THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose..”
On this Fourth Sunday of Pascha, we hear in both the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of the healing of a paralytic. In the Gospel, of course, it is the Lord who heals a man sick for 38 years. But in the Acts of the Apostles, it is Peter who heals the paralytic Aeneas, who was paralyzed and bed-ridden for 8 years. Our Lord gave this power to heal to His Apostles and to their successors. This power to heal both soul and body still resides in the Church to this day. We must realize that true healing must involve the healing of the soul. Physical illness is only a superficial sign of the deeper corruption that has afflicted man. What good does it do to heal the body only, which will again fall ill and eventually perish? We see this in the 10 Lepers who were healed- but only one came back to give the Lord thanks. He was the only one who was truly healed. And for us beloved, let us give thanks always and in everything, for the Lord heals us every day of our lives. He protects us and heals us in ways which we cannot even fathom. He heals us of our sins and therefore we must reject sin in every aspect of our lives. It is sin and self-centeredness which causes us to be paralyzed. It is sin and self-centeredness that imprisons us. When we accept God’s gift by turning from ourselves towards Him, by trusting Him, and by seeking to please Him with every fiber of our being- this is how we are healed. We can begin to move, and to walk, and to feel. We can begin to truly love again for Love Himself has come to dwell in us. This is what it means to “rise” and “make our beds”-that is, to put our lives in proper order- to Love God and hence to love our neighbor. All other healing is only temporary and superficial. Amen.