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Today we hear the Gospel Lesson from St. Luke Chapter 13 verses 10-17, the Healing of a Crippled Woman.

The main question that we should ask ourselves as Orthodox Christians, “How do we feel when we see a person with a conspicuous handicap, scar or deformity?  Let us ask ourselves, How do you think that such a person himself or herself feels?

In ancient times, it was thought that some physical handicaps were the result of demonic possession.  Jesus did not treat people with disabilities any differently from anyone else. He loved them as He did everyone else.  He approached them not as disabled persons but as persons with a disability.  That is the difference and He healed them, much to the consternation of the officials of the synagogue. Church people are especially prone to the temptation to denigrate and condemn all that is not, “of their orthodoxy”.

Let us, therefore, recalling this Gospel of the Crippled Woman, become humble enough, amenable enough to all light from above to admit – with joy and gratitude – the good that can be done through other channels than those which, rightly or wrongly, we consider “proper”.

May God make us able, when faced with any healing on the Sabbath, to feel what the people who surrounded Jesus felt…for all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him!

Jesus' healing of a crippled woman