Christ is RISEN!
Sunday of the Paralytic–Third Sunday after Pascha
This day we see the miracles performed by the disciples after Christ’s resurrection. We see St. Peter, you remember him–that guy who denied his Master three times–well, he raises Dorcas from the dead. Just like that. He prays. God answers and a beloved woman mourned by those who knew her gets right up off her bed. Then, in the Gospel reading, Christ is at the pool at Bethesda. Some dear soul has been lying there, mostly likely for years, just waiting for the miracle. And just like that, he too gets right up off his bed. (We’ll talk about the silliness of the Pharisees reaction another time.)
Fr. David presented his homily today as a children’s sermon, getting down and sitting on the floor with the small ones. Since I’m feeling particularly dense today, it was best he presented it that way because I was about two steps away from going up there and sitting in front of him myself.
Anyway, he asked the children about what the difference was between Superman’s ability to fly and the disciples’ ability to raise the dead. One wise youngster, all of about 4 years old, said well one’s magic and one’s a miracle. Fr. David seemed to like that answer.
He then talked about the normal–how God didn’t raise the dead or heal the sick for them to them have super-human powers later on. On the contrary, Lazarus came out of the tomb only to die again later. Dorcas probably got sick again at some point as well. Same with the paralytic at the pool. But God demonstrated His complete control over the physical and natural world. He healed. He restored normal–they were able to go on with their lives just like everybody else (except for the having-had-a-miracle-performed on them part).
This resurrection we celebrate right now, this miracle of new life, part of its gift is that we get to live the way we’re supposed to live. We can love freely, knowing we too are loved freely. We can worship God, having seen His existence in our lives. We can live our faith, normally. We can put our feet down, one in front of the other, in our spiritual walk knowing we are growing more like Him, growing closer to Him.
So much of our lives–walking, talking, not falling off ladders while incorrectly pruning trees (ahem, me), birth, growth, all the normal stuff–is actually miraculous. Normal, i.e. that which we take for granted, is really, truly a gift, an act from Him who loves mankind.
Kiss a baby today. Hug your mom. Watch a bird feed its young. Do something, anything, normal. And thank God for the gift.