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.
We are in the season of summer with its warm temperatures, humidity, and thunderstorms. It is also a time for outings, picnics, family gatherings and most of all relaxation and “down time” from the hectic pace of life.
On this Sunday we read the Gospel from St. Matthew 8:5-13 concerning Jesus’s encounter with the centurion as he entered Capernaum. Jesus Christ, was not only the bearer and messenger of God’s mighty Word, but the very Word of God incarnate, having the power to command the waves, cast out demons, raise the dead and heal the sick.
When Our Lord began His ministry He proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said to all, “Seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33) God’s Kingdom, my dear brothers and sisters, is an eternal fact, there is no doubt about that, for He is the creator and sustainer of all things, the King of Creation, ruling over all things.
We have already celebrated the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and are now in the Afterglow of this great Feast of Pentecost. In today’s Gospel we hear the call of Jesus to those who would follow Him, fisherman, at first instructing them to take up their nets and follow Him, becoming fishers of men. You see Jesus needed helpers and went out to find them. He chose ordinary people like us to respond with their whole hearts, making them extraordinary by His grace, in order to accomplish His purposes.