The only reason for faithful and responsible adults not to baptize the children in their care,
according to Orthodoxy, and so to have them sealed with God's Holy Spirit and communed with
the eucharistic gifts, is the fear that the baptized children might be gravely tempted to
abandon the faith and to defile the sacramental mysteries. This was the case in the past,
as for example in the lives of Ss. Basil and Ambrose, who were not brought into the
sacramental life of the Church by their holy parents who feared that they might sin
after participating in the Church's holy mysteries and be left excommunicated for many years,
perhaps even to their deathbed (See 2 Pet. 2:22). Such was the extreme
sensitivity to the sacredness of the sacraments in the early Church
All the Fulness of God
St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York, 1982, p. 131.
· The healing power of Jesus Christ.
· Jesus Christ changing lives forever.
· Jesus Christ healing at unexpected times in unexpected ways.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
May 7 - Visited parishioner in Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, West Virginia.
May 8 - Attended the funeral of Clifford Sloppy, retired Director of Education for the
Youth Development Center at Loysville, Pennsylvania held in Blain, Pennsylvania.
May 8 - Visited parishioner in Uniontown Hospital.
May 9 - Went to Morgantown, West Virginia to be with family at time of surgery.
May 11 - Attended continuing education seminar entitled "Healing the Healthcare System"
held in Morgantown, West Virginia.
May 13 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, West Virginia.
From the Desert Fathers
Abba Poemen said, 'Teach your mouth to say that which you have in your heart.'
The Sunday of the Paralytic 2006
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in
Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.
In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving
of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water;
then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever
disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When
Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time,
He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man
to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps
down before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." And immediately the
man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath .The Jews
therefore said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry
your bed." He who made me well said to me, "Take up your bed and walk." Then they asked him,
"Who is the Man who said to you, "Take up your bed and walk?" But the one who was healed did
not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward
Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more,
lest a worse thing come upon you." The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who
had made him well
Jesus Christ came to the paralytic and healed him. The man waited thirty-eight years to
be healed. We cannot put ourselves in the man's position to determine his feelings during
those thirty-eight years of paralysis.
We do know as a result of the healing of the paralytic that there is reason to always
maintain hope. We never know when Jesus Christ will dramatically enter our lives and make
significant changes for the better.
If we look carefully at daily life, we will see that Jesus Christ comes to us at every
moment. Jesus comes to heal us at every possible moment. He comes to us listening to our
Jesus comes to us through people we do not know who pray for us. Jesus comes through
people who are kind to us as a result of being Christian. Jesus comes to us in the Holy Gospel.
Jesus comes to us in the Divine services of the Church. Jesus comes to us in His Precious
Body and Blood. Jesus comes to us in all the Holy Mysteries of the Church.
Our lives may be stagnant. We may feel a paralysis of the mind. We may feel a paralysis
of the heart. We may feel a paralysis of the body. Jesus Christ can change the way we look
at our condition.
Jesus Christ can change the way we handle any condition we face in life. St. Paul was on
the road to Damascus. St.Paul encountered Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus and become a
new person in Christ (Acts 9:1-31).
We are new creatures in Christ if we accept the full message of our Baptismal experience.
We are new creatures in Christ if we accept the forgiveness of sins at Holy Confession.
We are new creatures in Christ when we partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ.
When we pray to Jesus Christ, we become new in Christ. When we listen to Christ and
change as a result of what we hear, we become new in Christ. When we fast and increase our
attentiveness to Christ, we become new in Christ.
When we accept and rejoice in the message of the Resurrection, we are new in Christ.
The world looks totally different to those who believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the defining perspective. The Church calls the
celebration of Jesus' Resurrection "The Feast of Feasts". Pascha is in a category by itself.
The Church is in the time of the Paschal celebration. The paralytic received new life in
Christ. The paralytic is an example for every century, for every parish, for every individual.
Courage is necessary to believe in Jesus Christ. Individuals believing in Jesus Christ
may be subject to persecution and ridicule (Mt. 5:10-11). Individuals
believing Jesus Christ may be subject to derision.
Jesus told his disciples:" You will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who
endures to the end will be saved." (Mt. 10:22)
The paralytic was healed. He gave the credit for the healing to Jesus Christ.
Do we give Jesus Christ the full measure of credit for all He has done for us?
Do our lives reflect appreciation for Jesus Christ suffering upon the Cross?
Do our lives reflect appreciation for the forgiveness of sins we experience in Holy
Confession? Do our lives reflect the deepest deserved appreciation for being able to
partake of the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?
How do we show our love and appreciation for Jesus Christ? Do we give our time and talents
to the Church of Christ? Do we come to Church as much as possible to give thanks to God?
Do we form relationships and maintain relationships the are founded in the love of Christ?
Do we walk in the newness of life praising and giving thanks and glory to God?
Do we look at life and the future with confidence in the Risen Lord?
Do we embrace the message of the Resurrection?
The paralytic was questioned about his healing. Are we staunch in confessing Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ said: "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before
My father who is in heaven." (Mt. 10:32).
The life in Christ requires a love for Christ. The life in Christ involves a willingness
to confess and follow Christ. The life in Christ involves a firm belief in the Resurrection
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
May 1 / May 14, 2006
Sunday of the Paralytic.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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