Dearly Beloved in Christ
Our Church is deeply mourning as the Valiya Metropolitan His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan is taken to eternal rest on 5th May 2021. Valiya Metropolitan was a great leader not only for our Church but to the Church as whole and society at large.
Tirumeni was born on 27th April 1918 to Very Rev. K. E. Oommen Kassessa and Mrs. Sosamma Oommen of Adangapurathu Kalamannil family. Tirumeni was moved by the mission activities of the Church and involved in the missionary activities in Ankola, North Karnataka before his theological studies. He was ordained as Deacon on 1st January 1944 and as Kassessa on 3rd June 1944. Tirumeni was ordained as Ramban on 20th May 1953 and as Episcopa on 23rd May with the name Philipose Mar Chrysostom Episcopa. He was elevated to the position of Suffragan Metropolitan in May 1978 and was installed as the Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church on 23rd October 1999. Tirumeni retired from the position of the Mar Thoma Metropolita in the year 2007 and thus became the Valiya Metropolitan of the Church.
Tirumeni has been leading a very active life giving a new meaning to retirement, by his way of life. He was approachable to people of all walks of life. Tirumeni was dearly loved by all people. His unique ability to keep laughing and make others to laugh with his insightful humour made him an icon of great admiration and respect. He carved smiles on the faces of listless audiences he met. He held the charisma of drawing people from all walks of life.
Many books and documentaries have been published containing his humorous speeches and talks. Tirumeni was awarded the Padma Bhusahan by the President of India in the year 2018. We got the approval to function as a Parish while Tirumeni was the Metropolita of the Church. We as a Parish we will always be grateful to Thirumeni for the love, leadership, and prayers he has given us a Parish and as individuals. We together as a Parish pay homage and place on record our deepest condolences on the passing away of an icon of our Church.
The Church celebrates the feast of the Pentecost this month. Jesus, during his earthly ministry had promised his disciples the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. In his farewell discourse (John 14-17), Jesus Christ had initiated the sending of the Holy spirit to his followers. This long discourse is a distinctive summary of the role of the Holy spirit.
In the Old Testament, we see traces of this promise. In the days of the prophets, God had promised to make a new Covenant with His people. He had promised to put His law within His people, writing it on their hearts, that He is their God and they His people (Jer 31:33). He had also promised to put a new spirit within His people, to remove their heart of stone and to give them a heart of flesh ([Ez 11:19, 18:31, 36:26). And finally, God had promised to pour out His Spirit within His people to enable them to follow His statutes and be careful to observe His ordinances (Joel 2:28). In Hebrew, the word for spirit is ruach: in Greek, pneuma; in Latin, spiritus – all of which mean ‘breathing.’ The idea is that when a person is breathing, he/she is alive. It is from this notion that the idea of an animating, life-giving, intelligent and active force comes. The word (in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin), thus meant “breath”, “life” and “spirit.” The Jewish tradition taught that when the Messiah came, God’s very own Life (Breath, Spirit) would be poured out upon all the faithful believers.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles in the form of fiery tongues, an event that took place fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:1-42). The feast also commemorates the official inauguration of the Christian Church with the apostolic preaching of St. Peter, which resulted in the conversion of 3000 Jews to the Christian Faith.
‘Parakletos’ is the word Jesus used for the Holy spirit. For the Greeks, the word parakletos meant a lawyer, a legal assistant, a courtroom advocate. Jesus is telling us that the Holy Spirit is our Advocate Who speaks up for us when we’re accused, judged, or wrongly condemned, and is also our witness who testifies on our behalf. Parakletos can also refer to a person who comforts, counsels or strengths us in time of need. The Holy Spirit gives us Life, stands by us, defends us, strengthens us, and consoles us. The Holy Spirit assists us in our inadequacies and enables us to cope with life in the true Christian spirit.
The indwelling Holy Spirit is to help us grow towards wholeness in Christ. We all have many inhibitions within us and they keep us from becoming what God wants us to be. They prevent us from growing into maturity and wholeness in Christian faith. If we ask God for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us the Holy Spirit will helps us to see the truth about ourselves and give us the discernment to overcome the inhibitions that stop our growth and will transforms our lives.The Holy Spirit then lives in us, and we hear the voice of the Spirit, counselling and guiding us in the way of truth. Let us be still in God’s presence, open our minds and hearts to hear Him and obey Him.
God bless you all.