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.
If it is genuine, faith expresses itself through works. When Peter confessed his faith in Jesus with the words, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) Christ then replied that Peter’s faith had been given to him directly by God. (Matthew 16:17) Remember what Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “Everything is possible for the person who has faith.” In Mark 10:51-52, we recall Bartimaeus who came to Jesus with exuberance, leaping, asking to be healed to which Jesus responded, “What do you want me to do for you?” He answered by saying I want to see again, to which Jesus said, “Go your faith has made you well”
As Orthodox Christians, we cannot expect God’s blessings without true obedience. This doesn’t mean that we must have good works to come to the Lord. Christ accepts us as we are when we come to Him by faith and repentance. Christ establishes a saving relationship with us by a free act of grace. There is a saying that it costs you nothing to be a Christian, but afterwards it costs you everything. Indeed, afterwards everything is transformed by a new light. Everything acquires a new grace. Everything becomes true life.
Let us recall the words of an ancient prayer which states, “Christ the True Light, who enlightens and sanctifies every person coming into the world, let the light of Your countenance shine upon us that we may see Your unapproachable light; and guide our steps in the way of Your commandments, through the intercessions of Your all-Holy Mother and of all the Saints. Amen!”
Let us recall that on this day we celebrate the 51st anniversary of the canonization of Our Blessed Herman of Alaska in August 1970. Let us pray for the intercession of our Father Herman before the throne of Almighty God for all of us.