Sunday of the Paralytic

Let me draw your attention to these three features of today’s Gospel readings. The first is the sheer horror of being in dire need for thirty-eight years, broken down by a physical illness and not finding anyone who would care and help. What happened to this man happens to millions of others in our days. Because of the coldness of our hearts and our lack of care for others, many sick and starving people are growing desperate in the spirit and looking unsuccessfully for their way in life, and ultimately, for the Living God. We are cold at heart, and millions of people are in darkness, loneliness, and despair.

The second feature concerns exactly this: how many of us can say that when they had a desire, a dream or a goal, and another person next to them had needed the same more strongly and for a longer time they stepped aside and sacrificed their wants. How many were willing to say to their brother or sister, “You go first, and I will wait.” In response to such an act, the Lord might have given each of us – if we had found the courage to act in this way – such spiritual calm and light that would have made irrelevant our most desperate desires.

Finally, Christ says to this man, “Beware and sin no more, or you will have greater sorrow than you have had so far.” Sin is manifest in words, thoughts, actions and volitions, but at its foundation, sin is breaking away from God, for God alone is the key to our integrity and wholeness. When we break away from Him, we deprive ourselves of the very possibility to be whole. But we open up to it whenever we act towards another in the same way as Christ would act towards him. Christ showed us the meaning of being human – to be whole, to bear within us His Divine peace and Glory. He showed us the way. He reminded us that whatever we did not do for the least of His brothers and sisters we did not for Him, and conversely, whatever we did for them, we did for Him; for when we do something good for someone we love, the loving person will not forget it.

Let us not stop thinking about our readings today. Let us keep on reflecting on the shadows of understanding that I have brought to you today; hopefully. Let them touch your hearts and minds, and may you be inspired to act upon them with courage and creativity. Amen.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds
Source: https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/Antonij_Surozhskij/propovedi/11_9

About the author

The Editor of the Catalog of Good Deeds.

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