8 March 2020

posted 6 Mar 2020, 07:37 by C S Paul

8 March 2020

Scripture reading and Sermon

Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church 

Third Sunday of Great Lent (Paralytic/Palsy Sunday)

Reading from the Scripture for this Sunday

Mark 2:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 

2 immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 

Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 

And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,

 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 

Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 

10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 

11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 

12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

 Be A Source of Transformation

by Rev. Fr. Paulose V V

Gospel: St. Mark 2: 1-12

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

"He got up, took his mat and walked in full view of them all." (Mark 2:12)

Can we be the homes of transforming the paralyzed into healthy?

This happened at the house of Peter at Capernaum. The house of Peter is the meeting, resting, residing and welcoming place for Jesus in his mission. When Jesus was in Peter's home, a paralytic man was brought by 4 people on a mat and lowered in front of Jesus by digging a hole through the roof because of the crowd. Seeing their faith Jesus said to the paralytic man:
"My child, your sins are forgiven." "Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home."
The man got up, took his mat and walked away in full view of them all.

The prayer I hear most often from the people is, "Jesus, don't put me on bed more than one day as paralytic and make others to nurse. Before that, please call me to your kingdom." This cry comes after seeing the callous attitude of dumping the bed-ridden and the ill treatment they receive from those who nurse them.

Paralyses are in different forms. It may be like the hardened heart of insensitivity of the sins like Pharaoh, the Egyptian King, at the time of Moses. Or it can come in the form of the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional non-reaction to the real needs of the living beings.

In a house-warming ceremony, Narayanan from Bombay, was explaining to me how Jesus was put on trial by the Pharisees by bringing immoral women to be stoned as per their law. Jesus told them those who have not sinned should stone her first. Everyone laid their stones and went away one by one due to pricking of their conscious of their sins and the resultant paralysis. Narayanan told me that they needed a Jesus to convince them of their sins. Here is Narayanan, a Hindu, to kindle my consciousness about the real meaning and the context of my sins. Jesus says, "And when He comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment." (John 16:8) Wherever Jesus stayed or visited, he became the transforming source of life giving spring to the individuals in those houses and their guests. He quenched the paralytic needs of the thirsty.

Those who are empowered, as Peter, to cater to the needs of the real thirsty human beings even at the cost of lost-house-roofs are in dearth demand. Empowerment of filling the spirit of God needs the faith, willingness to meet the cost, mind of sacrifice and labor, welcoming those who practice His word and those who always put Jesus first in their daily life. Then even the dead man will walk. Where there is Christianity in practice there will not be any paralytic. All will walk in front of others.

Thankachen and family came to Chennai in the early 1960's for the treatment of their son Peter, who was partially deaf and dumb at birth. This lovely God fearing family was always receptive to God, his people and its works. The treatment was prolonged so they had decided to do something for their living that they knew - to help the people to alleviate their sorrows by providing jobs to the unemployed. They opened a tailoring shop that specialized in making Bra in the name of "Angel Foam." The company became bigger and bigger with addition of a number of manufacturing units to meet the demand. They expanded to manufacturing the elastic needed for the Bra. It employs more than 1000 employees. It became one of the best quality bra companies in India.

Whoever knocks at their door for employment are given jobs. They were trained and given wages more than any other company pays. They support most of the ecclesiastical orders of Christian churches and their charities in Chennai and other parts of India liberally. To everyone who visits them, they open the flood gates of love in person, kind, and cash. Nobody returns from their home empty handed.

Peter, the son is healed, married and has a child. After the demise of Thankachen, Omana, the beloved wife, is at the helm of the company. She is supported and assisted by daughter Bobby and son Peter. Theirs is really a house of Peter for the paralytic to stand, pick the mat and go home not as they came but transformed for good.

Let us make our homes and churches the house of St. Peter at Capernaum with empowerment to do the miracles of making the man to stand straight and live a healthy and happy vibrant life.

"Any one who believes in me may come and drink!" For the scriptures declare, "Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.''(John 7:38)