Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Meletius calls for holistic approach towards development

Written By: on Jul 14th, 2010 and filed under Features, News, World News.


BANGALORE : “Togetherness can be meaningful and Christian only when it involves participation in the struggle for a better world or something aimed at liberating from all kinds of slavery. We can never be better in a isolated way where only one or two faculties alone are addressed. This is where a holistic approach with regard to development becomes relevant. What we see around us in terms of development is beneficial for just some and most of the time at the cost of the majority,” said Yuhanon Mar Meletius, Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, Diocese of Thrissur.

Metropolitan was addressing the youth on the special occasion of the centenary celebration of the United Theological College (1910-2010) in Bangalore recently.

The metropolitan addressed the audience for an hour on the theme talk — “Christian Youth in a post-modern World.”

The Metropolitan who gave modern examples to expound his theory pointed out that a relevant question at this point would be whether if postmodern world would help us to be with others? One of the philosophical positions of postmodernism is negation of communities and emphasis on individuals. This promotes the evolution theory slogan “survival of the fittest” which is carefully implemented through market economy.

Metropolitan quoted two Biblical verses for those working with Christian principles. “Where ever one or two are assembled I am in their midst” (Matthew 18:20) and “Whoever causes to stumble one of these little ones shall be thrown into sea.” (Matthew 18:6).

Dr Mar Meletius rightly mentions postmodern world having brought with it numerous blessings into our lives. But it has also placed challenges too. “The question is are we ready to share our resources with others or use them just for us and leave others aside unattended. If you follow this culture of “survival of the fittest” there will arrive people “smarter” than you are and will throw you aside on day, he predicted and warned…

“Define your life with a Christian perspective of love, sharing, caring and togetherness. Luxury and lavish life style, which we are advised to follow is a myth and will not last longer. Sharing and caring will sustain our lives and those of others too.

This, Metropolitan said, is the message of our youth of the postmodern world. “Love one another even as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) A distinguished alumnus of the UTC, Metropolitan Meletius was at home in his forthright speech. He shared the Christian principle of ‘kenosis’ or ‘self-emptying’ which is important in today’s lives.

“Unless you sell what is in abundance with you and give it to those who do not have, you cannot be called a Christian.” (Luke 18:22).
Trusts and foundations can be set up not only by big companies and by wealthy individuals, but also by use, every one of us, however poor that person may be. This is where ‘self emptying’ becomes relevant as he mentioned earlier.

The Metropolitan coined a new term called “human resource management” where in humans are considered just as clay, granite, coal, natural gas or petrol. He says the key word “exploit natural resources” was now applicable in the case of human too. Use them as long as they are useful and throw them away or exchange them for new ones when they cease to be useful.

He also pointed out how young people were looking for a life that is secure and decent. We realize that we have challenges before us. “The development we are talking about has influenced only certain areas and certain people,” he said.

Any talk about Christian should consider some of the fundamental principles of Christian life and for that matter human life in this world. One of the passages that he mentioned was the very first commandment of God. “It is not good that (hu)man be alone (Genesis 2:18 The word used is adam which means human and not ish which means male person) It is not only a talk about creating a partner, rather a commandment for mutuality and community based life of humans in this world, he reasoned.

There was also a buzz time followed by a plenary session during which a feedback was elicited from the groups. Proposals for continuing networking of the Bangalore Ecumencial Youth was also initiated during the seminar.

Earlier, Rev Dr Evangeline Anderson Rajkumar, Dean of Doctoral Studies, UTC and George Varghese, Director, YMCA, UTC coordinated the proceedings. Rev Dr John Samuel Raj, Principal, UTC, welcome the gathering.

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