Today we read the lesson from the Gospel of St. Matthew 9:27-34, which specifically focuses on two blind men who come to Jesus to be healed of their infirmity. Jesus first wants to know about their faith, calling for their personal response of faith.

We know that through the action of God’s grace and the power of their faith, the blind men received their sight. Faith brought light to their eyes!

God is light and to those that have entered into union with Him, He imparts of His own brightness to the extent that they have been purified. It says, “when the lamp of the soul, that is the mind, has been kindled, then it knows that a divine fire has taken hold of it and inflamed it.” What a great marvel!

Man is united to God spiritually and physically, since the soul is not separated from the mind, neither the body from the soul… It was once said, ” a little faith will bring your soul to heaven, a great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” While faith is a gift, it has also to do with the quality of our response to God. You see faith is a gift but the power of this gift depends on the reception of it into our human hearts. This is the message of this gospel reading for “Christ, the true light, who enlightens and sanctifies every person coming into this world. Glory for all things!

Today we also commemorate St. Jacob Netsvetov, a mixed Russian and Native American Aleut, who endeavored for many years to be the Enlightener of the Yupik People in Alaska. It was through his missionary efforts that thousands of Yupik Eskimos of the three river basins were brought to the Orthodox Christian faith. Holy Father Jacob pray unto God for Us!

Let us also call to remembrance the Great and Holy Martyr Panteleimon, the Unmercenary Physician and Healer to hear our prayers during this time of disease and sickness, that he will help us in our continued time of need in our families, cities, state, country and the whole world!

St. Jacob Netsvetov