For centuries, Christians have recited the ‘Lord’s prayer’ which contains the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation.’ Recently Pope Francis have suggested a change to this phrase in the Lord’s prayer. In his opinion, this phrase “is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation.” What is the possible solution for an apparent misconception pointed out by Pope Francis? (Click on the picture to read more...)
1 Corinthians 11.2-16 is a very misunderstood and misused text in the Bible. It speaks about the use of the head-covering by the women. At the first outlook, Paul comes across as a strong proponent of male domination and patriarchy. But a careful study of Pauline letters will reveal that Paul was not so anti-feminist as any would think him to be. Paul proclaimed a law-free gospel. His idea of radical freedom and equality was probably misunderstood by the Corinthians. Therefore, he needed to clarify them. In the present-day context, his arguments for veiling may not find valid stand. But he undoubtedly says that women and men are equal in the Lord. But this equality is not achieved by mere imitation of each other as some try to do even today. This is achieved rather through mutual respect and reverence while accepting that men are men and women are women. Female is beautiful and sublime. What is feminine need not to be thrown away to be liberated. Empowering of women should take place in the feminine style. Covering head may not be an issue today. But society and the church is still a long way to accept women and their public roles. We have covered them in our minds, in our homes, and in our society. They are still chained up in the custom, in tradition, in The Book, and in the society. Today Jesus asks us, “Unbind her, Let her go!” (Click on the picture above to read the article.)
‘Doubting Thomas’ has become a well-known phrase in many languages. This phrase is based on the resurrection narrative episode in John 20:24-29. But, I always thought of Thomas as an insisting lover. In a world, which seeks of scientific proof for everything, it has become a norm that we look for evidence of everything. The scientific approach to the scripture tries to analyze and find some conclusive evidence to the resurrection of Jesus. I wonder how tedious it is to prove that resurrection is a reality. However hard we try, we will not be able to prove it. What we need is the attitude of Thomas- an insisting love searching for the Lord with an uncompromisingly honest desire. If only we could search him in and with such love, the resurrection will become meaningful to our lives. Authentic faith is based on testimony and the Gospel narrative itself, with its witness to Jesus’ signs, including his resurrection, makes such faith available to later readers. Blessed are those who can experience the resurrection in the loving simplicity of hearts!
A sign is something that points to another reality. When scribes and Pharisees ask for a sign from Jesus, they are in fact asking him to prove him as Messiah. “They had witnessed countless miracles pointing to the reality of the kingdom and the truth of Jesus’ proclamation and yet would not believe. They had been the recipients of far more evidence than had the Ninevites or the Queen of Sheba. Whereas the latter acted upon what little they knew, the Pharisees not only failed to accept what they saw, but they attributed it to the power of Satan.” Thus by asking for a sign they are refusing Jesus and his message. For those who fail to believe in Jesus even after the miraculous deeds he performed, the sign which he gives to Pharisees and scribes will be a stumbling block. This is no sign for unbelievers. As St. Paul says, Christ crucified is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1Cor 1:23).
ലഭ്യമായ തെളിവുകളുടെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തിൽ ഏദൻ തോട്ടം എവിടെയാണു എന്നുള്ള ഒരു അന്വേഷണമാണു ഈ ലേഖനം. ഒരുപക്ഷെ ഏദൻ എന്നു പറയുന്നത് വെറുമൊരു സാങ്കൽപ്പികസ്ഥലം മാത്രം ആവാം. എങ്കിലും ആ സാങ്കൽപ്പികതക്ക് ഗ്രന്ഥകാരൻ ഒരു പ്രത്യേകസ്ഥലം മനസ്സിൽ കണ്ടിട്ടുണ്ടെങ്കിൽ അതു തീർച്ചയായും ലേഖനത്തിൽ പ്രതിപാദിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നതുപോലെ ഇസ്രായേൽ-ലെബനോൺ പ്രദേശം ആകാം. ചരിത്രസത്യങ്ങളെക്കാൾ ഉപരി ഏദനിലെ തോട്ടവും അതിനെ ചുറ്റിപറ്റിയുള്ള കഥകളും നമ്മെ പഠിപ്പിക്കുന്ന ഒരു വലിയ സത്യം ഉണ്ട്. അതു ഈ ലോകം സൃഷ്ഠിക്കപ്പെട്ടത് എല്ലാവർക്കും വേണ്ടി ആണു. ഏദൻ എന്ന ഹീബ്രൂ പദത്തിന്റെ വിവിധ അർത്ഥങ്ങളിൽ ഒന്നു ‘സന്തോഷം’ എന്നാണു. സന്തോഷത്തിൽ ജീവിക്കാനുള്ള ദൈവത്തിന്റെ പദ്ധതി ഉപേക്ഷിച്ചുകളഞ്ഞത് മനുഷ്യന്റെ സ്വാർത്ഥത ആണു. ദൈവത്തിന്റെ കൽപ്പനകൾ പാലിച്ച് അവിടുത്തെ ഹിതമനുസരിച്ചു ജീവിച്ചാൽ ഏദൻതോട്ടം നമുക്ക് ഈ ലോകത്തിൽ വീണ്ടും സൃഷ്ഠിക്കുവാൻ സാധിക്കും.