Father Rodney Torbic

February 19 / March 4, 2018

The Second Sunday of Great Lent

Mark 2:1-12

And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy, I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. (KJV)

St. Gregory Palamas

John 10:9-16

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (KJV)

Two weeks of Great Lent are completed. With the completion of two weeks of Great Lent, believersí minds are to be immersed in and oriented towards the importance and meaning of Great Lent.

Life has to be turned around. The focus is to be on battling sin and being united with Christ. Joy in Christ deserves first place in the hearts, minds and souls of believers.

Christianity is negative towards sin and is full of joy in Christ. Experiencing joy in Christ involves being united with Christ in the Holy Mysteries. Uniting with Christ requires casting sin aside.

Serious Christians welcome Christ in their homes, hearts, minds and souls. The way each day is lived is carefully examined during Great Lent. Is Christ foremost in the heart, mind and soul throughout the day and night?

During Great Lent do we carefully prepare for Holy Confession and Holy Communion? Do we look for the work of God in our lives throughout the day? Are we grateful for our blessings and do we take time to thank God?

Great Lent is an opportunity to evaluate our personal goals. Personal church attendance during Great Lent is worth examining. The relationships we have with family members and friends deserve careful review.

Great Lent is a time to examine our finances and determine if financial blessings are handled as gifts from God. God deserves first place in our use of time and resources.

The word of God is proclaimed in each Divine Liturgy. The reading of the Holy Gospel makes an impact upon attentive individuals. A single Gospel reading can have a lasting affect for the attentive person.

Christ nurtures believers listening to the reading of the Holy Gospel. Believers gather in churches around the world throughout the year and throughout the centuries to hear the word of God.

Great Lent is an excellent time for believers not only to hear the word of God in church. Great Lent is an excellent time for believers to personally read the Holy Scriptures.

Great Lent calls for a life active in repentance. The Church provides support for the Lenten journey through the increased services. The services have themes of repentance. Believers are expected to focus on personal sins.

On the Second Sunday of Great Lent believers learn about the healing of the paralytic. The Lord Jesus Christís healing power is far-reaching. Parents do well to instruct their children about the healing powers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Children benefit from hearing about Jesusí healing power. Children are enriched when learning prayers for parents and for friends. Parents praying regularity will teach their children to pray.

Four men helped bring the paralytic to where Jesus was located. The Christian life is a life of hope and optimism. Regardless of conditions in life, Jesus offers the means to address the conditions.

Complete faith in Christ is well placed faith. Many examples are known and documented through the centuries of individuals placing complete faith in Christ. Jesus is accessible by prayer from wherever a person is located.

Daily life is best structured with certain times for daily prayer. Believers do well to look to the Church for order in daily life. Christís teachings apply to the management of personal time and property as gifts from God.

The paralytic benefitted from the respect, concern and interest of the men carrying him. The men extended effort to carry the paralytic. The men valued the paralytic being brought to Christ.

Paralysis need not have a physical basis although it can have a physical root cause. Emotions can paralyze a person if the emotions are sufficiently strong and the person does not have the will to draw strength from God.

God has the power to change lives for the better. Individuals drawing closer to God have their lives changed. Centuries after the four men carried the paralytic to Jesus their actions validate the benefit of drawing closer to God in faith.

February 19 / March 4, 2018.
The Second Sunday of Great Lent.
St. Gregory Palamas.
Holy Apostle Archippus, Philemon and Apphia.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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