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The Attributes of a Chaldean Apostle 1 of 7 – Humility
By Frank Dado :: Thursday, January 10, 2008 :: 33122 Views :: Religion & Spirituality

This article is the first in a seven series discussion on the attributes of a Chaldean apostle.  A Chaldean apostle is a vigilant and faithful servant willing to accept in their mind and heart that Jesus is their God and savior.  By having such faith the Chaldean apostle’s behavior will naturally change and begin to better reflect the Kingdom of God.  Therefore, this series will examine the attributes of behavior that demonstrate the grace of our Lord and our choice to be a follower of Christ.  

True Chaldeans understand that God is the only person who can bring people to salvation.  Christians who believe this should result in an almost automatic humbling of any person.  There are those with egos who claim to be servants of God, but their behavior shows something entirely different. 

Part of the reason for this is the competitive spirit with which we have been brought up, always instructed to seek the first place so that we can gain glory for ourselves and those near us. While this is understandable to a certain extent in the world we dwell in, the rules are totally different in God's world.

The Holy Bible illustrates this beautifully in Mark 10: 35-45. Jesus had just told his apostles that he was going to die, but rather than be concerned about His fate, two apostles were more concerned about their own.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee - went to Jesus with the request that when He returned to heaven, they were to be seated on either side of Him. Bemused, Jesus told them that they didn't know what they were asking! "Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?" He asked. The cup he was referring to was not, of course, the cup of wine, but the cup of suffering.

The price of suffering is made clear in yet another verse of Scripture. "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:16-17)

When the other apostles found out what James and John had done they were furious, because they wanted the seats of honor for themselves.   Jesus called them all to Him and gently rebuked them saying that the world sought greatness by lording it over one another. “But it is not so among you,“ He said. "Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:43-45)

Once we come to this understanding of "servant leadership" and the attribute of humility that it requires, we quit trying to build our own little fiefdoms and set out to build God's Kingdom.  We stop trying to store up riches on earth, like fancy cars, expensive clothing, jewelry, and unnecessarily big homes.  These are all purchased to fill a void of insecurity and lack of self-esteem.  Even more dangerous is that when we do fall to the temptation arrogance we spiral into a pit of endless vulnerability and dependency on the whims of others.  A dependency  that forces us to foolishly endure an endless chase of what we believe will bring us happiness. 

When we begin cooperating with and serving others whose goals are the same as ours we move in the opposite direction. As this is, quite obviously, in God's own interest, He blesses all the work that we do - whether individually or collectively.  Happiness is abundant. 

Providentially John and James did not remain arrogant.  Both the apostles were willing to pray the price, and they did. James was the first of the apostles martyred for Christ. He was beheaded at Jerusalem. There is an interesting story told of the Roman officer who guarded St. James. He had watched as James defended his faith at his trial. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to get his head chopped off too.

John was the only apostle who was not martyred, though legend has it that he faced painful death when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome.  Miraculously delivered from death, John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos where he wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation.

The behaviors of those who relish in the arrogance of serving themselves instead of God are depressed and use outwardly goods to mask their sadness.  Sadly, many of them are the best of actors and consciously or subconsciously lead others down a dooming and destructive road.

To help change such a sorrowful path of arrogance we must support those who behave to bring about the kingdom.  It is then that God’s will is done.

 

 


Frank Dado is a student of Theology at the University of San Diego.  He enjoys the science of psychology and philosophy along with sports and writing.  He has written many reviews and essays on the philosophy of everyday living and the science of behavior.

Mar Addai Church, MI USA

Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church
24010 Coolidge Hwy.
Oak Park, MI 48237
Tel: (248) 547-4648
Fax: (248) 399-9089

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Founding Pastor:
Rev. Stephen Kallabat

Current Pastor:
Rev. Stephan Kallabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Fadi Habib Khalaf

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Sulemina Denha
 


 

Rev. Stephen Kallabat


Fr. Stephan Kallabat was born in Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing seven years of scholarly work for the priesthood in Mosul, Iraq Fr. Kallabat was accepted at the prestigious university in Rome.  There he spent six additional years of scholarly work in the areas of philosophy and theology and an additional four years in scriptural studies. 

Ordained a priest in 1966 by Pope Paul VI he returned to Iraq to serve the Holy Family parish until his departure to Michigan, U.S. in 1979 to serve the growing population of Chaldeans.  Fr. Kallabat was appointed assistant pastor, then pastor of Mar Addai Parish in Oak Park, Michigan. 

Hitting the ground running, Fr. Kallabat is credited with raising the necessary funds to provide Chaldeans in the local area a church and community center of their own.  Fr. Kallabat continues to serve the parish and Chaldean community as their pastor.   

Rev. Fadi Habib Khalaf

Fr. Fadi Habib Khalaf was born in Baghdad May 10, 1974.  Fr. Khalaf graduated from Baghdad University in 1997 and soon after joined the Chaldean seminary in Baghdad.  While there Fr. Khalaf earned a scholarship to attend the Urbanian Pontifical University in Rome.  There he earned another bachelor’s degree in theology and was ordained deacon in Rome on May 8, 2004. 

Fr. Khalaf then returned to Baghdad where he was officially ordained as a priest.  Afterward Fr. Khalaf returned to Rome to further his studies.  In 2006 Fr. Khalaf was appointed to serve Chaldeans in the United States.  

In the summer of 2006 he arrived to the Chaldean diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle and was cardinated into the Diocese and elected to serve at Mar Addai parish on March 15, 2007 as the Parochial Vicar.

Rev. Suleiman Denha

Rev. Suleiman Denha was born in Telkaif, Iraq.  He began his priestly studies in 1951 in Mosul, Iraq and was ordained in 1959.  Fr. Denha taught in Telkaif until 1961, when he was appointed pastor in Basra, Iraq in 1966. 

After immigrating to the Unite States in 1979, he was appointed to serve the Chaldean community in Virginia.  A year later, Fr. Denha was recruited to assist the much larger population of Chaldeans in Detroit. 

Upon his arrival Fr. Denha assisted Fr. Yasso at Sacred Heart Church.  In 1982 he was asked to temporally assist St. Joseph Church in Troy, returning a year later Sacred Heart. 

In 1991, he was appointed to Mar Addai Church in Oak Park, Michigan as the Parochial Vicar, where he still serves the community today.