August 5 – 10, the week after Pentecost. On reading tonight in the gospel churches, Archpriest Alexander Abramov in his book “whosoever will may come. Conversations on Sundays and feast the gospel reading,” published in the publishing house “Nike”.
Photo: Alexander Osokin/Orthodoxy.EN
- To find the gospel in the silence of shattered Stalingrad
- I asked the Saint, but received healing
When they were come to the multitude, there came to Him a man, kneeling down to Him, and said, Lord! have mercy on my son; he’s in new moon rages and suffers grievously, for often falls into the fire and often into the water, I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not heal him. And Jesus answering, said: o faithless and perverse generation! how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to Me. And Jesus rebuked him and the devil left him; and the child was cured from that hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately, and said, why could not we cast him out? Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief; for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed will say to this mountain, “move from here to there” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you; this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. While staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them: the Son of man shall be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill Him, and the third day rise again. And they were exceeding sorry.
MF. 17: 14-23
Now comes a series of Sunday Gospels in which we hear the story of, so to speak, ordinary miracles of Christ. Indeed, it happens not in Jerusalem, Christ is not crucified, the walls are shaking, lips are opened coffins. Another patient. Once the infirm. How many of them on the pages of the gospel takes place before the disciples and the Savior.
Here again the result of the patient. The disciples of this man to heal failed. And — a rarity in the pages of the gospel we find Christ, the indignant, clearly and openly agitated, does not consider it necessary to hide this excitement. He exclaims: Oh faithless and perverse generation! how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?
We treat this question as rhetorical. The Savior said so, but then the sick healed, and the disciples explained. That explained? What demons are not out except by prayer and fasting. We are all clear: Christ is pretend angry, in order to attract students ‘ attention. And this is absolutely not true.
The question posed by the Savior, this is the third Millennium finds no answer from Christians. And really, how much more Christ will be with us? How many more will we tolerate? And most importantly, of those two questions inevitably leads to the following: why we are, what we have to endure? What brings us together with Christ? What us unites? The image and likeness of God, which we remember in the temple?
The disciples ask why they could not heal. Here it is, the incident. The patient, apparently, not so heavy. Happened, and much more advanced cases Jesus healed. He suddenly says: “For your disbelief”. Anything can be expected: you are not thorough, you are inattentive, don’t follow Me, I think about her a lot. And He says about unbelief. Disbelief He finds those people who are closer to Him all the rest. And if not them, then who will be able to better believe?
Now, Christ suffers with us, until we have at least a small seed of affinity with Him. He tolerates us as Their own, as relatives, as members of His family. We are still close to Him in spiritual blood. This is terrible and our continual attempt to improve the God business relationship. He relates to us as His home, and we said, well, on faith we will talk later, now we are facing much more important issues — earning, home of confusion, career. Come on, God, talk about it now.
What we do in this case? We exchanged business relations with God. And spiritual life, alive and demanding to Christ, substitute reading and subtraction. How many times have I heard from people: I failed to read carefully morning and evening prayers, I don’t understand it, I’m bored.
So why do you not explode? Why don’t you tell God in the first place: “Lord, I don’t understand, I don’t want to read it”! Why are you reading this? Who needs this obedience? Obedience at all? Is it not simply a sign of indifference to Christ?
There are people who will say: that is my rule, and I am happy I am in it and immersed in it and find communion with God, and joy to the heart. But these people unity, I’m not talking about them. Mostly we are indifferent to the most important. We are not talking with God about our soul. Don’t ask Him about it and not listen to what He tells us.
The soul is not reducible to the ceremony, to the performance of the ritual. The soul does not pull out of the mire only morning and evening rule, dry righteousness. What all of this was not the students? They, of course, was not yet morning and evening rules in our sense, but some rule, undoubtedly, had. Furthermore, Christ was with them. Always. Every day and hour. And even in this situation of unbelief. Unbelief is manifested in the fact that they are unable to heal the sick. He was to them foreign, strange. Another visitor in long queues in the clinic.
While our external people will remain outsiders on the other side from us, our Orthodoxy, Orthodoxy will remain on the other side from God, whatever we may say. No one has asked us here and now to pick up from the bedside of the sick. The Lord sees and knows our strength. But He also knows that they are much more than we think. That we can be people need. Need a Church, need close and far. Need, despite the fact that we love to waste their skills and time wasted. Need to Christ — like children, and not the strangers and newcomers who have to endure.