Father Rodney Torbic

March 5 / 18, 2018

The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent

Mark 9:17-31

And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto Thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto Me. And they brought him unto Him: and when He saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And He asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when He was come into the house, his disciples asked Him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And He said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and He would not that any man should know it. For He taught his disciples, and is after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day. (KJV)

Matthew 4:25-5:12

And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, his disciples came unto Him: And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV)

This is the fourth Sunday of Great Lent. Growth in Christ is an important expectation. Strong belief in Christ, prayer and fasting are emphasized on this particular Sunday.

The father brought his tormented son to the Lord Jesus Christ for healing. Jesusís disciples were unable to make a difference in the child. The father turned to Christ in hope.

Christ healed the son. Christ told the father strong belief makes all things possible. The disciples were taught that prayer and fasting were essential for healing to occur.

Todayís world is filled with sons and daughters experiencing difficult problems. Parents often do not know what to do. Mothers and fathers are not certain of actions to take.

The Lord Jesus Christ offers valuable instruction. Prayer and fasting are positive steps for parents to take. Prayer and fasting are beneficial steps concerned relatives and friends can take.

Hope and strong belief in Christ make a decided difference. Turning to Christ puts problems in perspective. Christ offers peace of mind. Fasting and prayer facilitate the healing.

Tormented sons and daughters create complex situations for parents. Christ is the safe haven for parents seeking solutions. Christís teachings arm parents with positive steps to take.

Christ offers hope and emboldens parents to proceed with prayer and fasting. Distraught parents benefit from the current Gospel. The present Gospel validates the benefit of strong belief in Christ.

Parents need not despair. Christ is always a basis for enduring hope. The father in the current Gospel had his hope in Christ rewarded. Hope in Christ is always rewarded for those having eyes to see.

Hope in Christ is well-centered. Christ does not disappoint the faithful. Christís teachings merit continued reflection and thought. Minds and hearts steeped in Christ better equip parents for daily challenges.

Mothers and fathers needed not become despondent. Christ is ever present to make a difference. The fatherís actions in the present Gospel proves the value of turning to Christ.

As Great Lent moves toward the final days, each day is of benefit to the soul. Each day offers nourishment. The opportunity to learn from Christ and grow in Christ is available at every moment of life.

Every Christian has the opportunity to conclude the Lenten journey more firmly united with Christ. The Church provides Great Lent for the benefit of all believers. Every Sunday is a milestone on the journey.

The Lenten journey offers joy along the way. Repentance, Holy Confession and Communion renew believers in Christ. The Cross and Resurrection are lasting lessons.

Great Lent intends change for the better for each believer. The degree each person invests in Great Lent determines the results experienced. The world changes with each investment in Great Lent.

Great Lent merits careful thought. This is a time to think most carefully about the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ changed the life of the tormented Boy. Christ changed the life of the boyís father.

Each person by his or her belief in Christ and practice of prayer and fasting influences the results of the remaining days of Great Lent and the future of his or her life.

March 5 / 18, 2018.
The Fourth Sunday of Great Lent.
St. John Climacus

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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