17 February 2013

posted 14 Feb 2013, 07:10 by C S Paul

17 February 2013

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Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

2 nd. Sunday of the Great Lent

source - http://www.malankaraworld.com

Gospel Reading for this Sunday

Luke 5:12-16,Luke 4:40-41   New King James Version (NKJV)

Luke 5:12-16 Jesus Cleanses a Leper

12 And it happened when He w as in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on hisface and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 

14 And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.”

15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 

16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

Luke 4:40-41 Many Healed After Sabbath Sunset

40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. 

41 And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Great Lent

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Malankara World Board Member

Gospel: Luke 5:12-16

Jesus reached out and touched him. "I'm willing," he said. "Be healed!" And instantly the leprosy disappeared. 
(Luke: 5:13)

Immunity for all types of sickness is embedded in the loving touch of human hands. By distancing ourselves from others, we are prone to all types of illnesses - mental, spiritual, physical and emotional. Individuals are creating their own islands of seclusion and becoming mechanical machines.

Earlier, leprosy was a feared disease because there was no known cure for it, and some forms were highly contagious. Its impact was very fearsome and terrible. Now though leprosy is curable, people still consider lepers as untouchables. Jesus heard the cries of the leper and He reached out and touched him. Immediately the leprosy disappeared.

We now have a number of illnesses, some of them undiagnosed and some even more terrifying than leprosy. We live in a society where people are unloved and uncared for - the sick, the old, parents, children etc. There are millions in pain longing for a word of love or a caring touch. We are in dire need for the great, compassionate and loving Jesus to reach out and touch us with the words of "I am willing and be healed." Who is there to listen and act? Everyone is busy with their work and lives.

We do not reach out to others in their times of need or sickness. But didn't God create human beings in his own image to act for him? Like what God did for the leper, we are supposed to help others when they are sick and need assistance. There is healing power in all our hands if we use it with love to embrace the unloved and the uncared.

Our homes, families and churches are in desperate need of the touch of Christ. Pastor Rick Warren writes his living experience of the power of touch, "I recently got this note on a registration card: 'Pastor Rick, I can’t tell you what it mean to me in comfort today. I felt as though Jesus was hugging me in such compassion and tenderness. I now know I will make it through this scary time and I know he sent you to help me. It's wonderful that there is such care and love in this church. Thank you.' I had no idea when I had hugged her. She was going in for breast cancer surgery the next day.'

Why cannot our priests, bishops, parents, siblings and friends express their love and care through their compassionate eyes, caring hands, soothing words, meaningful actions, and the body as a whole, and not with pastoral staff, gold, steel, silver or wooden crosses? We are all in need of warm hugs from loved ones; this is especially true in case of those suffering from terminal illnesses who feel they have nothing to hope for.

Can you be the one to show your love and tell them that Jesus cares and an eternal life awaits them?

[Rev. V. V. Paulose is with the Jerusalem Christian Mission in Toronto, Canada]