Cleveland Prayer Group Website

Taking Qurbana for Granted?
By Mathew Samuel, Austin, TX

Mathukuttychayan is a prominent Malankara orthodox Christian. As always, he is standing in the middle rows for the qurbana - hands folded on his chest, observing the proceedings with interest.

It is the time for the kiss of peace. Mathukuttychayan graciously accepts the kiss of peace from his neighbour in front and passes it to the neighbour behind. While in the act, his eyes make a complete sweep -"Good Johnkutty has not come, I would hate to be in a situation giving the kiss of peace to him!"

The deacon goes "Let us all bow our heads...." Mathukuttychayan is counting the bulbs on the chandelier as he responds "We bow our heads before thee, our Lord and our God". He has no problem that the words from his mouth does not match the thoughts in his head. The practice that he has had in mastering this art - right from his childhood - is the secret!

Mathukuttychayan's mind is busy today. There is a seemingly good property deal that he had struck earlier this week. But yesterday night, he happened to hear that there is a better one going around. Mathukuttychayan is a careful spender and he is very patient while considering such things.

"At this time, your minds and thoughts must be lifted up to where God the father..." continues the priest.

Mathukuttychayan mumbles out of sheer habit "With the Lord God are they, our minds and our..". The thoughts race through his head - "Today I will meet the agent before lunch, and perhaps arrange for a meeting tommorrow first thing"

Mathukuttychayan, of course, knows all songs by heart. He loves to give a good excercise to his vocal chords once a week - during Qurbana, and he lets go at the top of his voice! The strain and the pain he takes while singing is all visible on his face - throat up. He forms a mini choir of his own around the area where he is standing - as his is a very prominent voice. The choir in front tries haplessly to maintain the tune and the rhythm.

Mathukuttychayan is oblivious of the resultant chaos, as he has no time to listen - he is busy "singing"!

The time comes for the Great Procession Westwards with the Holy Elements. Mathukutty chayan's hands are folded stoutly on his chest - he strikes a defiant pose, and his eyes are curious as he notes Achen's garments, the candles, the alter boys etc. He sees Jijo in front of him joining his hands in prayer from the time the procession started moving westward - but he tries to look away. Once or twice it did occur to him - "Should I join my hands too?!" But his pride will never let him do that - "Its ok, God knows..God does not care for these hollow expressions anyway!" he would console himself.

Soon the Qurbana is over. Mathukuttychayan hurries through the motions of "Kaimuthu" and steps out. Everyone knows him and he loves the recognition. He spends time with everyone. Soon afterwards its time to leave. Mathukutty chayan heads for home - a nice day at church, he knows he has a tough week ahead, but he would love to be back the next Sunday for another Qurbana - to enjoy it as he did today.

But again - will he be there to come back the next Sunday? Is he sure? ARE WE SURE???

Friends, none of us know if we will have the blessing to be back for the Qurbana the next time, in flesh and blood - so let us not take each experience of the Holy Qurbana for granted. Let us approach each Qurbana as though it will be our last one on this earth - and thank God for the innumerable blessings.

Source: IOIF

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