The month of September in our lives is a very busy time, we are winding down our vacations and summer relaxed pace and are now going into high gear. School is starting, the weather is changing, students are returning to college and the pace of our lives are accelerating as Fall approaches.
This Sunday, the first Sunday of September 2021, speaks to us about the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, which illustrates the importance of forgiving others. This parable provides an interesting contrast between the teachings of the Old and New Testament concerning forgiveness.
Today we celebrate the last Feastday of the Orthodox Liturgical Year. The Feast of the Beheading of the Holy Forerunner and Baptist John. This is one of the feasts of the Church which is recorded in the Gospel of the Evangelist Mark chapter 6:14-30, which tells of Herod the King and Herodias, the wife of his brother Phillip and their daughter Salome.
On Sunday August 15, 2021, we Orthodox Christians will celebrate the Great Feast of the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Most Holy Mother of God. From August 1-14th, we have observed the Dormition Fast which precedes this Great Feastday dedicated to the Virgin Mary, through whom the mystery of the Incarnation took place.
On this Sunday, we hear in the Gospel Lesson about the two blind men who came to Jesus to be healed. But before they were healed, Jesus wanted to know about their faith. He deliberately called for their personal response of faith. It was through the action of God’s grace and the power of their faith that the blind men received their sight. Faith, their faith brought light to their eyes. God is light, and to those who have entered into union with Him, He imparts of His own brightness to the extent that they have been purified.
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.