The Gospel lesson for the 6th Sunday of Matthew 9:1-8, recounts the healing of a paralytic whose friends brought him to Jesus on a bed. You see Jesus was at home in Capernaum and had gathered a large crowd around him. Unable to squeeze into the home, the four friends cut a section of the roof off in order to lower the paralytic to the feet of Jesus, bed and all. Startled by their perseverance, Jesus immediately turned His attention to the sick man, forgiving his sins and healing him.
But what was more astonishing was that Jesus admired the resourcefulness of this man’s friends in pursuing Jesus for help. Orthodox Christians should be more resourceful about the important things of God.
Relatives need to know Christ’s healing power, friends need to know Christ and His Church by which He forgives us our sins. Our parishes afford great opportunities to do God’s work through worship, fellowship, caring acts, and companionship. For many years at St. Herman’s our festivals have brought countless numbers of people to see what we are about, to be acquainted with us by opening our sanctuary during these days and explaining the many aspects of Orthodox worship, iconography and hymnography.
Another point to be made is the Christ blesses those who come to Him with eager resourceful and persistent faith. “Take heart, my son,” Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “your sins are forgiven”. Jesus, therefore, first healed the man’s inner paralysis and then blessed him with physical health and healing.
Jesus gave the same powers of forgiving sins and of healing the sick to His disciples. The Orthodox Church continues this same forgiveness and healing through its sacraments and prayers and the priesthood.
We all are in need of healing of becoming right with God and when we receive this grace, we must share it to the world around us that needs it most.
Yes, the paralytic was indeed fortunate to have four devoted friends who use their God given talents and resourcefulness to help their friend. Let us all become resourceful soldiers of Christ working to bring forgiveness and love to everyone we come in contact with. May God bless all of His children with all good things.