Sunday, 31 July 2016, the Orthodox Church is on the 6th Sunday after the Pentecost. On this day, after the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church delivered a speech in the historical chapel of the Patriarchal Residence, dedicated to Saint Great Martyr George.
His Beatitude showed that the Bible text read today (Matthew 9:1-8, see below) presents three great truths.
On the 6th Sunday after Pentecost, a Gospel text is read on the “Healing of the paralysed man from Capernaum” which shows, in essence, the truth that the faith of the merciful helps the sick. This Gospel text shows us three great truths, namely that Jesus Christ, our Saviour knows not only the disease of the man who suffers, but also the cause of the disease, as well as the faith and repentance of those in distress. Secondly, the Saviour does appreciate not only the faith of the sick who is trying to reach Jesus to be healed, but also the faith of those who bring the sick man to Jesus, namely the faith of those around the sick one. Thirdly, the Gospel text also shows us that rather often, but not always, the disease of the body is the result of certain diseases of the soul. The most serious disease of the soul is sin. This is why before healing the paralysed man from this physical disease, He heals him from the spiritual disease, namely forgives his sins.
The Bible text also presents us the mercy of Christ, the Saviour, for the sick, the Patriarch of Romania has underlined.
He is not indifferent, but sympathises with, namely suffers together with those who suffer, and wants to relieve sufferance, heal the disease and rid the sick of disease, and if this one sinned, to recuperate his soul from under the slavery of sins. In the Gospel text of the day Jesus calls Himself “Son of Man”, but the power to forgive the sins shows that He is God. This is why He says: “…But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home”. Then the man got up and went home…” (Matthew 9:6-8).
We must teach the young ones to pray for themselves as well as for the other humans, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church also emphasised.
We have a great light in today’s Gospel text in regard to how we must behave towards the sick, namely to remember them in prayer, visit them, and help them with medicine and food. If we have no money, we should visit them and pray for their good health and be by their side as long as our time allows us to. This is how we show our merciful love. This is why we must teach the young ones and the children to pray for the good health and salvation of their parents, brothers, professors’ and colleagues’, for the sick and poor, for orphans and old ones, for all the helpless people. It is only when we learn to pray and work not only for ourselves but also for the good health and salvation of other people that we can say we have healthy culture of the Christian soul, His Beatitude concluded.
At the end, the Patriarch of Romania spoke about the Fasting of the Dormition which begins on Monday, 1 August 2016.