6 March 2016

posted 3 Mar 2016, 22:46 by C S Paul

6 March 2016

Scripture reading and Sermon

Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church 

Fifth Sunday of Great Lent (Kpiptho/Crippled Woman)

Luke 13:10-17New King James Version (NKJV)

A Spirit of Infirmity

10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 

11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. 

12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 

13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”

15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 

16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” 

17 And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

Devotional thoughts for the 5th Sunday of the Great Lent (Bent Woman's Sunday)

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Here we come across with the incident when and where our Lord Jesus took the initiative to cure a lady who was bent for eighteen long years.

Verse 11 says, “There was a woman, which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and in no wise lift up herself” When our Lord noticed her, He called her to Him and said “woman you are loosened from your infirmity”. (Verse: 12)

In the concluding prayer of the Holy Eucharist on this day, precisely speaking in the 'Huthomo', we listen a request to Lord Almighty to loosen us from our infirmities of sins. Due to our sins we are all bowed down in the state where we could not look at the face of our Lord. We must be straight in our physique, otherwise, we cannot look up or we could not glance what is there above our heads.

Day by day we are committing sins and hence we are bending ourselves. We must put an end to the growth in the bended way and we must have a growth in the straight form. Then only we could live as a real cross, looking up for the mercies and blessings from God Almighty and sharing them with love among our own brethren on the left and right.

If we want to praise Lord God for all mercies, we must be able to look up freely. And if we desire to share the love among our brethren on our right and left, we must be able to turn to right and left alike. If we carry burdens of sin on our back we will never be able to be straight. So let us try to get rid of the burdens of the sins and also let us make firm decisions that we won’t add more and more burdens and bondages of sins.

In this instance, our Lord Himself took the initiative to heal the poor woman. But we must appreciate her willingness to go near Him as soon as she was called. In this great Lenten season, let us sit for a while to see whether we have ignored the call of our Lord in the past. It is sure and certain that we must have ignored His call several times. Let us recollect such events and occasions and re-approach Him with real repentance. Let us be alert to listen to His call and message at any time. Kindly read Psalms 103:3-5, and Psalms 116: 16-17.

In Verse 14, we read, “And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignations, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, there are six days in which men ought to work; in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day”. For this objection raised by the ruler of synagogue, our Lord has given a wise and apt answer in verse 15. More over He confirms that she is also the daughter of Abraham, as our Lord confirmed about Zachaeus in St. Luke 19:9.

Now a days we could see so many who could not accept the better state of others. Suppose some one or the other gets a blessing unexpectedly, others would be inquisitive to find some other reasoning other than the blessing from God Almighty. It is a severe drawback, which exists in the modern man even. Let us think how we would accept the blessings for others. Do we accept them with all our heart? Do we enjoy in our fellowmen’s blessing?

Our Lord has taught us to laugh with the laughing and to cry with the crying. Most of us might be willing to cry with the crying. But we wont be willing cent percent to laugh with the laughing. We must put an end to such a poor understanding and procedure. May God bless us to be real Christians in our words and deeds. Let us all try to be sincere and honest in observing the lent and fasting, which would help us to implement radical changes in our life style and outlook. May God bless us all.