Today we commemorate St. Jacob Netsvetov, a mixed Russian and Native American Aleut, who endeavored for many years to be the Enlightener of the Yupik People in Alaska. It was through his missionary efforts that thousands of Yupik Eskimos of the three river basins were brought to the Orthodox Christian faith. Holy Father Jacob pray unto God for Us!
This Sunday we hear the gospel lesson from St. Matthew 8:28-9:1 concerning demons and possession. Jesus himself did not reject the popular notion of his time that Satan and his demons had power over the fallen world, causing physical and spiritual sicknesses and bringing about a distortion of the divine likeness of human beings.
Today we hear the story of the Roman officer who came to Jesus to ask him to heal his servant, saying, “but only say the word and my servant will be healed”. Upon hearing his request Jesus said, “not even in Israel have I found such faith…be it done for you as you have believed.” The centurion’s servant was healed at that very moment!