Devotional Thoughts for the Lazarus Saturday - 31st March 2012
Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Matthew 4: 1- 11
Dear and Respected Brethren,
For the last about thirty nine days we all were repeating in our prayers: “Moses and Elijah fasted, so also our Lord also fasted for forty days and they have won the Satan. Our Lord, who had been pleased in the fasting and humbleness of Moses, kindly accept our Lent, prayers and have mercy upon us.” It is needless to tell anything about the final day of the fasting of our Lord. St. Mark in his Gospel it is said that our Lord was driven to the wilderness immediately after the heavenly experiences of our Lord’s baptism. (St. Mark 1 12) The evil spirit asked our Lord it by knowing that He was hungry, “if you are the son of God, command these stones be made bread,” Our Lord refused to answer the evil spirit for the question because hunger is the basic need of mankind and not of God. Lord Jesus being full God and full man answered the evil spirit by saying: “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Many of us might have fasted till noon. A few might have fasted from morning till evening. The duration of our fasting is not the question here. We are obliged to find the answer for another question. How many of us have listened words that came to us from the mouth of our living God. We might have read the Holy Bible or listened others who might have read. That is definitely different from the listening to our Lord or to the words that came from the mouth of our Lord God. We have been taught that the Church is the body of Christ our Savior, where Lord Christ Himself is the head of the Church. While we all are small parts of the body, every now and then our brain must be giving instructions to us do this or not to do this. Knowingly or unknowingly each and every parts in our human body is responding to the instructions from our brain. When our leg pains, our hands move to the spot and the fingers give a feather touch on the concerned part. This sort of responses takes place every now and often. While we are in the body of Christ, are we not dead or equally dead? In our deep sleep also our brain gives instructions to various parts to do certain services to the body. During the forty days, how many of us could give heed to Him who might have given so many instructions for the welfare of the body where we all are parts. Let us take a decision to give heed to His commands and instructions. Our response to the call is to come automatically and on the spot. Let us get prepared for the due response. The second temptation that faced by our Lord was from the top of pinnacle of the temple. The human tendency is that if a man could reach a higher position, he or she would not mind to get down. He or she would try to remain there in the same position for ever. As our Lord was questioned by Satan with the verses from the Holy Scriptures, our Lord also replied with the quotes from the Holy Scriptures. When we might attain powers and positions in the world, we might describe them as ‘God given’ positions or opportunities. We must make sure that all that are held by us are really from God and due to God’s wish. The final temptation that faced our Lord was to worship him so that he might give all that is held by him. Immediately our Lord told Satan to move away by quoting God’s commandment to worship God alone. Are we worshipping God alone? Let us all find the answer ourselves. When we see the beauty of the world, we are forced to worship anyone and anything else other than real God. And we often get aloof from God and His divine presence. We should not forget the truth that if we keep on loving the world and its beauty or attraction, we cannot enjoy the life in Him and the peace and comfort from the life with Him. God would not ask us whether we observed the fasting, whereas He would ask us how we fasted. We will get the courage and strength to drive back the evil powers, provided we might be obedient to our Lord’s commands and instructions. Let us give heed to our Lord God and respond to His commands positively.
Let us make use of the services in the Passion Week to attain spiritual strength and stamina. Let us get identified to Christ who suffered for us and seek His imminent blessings.
May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril