“THE SUNDAY OF THE PARALYTIC.”
July 16th. 2006
Homily by the Bishop Severian, Eparch of
The episode of the miraculous cure that Jesus bestowed upon the man who suffered a paralysis presents to us an occasion to reflect that this paralytic can represent to us a person who is paralyzed spiritually or is a lukewarm Christian. In the first one there is no supernatural life, because the lack of divine grace, lost through grave sin. The latter is one who abuses God's grace or does not profit from it - does not cooperate with it.
The episode that we are meditating today tells us not only of the physical cure of the person, but even more of the spiritual cure of his soul. Jesus saw his long lasting suffering as a penance, and He became merciful towards him, giving him health to his body, but also by giving him forgiveness of sins, thus curing his soul, saying: "Have courage son, your sins are forgiven".
(Mt. 9:2) It seems that he became sick because of some sin. We therefore see that to be cured from a spiritual paralysis one needs faith and hope and a determined will to get rid of sin - to be cured from spiritual sickness.
At this time, let us also meditate upon the words of admonition that Jesus spoke to another paralytic whom he cured in
How many children born of alcoholic, drug addicted parents and those who abused sex are born with all kinds of handicaps or are even physical invalids. We must ask ourselves who are those who suffer. They, who suffer, are not only the individuals who have abused, through their addictions.
Let me put it straight and to the point, besides the one who mentally, physically and spiritually sinned. There is the wife, husband or children who suffer. All of them parents and children become a burden to society, and we pay heavily through taxes for treatment so everybody suffers. These are only three sins of abuse that cause problems in human lives. There are many others, like pride, envy, jealousy, imprudent ambition, hate and gullibility. Yet Christ is ready to tell each one of us: Get up, arise from your fall into sin, and walk the road of Christian living. Remember Christ wants to see in us a strong will to be cured of our spiritual illnesses and weaknesses. The sign of a weak will is the lack of any progress in our spiritual life. This is when we have no strength to get up and go the
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Let us ask our conscience today: Do we truly know how to value the examples and teachings of Jesus, His life and sacrifices, especially His death on the cross to bring us the grace of salvation? Do we treasure the fact that He instituted the Sacraments of Confession and Communion, especially Confession? This Sacrament is the Bethsidic bath of Supernatural Love and Grace that can heal the paralysis of a sinful soul. Do you know how truly valuable these Sacraments are in our Christian lives? Let us remember that we will be unable to be cured from our sins if we distance ourselves from Christ who is the fountain of our salvation. I remind you that those who come to Him with faith, hope and love, will come away from Him cured, cleansed, happy and elevated to the spiritual, supernatural life of grace in Him. So let us turn to Jesus Christ and accept His word that we will be cured through faith in the Lord!