In his homily delivered Sunday at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel spoke about gratitude and mercy stressing that ‘our Saviour Jesus Christ urges every one of us to be the hands of His merciful love.’
On the 7th Sunday after Pentecost, July 15, 2018, Patriarch Daniel presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral having as concelebrant his auxiliary Bishop Varlaam of Ploiesti.
The Patriarch offered his reflections on the day’s Gospel reading relating the healing of the two blind men.
‘Although He knew that the two blind men who were following Him had faith,’ the patriarch said, ‘Christ the Saviour asks them, Do you believe I am able to do this?’
In other words, Christ asks them ‘to profess their faith, not only to keep it hidden in their souls.’
‘Why did Christ ask the two blind men not to let someone know about the healing?’ the Patriarch asked.
Because Christ wanted ‘to show an example of humility,’ he explained.
‘When we have done good for someone, let us not wait for praise, to be remarked, to be appreciated, but just wait for the reward from God,’ His Beatitude added.
The Romanian Patriarch drew attention to the fact that not through words, but through His attitude, Jesus Christ shows that He does not work miracles to impress. ‘His miracles are not spectacular, but the works of the humble and merciful love.’
‘The two blind men once being illuminated by healing have become teachers of strong faith, of steadfast prayer, and teachers of gratitude. Though they were forbidden to speak of their miraculous healing, they proclaimed in all the land of Capernaum how much benefaction God made them through Jesus Christ,’ Patriarch Daniel noted.
‘We should express our gratitude, because it is the healthy state of our soul.’
‘Ingratitude is inhumane, unnatural, and subhuman, it lies under the level of human conscience.’
Relief of suffering
The Patriarch of Romania pointed out that ‘the Saviour Jesus Christ was not waiting for the sick to come to Him in Capernaum to heal them. He would go to all cities and villages where the sick were, and after preaching the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, He also showed the signs of the power of the Kingdom of Heaven.’
‘He accompanied His word with the deeds of merciful love to show that the Church must proclaim the Gospel, but also relieve the suffering of the sick, the grieved, the bereaved, and the lonely.’
His Beatitude stressed that the main idea of the day’s gospel passage is ‘to thank God for the gift of life and for the gift of health.’
‘We do not realize how great these gifts are until our life is in danger and approaches its end, and when our health becomes precarious,’ the patriarch said.
‘When God allows some people to be born blind, deaf or dumb, it is to show how great the gift of sight, speech, hearing, and mobility is,’ Patriarch Daniel stressed.
His Beatitude also noted that when we are strong ‘we do not understand weak people. When we are healthy, we do not understand the sick, but if we pass through trials, troubles, sickness and suffering, then we become more sensitive, we become more humanized, more merciful.’
At the end of his speech, the Patriarch recalled that when we go to church, we do it because ‘we do not want to live a limited life, but rather to live forever in the Kingdom of the love of the Most Holy Trinity.’
Photo: Mircea Popa/ZL