The Gospel for this Sunday November 29th, is the reading for the 10th Sunday of Luke and speaks about Jesus’ healing of a crippled woman. Throughout the earthly ministry of Our Lord, Jesus often met with people who had various physical handicaps. We know from the various gospels read during the year about the blind beggar on the road to Jericho (Luke 18:35-43), the paralyzed man who was carried by his four friends to Jesus (Mark 2:1-12), the man with the paralyzed hand (Mark 3:1-6) and many others.
Shortly after the beginning of the Nativity Fast, we Orthodox Christians celebrate the second great feast of the Theotokos – The Entrance of the Holy Theotokos Into the Temple November 21. The first feast of the liturgical year, was the Birth of the Holy Theotokos on September 8th and now it is indeed fitting that our thoughts now at the start of Advent turn to the Mother of God, whose humble and silent expectation should be the model of our own expectation and anticipation of Our Lord’s coming.
Today we hear the Gospel of St. Luke Chapter 8:26-39 in which Jesus arrives in the land of the Gedarenes and encounters a man possessed with demons from the city. The man entreated the Lord not to torment him for Jesus had commanded that the demons leave this man. The demons asked to be loosed into a herd of swine from which they fell down the embankment into the water and drowned, thus freeing the man from demonic possession.
Today in the Orthodox Church we read the Gospel for the third Sunday of Luke, the story of the raising from the dead of the only son of the widow of Nain. As we recall, Jesus was entering the town of Nain and coming out of the town was a funeral procession with mourners including the mother of this boy to which Jesus said, “Don’t Cry”. He then approached the bier carrying the body and touched it saying “Young man I say to thee, arise”, and the young man rose and began talking, and Jesus gave him back to his mother, and they all praised Him.
This Sunday marks the first gospel reading from the Evangelist Luke, in which Jesus calls forth his first disciples, which is an act that is always contemporary. The same Jesus of the New Testament continues to call disciples to his holy Church to this day.