The Gospel for May 7, 2023 is the Gospel reading of the Paralytic. Some of the most beautiful hymns of the Orthodox Church dramatize Jesus’s encounter with the paralyzed man. The Vesperal Hymn of that day sings, “the paralytic, an unburied dead man, upon seeing You cried out; Lord have mercy on me! My bed has become my grave. Of what use is my life? But I come to You, the fountain of healing, that I may say together with all Almighty Lord, glory to You!” It further sings, “Lord it was not the pool that healed the paralytic but your word”.
You see Brothers and Sisters, the power of Jesus’s voice was stronger than the bond of the disease. One of the poignant sayings of this Gospel Lesson is when He asks the paralytic, “Do you want to get well?”. Jesus was always looking for a response from those He addressed. He did this to test their desire, to find hope and to awaken faith.
He addresses each and everyone of us in a similar manner. You see, God’s love is always seeking love, God seeks to find us through Christ, the Church, other people, nature, and through particular incidents in our lives. Nothing can happen if we ourselves do not respond, do not stir out of our lethargy, do not reach out to Him in personal faith, for Jesus Christ makes us well!
This is the message of this Gospel following Pascha, for Jesus broke the loneliness of the paralytic; so likewise, we pray that He will break our loneliness today that we may keep reaching out in love to destroy the painful loneliness of those who sit alone on park benches, in their homes, or wherever, for having found the ultimate cure as did the paralytic who suffered alone some thirty eight years, in our surrender to you, may we reach out to bring the same divine companionship to others, helping them break out of their tombs of self pity and self centeredness to find in You life’s greatest joy!
Christ is Risen!