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Good Shepherd Leads His Sheep to the Right Pasture: Mar Severios

AHMEDABAD: While elucidating upon the concept of the ‘throne of a bishop’ Metropolitan Dr. Mathews Mar Severios of Kandanad West Diocese said that a good shepherd was the one who leads his sheep to the right pasture. Leading sheep to the good pasture was the ministry of Jesus Christ and the ministry of a Metropolitan therefore, was the extension of the ministry of Jesus Christ, carried on the Metropolitan.

Mar Severios was speaking on the occasion of ‘Sunthronitho’ or enthronement of Pulikkottil Dr. Geevarghese Mar Yulios as Metropolitan of Ahmedabad Diocese on Saturday, March 5, 2011, which took place at St. Thomas Chapel, Naroda, the head quarters of Ahmedabad diocese. Ahmedabad is the leading city of Gujarat, the Western State of Indian Union.

Enthronement of a Metropolitan presupposes that there is a throne and that throne is mainly threefold, taught the Metropolitan of Kandanadu West.

Primarily a Metropolitan’s throne was that of teaching the true faith and right path of discipline. Bishop was the custodian of faith in his diocese and therefore, he shall be the primary teacher of true faith in his diocese, exhorted the Secretary of the Holy Episcopal Synod of Malankara Church.

“Secondly, the throne of a bishop is the throne of feeding and feeding stands for sanctification”, said Mar Severios. “A Metropolitan shall feed his herd food to receive all blessings towards the kingdom of God. Means for sanctification is prayer, fasting and intercession. Therefore, a Metropolitan shall be the one, who feeds himself with prayer, fasting and intercession and distribute this sanctification among his folk for their feed”, exhorted Mar Severios.

“Thridly, this throne is one of suffering. Lord Jesus Christ is the good shepherd, who has laid his life on the cross of suffering for his sheep, as we read in the gospel according to St. John 10:7 and 15:12. Laying one’s life is an act of suffering. Sitting upon the throne of a Metropolitan a bishop shall endure suffering for the well being of his folk like Jesus did”, concluded Metropolitan Dr. Mar Severios.

Earlier Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose celebrated Holy Eucharist. Metropolitan Thomas Mar Athanasios of Chengannoor, Metropolitan Dr. Mathews Mar Severios of Kandanadu West, and Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Coorilos of Bombay and Valiya Metropolitan of Ahemedabad diocese assisted the Pontiff at the enthronement services.

Countless number of faithful from all over the diocese and priests and dignitaries from the Church and social, cultural and political walks of life witnessed the events.

Fr. Dr. Johns Abraham Konattu, the Priest Trustee acclaimed that ‘where there is a bishop, there is the Church’ quoting St. Ignatius of Antioch. “In other words, diocese of Ahmedabad represents the true Church through the presence of Metropolitan Dr. Mar Yulios per his enthronement today”, said Fr. Dr. Konattu.

Bishop represents Jesus Christ in his diocese. According to the existing custom in the Church from 3rd Century onwards a bishop shall be elected by the people and accepted by the people and the clergy alike. Today’s enthronement is to symbolize precisely that”, carried on Fr. Konattu, Prof. of Early Christian Theology at the Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam.

Metropolitan of Chengannoor Diocese Thomas Mar Athanasios read out the bull from the Catholicos that proclaims the enthronement of Metropolitan Mar Yulios.

The service concluded at 11.00 am.