Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement of India (MGOCSM), the oldest student Christian organization in Asia, is the student wing of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The students and senior leaders of our Church who were residing in Madras in the early part of the last century felt the need for an organization to bring together our students in various colleges and high schools with a view to deepening their spiritual life and to create in them a livelier sense of fellowship. They founded the Syrian Student conference in 1907 and the first conference was convened on 1st January 1908 at Tiruvalla. The Syrian Student Conference, the parent organization, assumed its present name MGOCSM in 1960. It is the oldest Christian Student Organization in India with the motto – Worship Study Service.
MGOCSM have been maintaining inter-disciplinary contacts in the academic field for a long time by the formation of its wings. They are the High School, Higher Secondary, College students’ wings, University, Higher Secondary, High School teachers’ associations, Medical Auxiliary, Technical Auxiliary, Missionary forum, Literary forum, Publication Wing, Music Wing, Legal Forum etc. Student Centres at Kottayam, Tiruvananthapuram, Kothamangalam, Alwaye Davengere (Karnataka) stand as fitting monuments to the continuous and tireless efforts of the Movement during the past years, Each Student Centre provides hostel facilities in addition to chapel, auditorium, reading room and guest rooms. Mar Theophilus Study Centre in Kottayam is available for seminars, study classes etc.
For the students of our Church, who are geographically isolated and for those who are not able to be in fellowship with other MGOCSM members due to different reasons, the central office has given a formation to MGOCSM E-Unit which is an opportunity for association and fraternity through the Internet.
The Movement has three main objectives:
- to deepen the spiritual life of its members.
- to prepare them to be responsible citizens in the Church and Society
- to encourage them to commit themselves for sacrificial service in the Church and Society
Above all, the greatest contribution the Movement has made to the Church is that it has prepared and provided able and outstanding leaders for her service from time to time. Crossing the golden mark of 100 years in history the Movement looks forward to venture into new areas and to establish more centres for effective work. Let us thank the Almighty for His blessings on the Movement and seek the intercession of our Patron Saints Mar Gregorios and Mar Dionysius.
PATRON: His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos and the Malankara Metropolitan
PRESIDENT: H. G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos
General Secretary: Rev. Fr. Philen P. Mathew
Office Bearers of MGOCSM Delhi
PRESIDENT: H. G. Dr. Youhanon Mar Demetrios, Metropolitan
VICE PRESIDENT: Rev. Fr. Biju P. Thomas
GENERAL SECRETARY: Mr. Basil Poulose
|1.||Princy Kuriakose||Joint Secreatry|
|3.||Subin Jacob||Worship Secretary|
|4.||Abin Rajan||Study Secretary|
|5.||Tissy Annie Thomas||Service Secretary|
Thought for the Month
By all accounts (narrated only in the Synoptic Gospels) the birth of Jesus is an event revealed only to a select group of people. When we put together the birth narratives we will find that those who are recipients of this birth are the poor shepherds and the Wise Men in addition to St. Joseph and St. Mary. As such it must be seen as an event that received scant attention and by and large the general public is exempt from this revelation. This is one of the reasons that the Eastern Orthodox Churches prefer to celebrate the appearance of Jesus at His baptism (Epiphany) rather than the Christmas. For, at His baptism the declaration of Jesus’ identity was clearly made public.
Why only this restricted announcement? Even with the angelic hosts announcing the event only the shepherds become aware of the significance of the child born in a stable in Bethlehem; St. Luke does not indicate that anyone else became aware of this announcement. We also have to ask why only the Wise Men in St. Matthew’s gospel? Were there no other persons who qualified for this revelation? The answer to these questions lie in the fact that these two categories of people alone met the condition who found favour with God as the angels pronounced. The shepherds were poor in spirit, which meant that their economic and social situations left them with no other support other than God. They could not avail of the subverting influence of gold or silver or political and social clout to gain a privileged positions. Their only hope was in God alone. Similarly the Wise Men sought to meet the great God who would alter the destiny of humankind and nations. They were not mesmerised by the glow of the star or of the lure of worldly wisdom. They sought the One God, and that One God alone. It is probably for these reasons that they alone were able to perceive the greatness of Jesus’ humble birth.
As we celebrate the Christmas with its joy and revelry it would be appropriate to ask ourselves if we own the necessary characteristics displayed by these two groups. Is our life based on God alone or does God come as a footnote to our power and prestige? What is it that we seek after during this Christmas season? Another fat bonus that swells our accumulated financial resources or the many gifts that provide us with fleeting joy? Let us be aware of the fact that even though the first coming of Jesus was announced to a restricted few, His Second Coming will be universally visible. And when we are called to account before our Lord and King, certainly to characteristics He will seek in us will be our complete faith in Him alone and that we have surrendered ourselves totally, body, mind and soul to Him. We have to also keep in mind the fact that at that juncture we will not have the option of either rejecting or accepting Jesus Christ.
For a moment let us imagine the scene around the crib. The birth of Jesus had the additional benefit of integrating all of creation. In addition to the Holy Family there are the angels, the Wise Men, the shepherds and the cattle. While such a scene is not found represented in the gospels it is nonetheless a familiar Christmas card picture. It certainly carries a message. Do our celebrations and services serve to unite all creation or are we isolated in commemorating the birth of Christ within our own preferred circles. The integration of all creation is an intrinsic part of the theology of the Eastern Church, yet another reason why it prefers the celebration of the baptism of Jesus as opposed to the Christmas. However, in this season of Christmas let us try to include all within the circle of our joy and happiness. Let us announce the divine birth to all so that all creation can join in the joyful celebration of our God becoming human so that we could become transformed into His likeness.
I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a joyful New Year!