After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. (KJV)
Hristos Voskrese! Christ is Risen!
The Lord Jesus Christ healed the man by the pool of Bethesda. The man’s infirmity was thirty-eight years in duration. Healing normally would seem impossible after that length of time.
The Lord Jesus Christ made the life-changing difference for the paralytic. Today’s Gospel message is a message of hope consistent with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection.
Jesus defeated death when He rose from the grave. Defeating death was considered an impossibility. Curing a paralysis of thirty-eight years in duration seems like an impossibility.
Believers always have reason always to hope in the Resurrected Christ. Regardless of how bad personal circumstances are, Jesus Christ is the source of hope. Understanding the difference Jesus can make takes strong faith.
Turning to the Resurrected Christ in faith will lead the believer to understand the new direction life is to take. The paralytic was by the pool for thirty-eight years. His mind had a long time to focus on his condition.
Jesus entered the man’s life and his life changed dramatically. Believers of every century have the opportunity for Jesus to enter their lives. Every believer has the opportunity for new life in Christ.
New life in Christ is taken up at Holy Baptism. Renewal of the life in Christ is possible and necessary throughout earthly life. Being nourished and united with Christ provides for renewal.
Repentance enables renewal to take place and new life in Christ to begin. Jesus told the paralytic after he was healed to sin no more. Sin creates paralysis in life. Sin impedes growth in life. Repentance leads to new life.
The hunger in the soul yearns for unity with Christ and wholeness in Christ.
The paralytic’s life was not complete until he was united with Christ through healing.
Christians living in every era are not complete unless they are united with Christ. Wholeness comes through unity with Christ. Partaking of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ creates unity with Christ.
Prayer results in unity with Christ. Actively attending and participating in the Divine services of the Church leads to unity with Christ. Immersing the self in the Holy Scriptures unites the believer with Christ.
Depression, despondency and despair are overcome by seeking unity with Christ. Reaching out to Christ is the positive step required for healing. Welcoming Christ into the heart, mind and soul are necessary for wholeness and healing.
Today’s Gospel is a Gospel of hope. Jesus Christ is the Personification of Hope. The Resurrected Christ brings Light to life. Jesus Christ enlightens the mind, heart and soul.
The paralytic’s life was no longer confined to being at the pool side. When Jesus healed the man, the man became mobile and could go where he desired. Jesus frees believers to travel the journey to God’s Heavenly Kingdom.
Jesus lights the way for believers to travel. Jesus empowers believers to overcome obstacles in life. Jesus opens doors that seemed to be sealed closed.
The healed paralytic is proof that long-standing conditions can be changed.
With Christ, believers find solutions that heretofore seemed non-existent.
Centering life in Christ changes outcomes. Christ brings new and better outcomes in all circumstances.
Patience is necessary when turning to Christ. Christ determines the timing of outcomes. Christ determines the nature of outcomes. Faith and trust in Christ are necessary in seeking outcomes to difficult situations.
The paralytic’s healing is reason for great joy. Celebrating Christ’s Resurrection is a continued period of joy. Death no longer has a sting. Life abounds in the Resurrected Christ. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
The Sunday of the Paralytic. Hieromartyr Sabbas Stratelates, St.Sava of Erdelj. Venerable Branko. April 24/May 7, 2023. Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania.
Father Rodney Torbic