When we are faced with spiritual and physical illness, we sometimes need to be reminded that God wants nothing more than to heal us, especially our souls. When the elites of the day witnessed God’s miracles healings, they accused Christ of partnering with the devil. Even after they witnessed God healing the blind, they remained blinded to God’s love and grace. Even after they witnessed God those who had been healed give praise to God, they insisted on using their voices to accuse God. We sometimes fall into this same habit. Sometimes we remain blind, out of sinful pride. Sometimes we don’t open our mouths to praise God. Now is out chance to let God heal us, so that we can share the Good News with everyone. God wants to heal us, and He wants us to share this news with others
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Thank you for tuning in to another episode of, Be Transfigured, where we invite you to live a new life in Christ. We pray that this episode is a blessing to you and will inspire you to rededicate your life to Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us for worship or study, at the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where visitors are always welcome. We'll be back in a few moments to share some more information about our ministry.
Again, this morning, my brothers and sisters, the gospel gives us a challenge of faith. Again, this week, our Lord is challenging us to believe in his power to heal. Now interestingly, of course, we're in the midst of this health crisis. Here in Florida, the numbers are continuing to increase on a regular basis. For some, it is a very difficult time. For others, it is filled with fear. For others, disbelief, let's be honest. We turn on the news one day, we don't know what to believe from one day to another, so it's difficult. We admit that. But this morning's gospel, is about healing. In the gospel, of course, it was physical healing, but we know that ultimately the gospel always is addressing our soul. So, it begins that when Christ enters this area he's met by these two blind men, and they call out to him, "Have mercy on us." We do the same thing at every liturgy. Κύριε Ελέισον, we say it hundreds of times a day. Lord have mercy on us.
Many of us, it is part of our habit in... Throughout our day to do our cross. We're always saying, " Κύριε Ελέισον Lord, have mercy on us." And so, this gospel immediately brings into our consciousness our own practice. And Jesus turns to him and says, "Do you believe that I can do this?" He said, "Yes, we do." And he says, "According to your faith, let it be to you." And then Jesus warned them sternly, it says in the Gospel, "See that no one knows it." And yet, immediately they ran out and told everybody about the wonderful things God had done for them. And the next story, of course, is the healing of the dumb demoniac, dumb meaning he couldn't speak. And Christ healed him, and he began to speak and to praise God. And what was the response of the elites? The elite, the Pharisees, accused him of being in cahoots with the devil, "He casts out demons by the prince of demons." As if our Lord and savior was not doing a good thing. But Christ does not respond to them.
The way it is given to us in the Gospel, as soon as the Pharisees say this, it says that Jesus went about in the cities and the villages teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. My brothers and sisters, God wants to heal us. There is nothing that God desires more than our body and soul to be whole. And so, we are in the midst of this pandemic many more months than I don't think any of us had expected it to last. Unfortunately, we see many more months ahead, as we're looking into the future, that this is going to continue to be our situation. And so we wonder, is God going to heal us? The answer is, maybe he will, maybe he won't, but he will most definitely heal our soul. You see the Pharisees, although they were believing people, they saw the power of God and they remained blind. They saw God healing these people, he saw the blind be able to see, they saw the dumb be able to speak, and yet they remained blind. They remained spiritually dumb.
They could not speak the glory of God, because their hearts were not open to God's grace. And so, God moved over to another city, and moved over to another village. And we know this story, as he goes from village to village, city to city, he's making his way around the area. For those who have been to the holy lands, you've seen the areas that Jesus went by, town to town. But, my brothers and sisters, there's nothing he wants more than our soul to open our eyes to God's grace, our mouths... To open our mouths to sing praises to God. Unfortunately, many of us in our own way, we continue in the path of the Pharisee. We continue to speak our own truth. We continue to speak our own agenda rather than praising the grace of God. Many of us, like the Pharisees, remain spiritually blind to God's love in front of us. Many of us like the way we live because it's normal for us, even though we like to complain, because it's something that we know.
But, what the Pharisees couldn't get a grasp on, is that God has come to change the way we look at the world. How many times have we heard μετανοίτε? Repent. Change the way we look at life. It's up to us whether we remain spiritually blind to God's grace in front of us. It is up to us whether we open our tongues and give praise to God rather than to continually speak our own agenda. You see the gospel of God, my brothers and sisters, is like a penetrating sword. It cuts through our hearts sometimes for good, sometimes for pain. When it cuts to our heart in pain, as it must have in this moment for the Pharisees, when the truth of God's love, when the truth of God's commandments goes against our normal way of thought, let's not remain blind. Open our eyes to God's glory, open our mouths to sing praises to God
And to put an end to our own agendas and our own opinions and our own logic. And ultimately, this is what Christ means when he challenges us as he did yesterday in the gospel, to pick up our cross, to love nothing in this life more than we love God, so that we can truly know him and live with him for all eternity, physically in communion with him, both on Earth and in heaven, in the church, and throughout our city. Glory to God for all things.
Be Transfigured, is a production of, Be Transfigured Ministries in cooperation with the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox cathedral, in Tarpon Springs, Florida. We depend upon your generosity to maintain our ministry. You can make a safe online donation when you visit our website, LiveANewLifeInChrist.org.