I remember what it was like for me when I began my spiritual awakening. I cried almost
incessantly during every liturgy. A kind old woman in our church came to me at the end
of the service one day and put her arms around me and asked me what was wrong.
She assumed that something terrible had happened. The contrary was actually true.
I could not express that the pain I was feeling was from looking into my own soul.
Often it is through pain that we begin to feel the soul and by the same painful
recognition of our passions and weaknesses that we are able to nurture, heal and guard
the soul. We know that we are on our way when we begin to identify threats to our
spiritual peace in our everyday life and understand how to avoid these. By the same token,
it is not as simple as just running away from everything and everyone. The idea is not to
hide but to pursue the situations, activities and relationships that nurture the soul.
Istocnik-Herald of the Serbian Orthodox Church-Canadian Diocese. March 2006. p. 27
Remember the Students of St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville
· Jesus healing the blind man.
· Seeing the world through the teachings and life of Christ.
· Looking for the presence of God in daily life.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
May 20 - Attended reunion of employees of the Youth Development Center,
May 21 - Attended Divine Liturgy at St. Tikhon's Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
May 24 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont.
Visited parishioner at home. Visited parishioner at hospital in Waynesburg.
May 27 - Visited one parishioner in Uniontown Hospital.
Visited one parishioner in rehab center.
From the Desert Fathers
An old man said, "Even a tree cannot bear fruit if it be often transplanted,
no more can a monk that is often removing from one place to another.
Sunday of the Blind Man 2006
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him
saying: "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"Jesus answered,
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can
work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." When He had said these things,
He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man
with the clay. And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam"(which is being translated,
Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors and those who
previously had seen that he was blind said, "Is not this he who sat and begged?" Some said,
"This is he. Others said, "He is like him." He said, "I am he." Therefore they said to him,
"How were your eyes opened? He answered and said, "A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed
my eyes and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash' So I went and washed, and I
received sight." Then they said to him, 'Where is He?" He said, "I do not know. They brought
him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay
and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight.
He said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see." Therefore some of the
Pharisees said, "This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." Other said,
"How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" And there was a division among them. They said
to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?" He said,
"He is a prophet." But the Jews did not believe concerning him that he had been blind and
received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And
they asked them, saying, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind?" How then does he
now see?" His parents answered them and said, "We know that his is our son, and that he was
born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not
know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself." His parent said these things because
they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was
Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age;
ask him." So they again called the man who was blind and said to him, "Give God the glory!
We know that this Man is a sinner." He answered and said, "Whether He is a sinner or not
I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see." Then they said to
him again, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?" He answered them, "I told
you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to
become His disciples?" Then they reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are
Moses' disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where
He is from." The man answered and said to them, "Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you
do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!" Now we know that God does not hear
sinners; but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the
world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.
If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing." They answered and said to him,
"You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they cast him out.
Jesus heard they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you
believe in the Son of God? He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?"
And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you."
Then he said, "Lord, I believe! And he worshipped Him.
Jesus Christ performs miracles everyday. Individuals praying to the Lord Jesus Christ
are able to see God at work everyday. Individuals praying to God receive the necessary
forsight to handle the problems of life.
Individuals can be blinded by many things. Individuals can be blinded by abundance
and not see the presence of God. Individuals can be blinded by poverty and not see the
presence of God.
Individuals can be blinded by illness and not see the presence of God. Individuals
can be blinded by hardship and not see the healing power of God.
The Holy Apostle Paul, speaking about God, once said: "In Him we live and move and
have our being." (Acts 17:28).
We don't have to look far to see God. God is as close as our heart. God is as close
as our mind. God is as close as every breath we take, as every step we take, as every
thought we have.
We don't have to look far to see God at work. We simply have to realize we have life
because of God. Our blood flows because of God. Our heart beats because of God.
We experience movement of the body, we experience physical pain, we experience smell
and sound because of God.
The healing of the blind man is amazing. He was blind from birth. He is a good lesson
for individuals presently experiencing hardship and pain. The blindness was not attributed
to anything the man had done. The blindness was an opportunity to manifest the divinity
and healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Often the question is asked "What did I do wrong to deserve this illness or this accident
or this hardship?" Jesus Christ's answer to the question from His disciples in helpful.
In response to the disciples' question of who sinned the blind man or his parents,
Jesus said: "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should
be revealed in him."
If we look to Jesus Christ in times of illness, in times of accidents, in times
of job loss and hardship, we will find the vision to go forward in ways pleasing to God.
If we look to Jesus Christ in times of frustration, in times of despair, in times
of poverty and depression, we will visualize the road to travel, the investments to make,
and the actions that are necessary to take us to God's Kingdom.
The man receiving his sight from Jesus Christ was blind from birth. His blindness was
not a momentary illness. Perhaps we have strayed from the path taken at Holy Baptism,
perhaps we have strayed from the path to God's Kingdom, perhaps our vision has been
blurred and we have taken paths down dark alleys and dead end streets.
Let us be confident in the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us think about
the words of the blind man. The blind man said: "If anyone is a worshipper of God and does
His will, He hears him."
Now is the time to ask ourselves if we are doing the will of God. Now is the time to
ask ourselves if we live and act in ways pleasing to God.
If we want to see the world as it is, we need to look at the world through the vision
of the Creator. We need to look at the world through the teachings of God.
We need to look at the world through the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We need to look at the world under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Too often we look
to authorities having no basis in Christ. Too often we look for answers in places where
Christ is forbidden.
Too often we look far and wide for solutions when if we realize it, Jesus Christ is
ever present with us. Simple prayers reach God. Simple prayers are answered.
May we be healed of our spiritual blindness and see the world as God would have us see it.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
May 15 / May 28, 2006
Sunday of the Blind Man. May 15/28, 2006.
St. Pachomius the Great.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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