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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC
"Life in all its fullness“(John. 10,10)

- Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

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ANCESTRAL BONDAGES OR ANCESTRAL BLESSINGS - By Rev. Fr. Michael Payyapilly V.C.


In the recent past a lot of emphasis is being place on ‘ancestral bondages’. A woman once came to me during a convention and was speaking about the problems her family was going through. She spoke about her impending divorce, her daughter eloping with someone much her junior, a son who has a drinking problem. I felt sorry when I was listening to her and then she told me with a lot of pain and anger in her voice, that her ancestry was to blame for all of this. She went on that some where along the way, the sins of her ancestors has been the reason for all the trouble in the family. I did not react to this statement but it did get me thinking about this new ‘trend’ in many prayer circles, “Ancestral curses” or “Ancestral bonds”. Many do come with this heavy burden about how, if only their family ancestors would have behaved well or that they are suffering specifically because of these family bondages. I don’t mean to doubt about any of these things nor do I want to pass a judgment regarding people who think that way. I just want to bring to light something positive that we are missing here. We spend a lot of time discussing about the effects of ancestral evil but why don’t we reflect on the good that has been poured out on our family because of the holiness of our ancestors. Maybe they were not perfect but obviously they have done some good in their lives. What did that ‘good’ mean or how significant was it for us and our family?

A lot of the Christians in India have been living in the glory of our Christian heritage. The Syrian Catholics in Kerala speak of the Christian tradition going back to St. Thomas the apostle, the Latin Catholics speak of the faith that St. Francis Xavier brought in. A lot many of us take pride in the fact that we belong to first century Christians or so. We proudly propagate this, in and amongst our friends circle and to all who would be willing to listen to this well repeated story. When I was studying in the seminary, I came across this person who kept speaking about his family Christian heritage. I was warned well in advance about this by my friends. But the surprising fact was that the same person, somewhere in the course of our discussion, had changed color and was now vehemently speaking against the people who formed a part of his great tradition. Being a person who was well-to-do and with children who were very simple, yet he kept blaming his forefathers for the little problems in his family life. We seem to be people to take all the credit for the greatness of the past and at the same time are the first ones to point fingers at the previous generations if anything is going wrong.

Let us always be aware that a lot of blessings that we have today is a result of what has been handed down to us through our previous generations. This is why the Lord promises in Exodus 20:6 “I show steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.” We see the same promise being repeated in Deutronomy 5:9. When God blesses, He blesses till the 1000th generation. And we know that if God gives a promise He will keep that promise. We see this in the life of King David. God makes a promise to David in 2 Samuel 7: 12 ff “Moreover the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. But I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.” When God made this promise because of David’s faithfulness, He also saw to it that He kept it. This meant that even when Solomon went into sin against the lord, God forgave him and kept blessing the linage of David only because of the blessing that David procured as a result of his faithfulness. But obviously David was no saint. He did have his shortcomings and faults. We do see this in the incident of his sin with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11. But inspite of his faults he was always faithful to the Lord and that is why the Lord kept pouring out His blessings on the line of David. We read again in 1 Kings 15 of the incident of King Jeroboam “Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah. He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Maacah daughter of Abishalom. He committed all the sins that his father did before him; his heart was not true to the LORD his God, like the heart of his father David. Nevertheless for David's sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, setting up his son after him, and establishing Jerusalem; because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” Thus what we see here is that blessings are given to the lineage inspite of the sins of those living in the present, only because of the holiness of those who went before us.

Let us not forget that today if we have the faith in our homes, if we have been born into Christian families, it is because our ancestors held on to the faith. Amongst the Israelites, they always spoke about the God of Israel and the God of Isaac and the God of,
Jacob. There is a lot of meaning to this. It is an acknowledgement about the faith kept up by those down the generations. The Israelites knew that the three of them had their faults, but the greatest gift they gave them was the faith towards Yahweh. In the same way the greatest gift we have been handed down is the faith. Maybe it has come down through faulty instruments. But it is a fact that we too can say that I believe in the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, the same Father, Son and Spirit that my forefathers believed in, only because they passed on this great legacy to us.

The point for us to learn is whether the lives we live will be a source of blessing for the generations after us. What have we left to gift them? It is easy to point fingers and blame the generations before us for all our problems, but am I making the future secure for those coming after me. We look forward to our children having a good life, blessings pouring out into our grand children, our family legacy being held up with pride. If this is our desire, work towards it in our lives today. Through the actions that we do, the words that we say, are we accumulating blessings for our family. Is God pleased with my life enough, to give my family blessings down the centuries, right down to generation number thousand !!

 
Divine Updates

Retreats and Healing Masses in Sydney

Divine Australia invites you to healing Masses and retreats to be held across various venues in New South Wales, Sydney. To be led by Fr Augustine Vallooran VC. For details, email Fr Roni George, Director, Divine Australia - drcsydney@gmail.com.

Date: 2 - 7 October, 2018

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2017. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - drcsydney@gmail.com. Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2018 - December, 2018

Divine Retreats in Adelaide, Melbourne & Canberra

Divine healing Masses and retreats to be held across various venues in Australia. Masses to be offered by Fr Augustine Vallooran VC. Praise and worship by Glen and Teresa La'Rive.

Date: 22 September - October 1, 2018

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