uniqueness of Abraham was that he believed in YAHWEH the one God. The promised of nation and the chosen people of God, the Israel continued the Faith of their Father Abraham. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me” (Det 5, 8), (Ex 20, 1). Det 4, 1-40 is a good example of monotheistic mind of the people where Moses gives his exhortation to believe in the One God, the Lord of their forefathers. (Det 10, 12-22)

1.2.1 GOD AS A DISTANT REALITY

The people of Israel could understand YAHWEH only as a distant reality. It should also be noted that the revelation of God to that particular people was in such way so that they may understand him in their context. For them God was therefore a distant God to whom they feared to approach. Lord is said to have been sitting at heavens and at times he came down to his people but h then even reluctant to look upon him. “Look, the Lord our god has shown us his glory and greatness and we have heard his voice out of the fire… if we here the voice of the Lord anymore we will die” (Det 5, 24- 26). The people thought of God somebody distant and distinct from them.

1.2.2 GOD WHO TAKES REVENGE AND PUNISHES HIS PEOPLE

Israel also had the idea that their God is a God of revenge. Therefore they feared God and it actually motivated them to have moral life according to the Commandments of God given through Moses. The list of Punishments can be seen in the Pentateuch quiet often especially in the Book of Leviticus. (Lev 4, 1 – 5, 13). “… and the Lord was so angry with you that he was ready to destroy you.” (Det 9, 8)

1.2.3 FEARED TO CALL THE NAME OF GOD

Out of their respect and fear of the Lord they never dared to call his name. They used to call Him as the God of their forefathers namely, God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. This distant God helped them to lead life of norms and values based on the commandment that the Lord their god has given to them. From the part of god also there is no positive attempt to reveal his name. He revealed His name to Moses only in a Mystical way (Ex 3, 14)

1.3 GOD EXPERIENCE OF JESUS

The abba experience of Jesus, beyond doubts, was his God experience since he lived as perfect human being. The difference that Jesus made in his understanding of God was the most significant thing in the Human-God relationship. He understood God in a different sense than that of the time and his understanding was even challengeable to the then existing system. He, being the son of a carpenter dared to cal God his Father, which in itself could be considered a blasphemy by the Jews.

1.3.1 CALLED GOD HIS FATHER

Abba” is the translated word “Daddy” in Aramaic, the common language of Jesus’ day. It says so much more than, “you sired me.” It is a term of absolute intimacy. Two hearts beating as one. While God is referred to as “Abba” only three times in Scripture (Mark 14, 36, Romans 8,15, and Galatians 4, 6), there’s no doubt Jesus referred to Him as such in the many times He “went away to a private place to pray.” Scholars like Jeremias and Schillebeeckx have shown that Jesus experience of God as “Abba” was so central to his personal meaning that it claimed and defined his entire identity. And in an amazing act of love Jesus gives to his disciples a gift so radical that its use will distinguish them as his own. This most intimate and personal name which Jesus alone used of God, “Abba, Father,” is now to be the one by which they themselves are to commune with God as familiarly as a child snuggles close to its mothers breast or lies safe and secure in its fathers arms. Jesus invites his followers into such unreserved union with himself that his own experience of his Father’s extraordinary closeness and care is to become their own: “When you pray, say ‘Father’ . . .” (Lk 11, 2).[1]

Jesus thus takes a word of tender familiarity, a word little children used of their own fathers, and, applying it to the God who utterly surpasses the limitations of male gender, gives it a radically transcendent meaning. The name “Abba” for Jesus thus does not mean “man” or any other created reality. What, then, does it mean? Here, precisely, is the heart of the matter: we do not yet know fully what “Abba” signifies, nor will we until heaven. There, the personal God whose intimacy with us can only be hinted at in the name “Abba” will be unveiled to us by the one whose home has forever been this Fathers heart: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known’ (Jn 1, 18).[2]

1.4 FILIAL INTIMACY TOWARDS HIS FATHER IN THE LIFE OF JESUS

Jesus in his life and ministry expressed His filial Intimacy with the Father at various occasions. He was fully aware of the relationship that He should keep with His Father so as to fulfill Father’s Will on the earth for which Jesus was send.

1.4.1 AT THE TEMPLE

The Lukan infancy narrative gives the first impression of Father-Son relationship in the life of Jesus (Lk 1, 5 – 2, 52). Here the Father speaks of His Son through the Holy Spirit with the mediation of Simon, Anna and Zachariah.  But the first instance where Jesus expressed his relationship with the Father was at the Jerusalem Temple on the Occasion of His Presentation (Lk 2, 49). Here Jesus clearly expresses His Relationship with the Father that ‘don’t you know that I should be…’ this divine must expresses the necessity and intimacy of Jesus’ relationship with Father.[3]

1.4.2 EVENT OF BAPTISM

The event of baptism was another instance when Jesus personal intimacy with the Father was revealed to us (Lk 3, 22). Here not Jesus but the Father himself expresses intimacy and relationship to the Son. The ‘beloved son’ expression has special significance. Jesus is the son of the most high and his relationship to the father is so intimate that the disciples are advised to listen to his words as of that of the father.

1.4.3 AT THE DESERT

Desert experience of Jesus after the model of Moses on the mountain with the Lord for forty days, is a clear indication of his filial relationship and intimacy with the father (Lk 4, 1-10). Jesus spends forty days at the desert in union with the father and this experience actually provided him the strength and courage for his public ministry. He was even dared to face the temptations of Satan in an effective way and had the clear knowledge that it is the Lord of Israel, whom now Jesus calls his Father, is the only one who deserves all the glory and has all the power here on earth and in the heavens, and testing God is equal to spoiling his glory. This might be the Abba consciousness of the Jesus who underwent the desert experience.[4]

1.4.4 BEGINNING AND END OF THE DAY

Jesus used to pray in the beginning of the before his ministry begins and at the end of the day when all his tiresome ministry of preaching, working miracles and doing all the works demanded of Father out of his love (Mk 1, 35; 6, 46). He was going to wilderness to pray to his Father in secret. Only very few occasions the disciples were with him. When the disciples fell asleep due to the heavy work of the day Jesus was in active mood of prayer. He begins the day with the Father, work according to the will of the Father in complete union at evening He might have rested at the lap of the Father.[5]

1.4.5 ON IMPORTANT OCCASIONS

Jesus before important occasions of his life prayed to the Father in which the personal relationship and intimacy is very evident. He prayed at all the important occasions of choosing his disciples, raising Lazarus before his passion, death and resurrection through which he had to undergo in order to redeem the world.

a) ON THE OCCASION OF CHOOSING THE DISCIPLES

Before the election of the twelve Jesus prays intensely for a night, so that his mind may be conformed to the will of the Father. (Lk 6, 12) It is the only occasion where it is explicitly stated that Jesus prayed for a whole night. Jesus might have used this occasion to know the will of the Father out of which he has to choose his followers, who later has to continue the mission from above. Thus “the abba consciousness that Jesus had was peculiar in its absoluteness in surrendering to the will of the Father even in designing his future ministry in the world through whom He had specially chosen”.[6]

b) RAISING OF LAZARUS

The friendship with Lazarus and that family is clear evidence for the humanity of Jesus. This relationship, in way, turn to an occasion where the glory of god is revealed to the disciples of Jesus at all times.[7] Before this act of bringing one back to life Jesus prays publicly expressing his filial relationship with the Father (Jn 11, 41). Father listens to the Son always and Son wanted to glorify the Father in all his acts. Here lies the filial relationship of both Father and son.

c) AFTER THE LAST SUPPER

When it was the time for him to be taken up Jesus becomes disturbed at heart and goes to the mountain to be with His Father in prayer (Lk 39-46). Jesus was aware of the pain and suffering he has to have on the coming days. As a human being it was too heavy for Jesus to go all through the suffering unto death. But realizing that Father has an answer for everything Jesus approach Father through the prayer. The redeeming mission of Jesus was thus fulfilled according to the will of the father though he had the feeling that at times even Father Himself abandoned Jesus. But at the end on the cross it was proved contrary.[8]

1.4.6 AT TRANSFIGURATION

Transfiguration was again another confirmation from heaven that Father and Son are in intimate union (Mk 9, 2-8). Father wills that all the people and the nations shall listen to his beloved Son. Father is pleased with the son and confirms that it is the pleasure of the Father to declare that Jesus is the beloved Son whom he has given for the world in order to redeem it from the clutches of sin and evil. Sending an angel to strengthen Jesus is also an expression of Father’s concern for his Son.

1.4.7 AT THE TIME OF HIS DEATH

Death on the cross also gives an explicit occasion for us to know the Father-son relationship. Even at the cross the human Jesus had the feeling that even the Father abandoned Him. But at the time of death Jesus clearly pronounce that “Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit.” (Lk 23, 46) Jesus on His earthly life completely subjected himself to the will of the Father and he continued his faithfulness to the will of the Father until time of his death on the Cross.[9] He was also aware of the fact that everything Father entrusted to him was fulfilled before last breath. “It is finished” (Jn 19, 30).

1.4.8 AT RESURRECTION

Resurrection was yet another occasion which revealed the Father-Son Relationship. Here the initiative is from the Father. Father did not abandon the Son to death; but he raises Him above the limitations of this world. The resurrection thus became another instance of the manifestation of the filial affection the Father has to his beloved Son. Resurrection is a more filial  a revelation than a theological and philosophical understanding of an act of God, in which Father raises His Son from among the dead so as to not only the dead but also the those who are going to be dead till the end of the world may reach the Father through Christ, the First born in whom all are made heirs of heaven.[10]

1.4.9 ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN

Ascension was really Jesus’ reply to the Fathers’ love. The human life and the human nature he had been to until his death did not prevent him to return to his Father, nor the salvific-zeal or the love for the mankind never prevented him to remain here on earth. Jesus willed to go back to the Father in order that he can have the union in its full sense. The Father-son union was perfected in heaven through the ascension. He was seated at the right side of the Father and is having a clear role and complete share in the creative work of the Father.

1.5 INTIMACY REVEALED BY HIS WORDS AND DEEDS

Not only we can observe in the life of Jesus the filial intimacy towards the Father but also Jesus has expressed this relationship many times trough his words and deeds.

1.5.1 WE ARE ONE STATEMENTS

The feeling that “I and the father is one,” was the core of the ‘abba’ consciousness of Jesus. “… I in them and you in me, that the may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have send me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (Jn 17, 23). “… and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me” (Jn 16, 32). Jesus was aware of son-ship and the relationship of a son to an Abba from a normal Israelites’ situation based on which He related to God the Father His Abba in heaven and ours too.[11]

1.5.2 ALL FATHER HAS IS MINE

Jesus had the firm conviction that “all my Father has, is mine.” Out of this conviction Jesus always performed miracles and taught the people.[12] “All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare to you” (Jn 16, 15). “On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name he will give it to you” (Jn 16, 23). Jesus understood the Father relationship in terms of the right of the son. Since he is the Son he has the right in all that the Father has.

1.5.3 WILL OF THE ONE WHO SEND ME

Jesus considered that doing the will of god is equal to food for the stomach. “… for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (Jn 6, 38). “I have food to eat which you do not know about” (Jn 4, 32).  Jesus was well aware of his mission. Doing the mission entrusted by the Father itself was considered the best food by Jesus.

1.5.4 PARABLES OF FATHER’S LOVE

Parable of the prodigal son explains the lavishness of love of a father to his son. This parable might be a creation of Jesus from his own personal experience. He knew the nature of the Father and his love for the lost and repentant. He always liked to say the forgiving love of the Father. Parable of the lost sheep, lost coin, giving one more chance to the baron tree and all are vague but clear examples of Fathers’ love towards the children. It is the heavenly Father of Jesus’ day to day experience of this world is reflected in all these parables.[13]

1.5.5 WHEN CHOOSING THE DISCIPLES

On the occasion choosing his disciples Jesus prays intensively for a night. It is out of his personal relationship with the Father he has elected the future ministers of the church who are to lead the mystical body of Christ after he has been taken unto the right side of the Father.[14] He prays there for a whole night and tries to identify the will of the Father. On the other hand it would be a possibility that the human Jesus could choose Lazarus or somebody else according to his personal preference as normal human being. He do not fall into this human possibility only because of his personal relationship with the Father and the firm desire to do His will alone.

1.5.6 RAISING LAZRUS

Jesus also makes a public announcement of the relationship between Father and himself at the tomb of Lazarus. Before raising Lazarus to life Jesus pray to the Father a moment aloud which explicitly state his relationship to the Father. “Father I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always here me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that the may believe that you sent me” (Jn 11, 41-42). ‘I wanted to glorify you and I know that you always here my prayers’ gives the state of his relationship to the Father.[15]

1.5.7 REJOICING IN SPIRIT

Lk 10, 21-22 is again a great pronouncement of Father-Son relationship. The joy of Jesus here is nothing other than the glory of the Father. “I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and revealed them to infants; yes Father, such was your glorious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the son and to anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal” (Lk 10, 21-22). Father-Son relationship is all the more evident in this passage. Jesus, both at the moment of his joy and sorrow never forgets to praise the Father.[16]

1.5.8 AT GETHSEMANE

Gethsemane experience of Jesus should in no way be omitted in explaining the filial relationship between Father and Son. Here the complete surrender of the will of Jesus to the will of the Father is very evident. God the Father never changes his mind but the human Jesus changes his mind. This is a model and a real example of Jesus to his disciples for ever. The pain and suffering that Jesus had while thinking of the suffering, death and abandonment was so severe that it produced not sweat but blood from his body. But still the will of the Father sustained (Lk 22, 42).

1.6 TESTIMONY BY DESCIPLES AND OTHERS

Not only form the words and deeds of Jesus but also from the witness of the disciples and even of the daemons we understand the filial relationship that Jesus had to his Father. The relationship is made explicit through their mouth too.

1.6.1 SHOW US THE FATHER

One of the disciples asking Jesus to show them all the Father to whom Jesus relates always in prayer gives the sound impression that Jesus had such a relationship towards his Father that even his disciples who are mostly doubtful and weak in understanding could guess the fact that Jesus their beloved master has a Father to whom Jesus has got such a deep relationship that they could also be learned and imitated. (Jn 14, 8). The “I am the way[17]” statement of Jesus’ answer again is a testimony of His relationship to Father.

1.6.2 DECLARATION OF PETER

Peter, the future head of the Apostolic Community, pronounced as the representative of the disciples with an inspiration from above that Jesus is the Son of the God, the most high. His proclamation was in anyway not knowing the divine and human nature of Jesus completely but it was a heavenly attestation of God the Father trough the mouth of Peter in order that they may believe and to be prepared for witnessing that faith in future. (Mt 16, 16)[18]

1.6.3 TEACH US TO PRAY

The prayer experience that Jesus had at various occasions might have influenced the disciples. They might have observed the prayer of Jesus and should have been marveled at the relationship of Jesus towards his Father. They too wanted to have such an experience of prayer. That is why they bring the example of ‘John the Baptist teaching his disciples to pray’ as an argument relevant to put before Jesus so as Jesus to teach them to pray [19](Lk 11, 1). Knowing the mind of the disciples Jesus teaches them the classical prayer of the Bible the “Abba Father”, a Prayer addressing to God, the Father. The content of the prayer also explains how deeply Jesus was related to Father and seek out only thy will.

1.6.4 THE DEMONIAC

Even the Demoniac understood that Jesus the Son of the Father send to this world to redeem the mankind from the slavery of sin. The feared Jesus and not only but they pronounced that he is the beloved son of God and has the power and relationship with the Father out of which Jesus has got the authority over them.[20]  “… and he shouted at in a loud voice, ‘What have you to do with me , Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by god, do not torment me’”(Mk 5, 7).

1.7 ABBA EXPERIENCE IN OUR LIFE

The abba experience of Jesus should also be a good example before us. The Christian life of witnessing demands such a deep relationship with the person of Jesus and the heavenly Father. Life of Jesus it self is a model before us; and also we can learn from the life of saints observing that how they practiced this relationship in imitating Jesus.

1.7.1 LIFE OF SAINTS AS MODELS

The god experience after the model of Jesus can be I different ways. Jesus identified god as the Father and that is the ideal way. But more important thing is that the intimacy with god. Saints practiced this intimacy in different ways. St. Teresa of Child Jesus and Holy Face selected the way of a spiritual childhood to relate to Father God. She considered her self as a little child of the Father and sometimes as friend of child Jesus and even at other occasion as a ply ball at the hand of child Jesus. These all were her ways in expressing the intimate relationship with the Lord. St. Teresa of Avila is yet another example of a mystical union with God. She considered god as husband and sometimes as a lover who seek for his beloved. St. Teresa of Calcutta, again another Theresa understood the suffering Jesus as her personal God. She expresses the love Jesus towards the abandoned in relation to the Fathers’ concern for the children

1.7.2 EUCHARIST AS THE IDEAL MEANS OF INTIMACY

Ideal means to grow in our intimacy with God is the Eucharistic sacrifice itself. Jesus is present to us completely in the Eucharistic mysteries. One who receives him with proper intention and adequate preparation receives Christ in his entirety and become one with Christ. Eucharistic sacrifice also commemorates the love of the Father towards this world. The salvific mysteries are made present for the people of the present times, is through the Eucharist. Holy Communion preserves the supernatural life of the soul by giving the communicant supernatural strength to resist temptation, and by weakening the power of concupiscence. It reinforces the ability of our free will to withstand the assaults of the devil. It help us to avoid the occasions of sin and to have complete union with the Holy Trinity and thus capable of  doing the will of the Father always, in this life on earth. In a formal definition, the Church calls Holy Communion “an antidote by which we are preserved from grievous sins” (Council of Trent, October 11, 1551). St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 200 – 258 A.D.) says, “If Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, is Himself the High Priest of God the Father; and if he offered himself as a sacrifice to the father; and if he commanded that this be done in commemoration of himself — then certainly the priest, who imitates that which Christ did, truly functions in place of Christ.” (Letters 63:14).

CONCLUSION

The abba consciousness of Jesus was so firm that in all his words, deeds and action he represented the Father and His will. His relationship with the Father was very evident to anyone who listened to him, all those who approached him and even the daemons. Not only Jesus had the awareness and conviction that Father is with him and he is in union with the Father but also the Father too has confirmed that Jesus is his beloved Son and it is to whom the nations and the people shall listen especially on the occasions of baptism, transfiguration and at last on the moment of resurrection. “When Jesus walked among us, He had a special name for God. When he called Him “Abba,” he introduced to the world a new and more richly intimate view of God” (St. Justin the Martyr (c. 100 – 165 A.D.) Dialogue with Trypho, 41).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

  1. JEREMIAS, Joachim, “Abba,” in Abba (Gtittingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1966).
  2. SCHILLEBEECKX, Edward O.P., Jesus: An Experiment in Christology (New York: Seabury, 1979).
  3. GRAEF, Richard, Yes Father (New York: Frederick Pustet Co. Inc., 1938).
  4. MARITAIN, Jacques, On the Grace and Humanity of Jesus (London: Burns and Oates Limited, 1969).
  5. BUCKLEY, James J., Seeking the Humanity of God: Practices Doctrines, and Catholic Theology (Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1992).
  6. WEINANDY, Thomas, In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh: An essay on the humanity of Christ. (Edinburgh: TT Clark Publishers, 1993).
  7. TORRANCE, Iain, Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity (London: Burns and Oates Ltd., 2000).
  8. BARBOTIN, Edmund, Humanity of God (New York: Orbis Books, 1976).
  9. BARTH, KARL Humanity of God (London: Collins, 1961).
  10. GRUEN, Anselm Jesus: The images of humanity (New York: Continuum, 2003).
  11. COMBLIN, Jose, Jesus of Nazareth: Meditations on his Humanity (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1979).
  12. WEINANDY, Thomas, In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh: An essay on the humanity of Christ. (Edinburgh: TT Clark Publishers, 1993).
  13. ROME. Liturgical Commission, Abba, Father (Mumbai: Pauline Publications, 1998).
  14. UNDERHILL, Evelyn, Abba: Meditations based on the Lord’s Prayer (London: Green and Co., 1940).
  15. AMALDAS, Yesu Abba consciousness: Method of a Christian yogic meditation (Bangalore: Asian trading corporation, 1982).
  16. KODELL, Jerome, Collegeville Bible Commentary: the Gospel according to Luke.Vol.3 (Minnesota: Liturgical press, 1982).
  17. HILL, David, New century bible Commentary: the Gospel of Matthew.Vol.13 (London: Marshall, Morgan Scott, 1981).
  18. LINDARS, BARNABAS, New century bible commentary: the Gospel of John.Vol.16 (London: Morgan Scott, 1981).


[1] JOACHIM JEREMIAS, “Abba,” in Abba (Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Gtittingen 1966) 14.

[2] EDWARD SCHILLEBEECKX O.P., Jesus: An Experiment in Christology (Seabury, New York 1979) 09.

[3] JEROME KODELL, Collegeville Bible Commentary: the Gospel According to Luke.Vol.3 (Minnesota: Liturgical press, 1982) 98.

[4] DAVID HILL, New century bible Commentary: the Gospel of Matthew.Vol.13 (London: Marshall, Morgan     Scott, 1981) 105-107.

[5] THOMAS WEINANDY, In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh: An essay on the humanity of Christ. (Edinburgh: TT Clark Publishers, 1993)  46.

[6] KARL BARTH, Humanity of God (London: Collins, 1961) 166.

[7] BARNABAS LINDARS, New century bible commentary: the Gospel of John.Vol.16 (London: Morgan Scott, 1981) 574.

[8] BARNABAS LINDARS, New century bible commentary: the Gospel of John, 683.

[9] JEROME KODELL, Collegeville Bible Commentary: the Gospel According to Luke, 218.

[10] AMALDAS, Yesu Abba consciousness: Method of a Christian yogic meditation (Bangalore: Asian trading corporation, 1982) 127.

[11] EVELYN UNDERHILL, Abba: Meditations based on the Lord’s Prayer (London: Green and Co., 1940) 29.

[12] EVELYN UNDERHILL, Abba: Meditations based on the Lord’s Prayer, 43.

[13] ANSELM GRUEN, Jesus: The images of humanity (New York: Continuum, 2003) 96.

[14] ROME. Liturgical Commission, Abba, Father (Mumbai: Pauline Publications, 1998) 33.

[15] BARNABAS LINDARS, New century bible commentary: the Gospel of John, 326.

[16] JEROME KODELL, Collegeville Bible Commentary: the Gospel According to Luke, 189.

[17] JOSE COMBLIN, Jesus of Nazareth: Meditations on his Humanity (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1979) 101-103.

[18] JOSE COMBLIN, Jesus of Nazareth: Meditations on his Humanity, 124.

[19] IAIN TORRANCE, Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity (London: Burns and Oates Ltd., 2000) 94-96.

[20] THOMAS WEINANDY, In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh: An essay on the humanity of Christ. (Edinburgh: TT Clark Publishers, 1993) 202-205.