Bishop Basil (Nesterenko)

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Glory to Jesus Christ, dear brothers and sisters!

I congratulate you all with the Holy Sunday, Holy communion and the second week of the Great Lent. That one, who keeps the spiritual and physical fast, will get a great blessing from God after its end; he will become pure spiritually and physically. That is why I wish patience, self-control and God’s grace to such people for the strengthening of their spirit.

Today we have heard the Gospel (Mark II: 1-12), in which the Lord made the miracle of the healing owing to the people’s faith. It is true that a faith has the main importance in the person’s healing. We see that four friends let down the bed on which the paralytic lied through the removed roof to the Jesus Christ. And the Lord saw in this act their faith. He saw the faith of all – the paralytic and his friend, who brought him.

We can follow the example of this little episode. When we are paralytics and we all happen to be paralytics, we have to ask for help from our close people. That they prayed for us, helped us spiritually and physically. And due to the faith of our close people we start to heal. We mustn’t forget about it. And when something bad happens with us, we have to share with our close people that they could help us to heal.

Let’s return to the Gospel. What do we see next? The Lord healed the man. This man was healed spiritually first of all. The Lord says: “Your sins are forgiven.” And it is true. To be healed physically you have to be purified spiritually. The Lord has such power – to forgive sins.

What does a sin mean? You have to understand that a sin is a moral and spiritual poisoning of the organism. When a person takes the poison, he slowly gets poisoned and different bad processes happen. And if a person continues to take a poison, his physical death will happen. The spiritual poisoning happens in the same way – it is the poisoning of our sins. When we make a sin, we feel the hellish fire in the soul. And everyone, I think, felt it, when he made a sin. He felt himself very bad, because the soul felt that bad energy.

To purify our soul we must open-hearted confess to God. And our soul then will become pure and we have one more birth on this Earth. We feel light, our souls feel happiness. And it is true that we do not want to sin anymore.

But our souls are still weak and we start to sin again. But when a person understands this, he starts to confess. It is not necessary to wait for confession till the Sunday and the mess. You can come to the Church any time and confess. When the person feels and understands that he/she sinned, he at once has to appeal, pray and confess to God. When he feels the relief in the soul.

In the Gospel we see that the Lord first healed that man spiritually and when he was healed physically. And at that moment the Lord felt with His spirit that the present scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts: “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And with that thoughts they confirmed that Jesus Christ is a Father, who heals and has a power over the sin. They did not understand that, but they confirmed that in their thoughts.

When Our Lord heals us we are getting physical and spiritual strength. We have to understand, that we all are paralytics, we have to realize this and confess and ask God that He purify us. And every person has to remove the roof of the sin, go down to The Lord and ask. Beg that He purify us and give the strength not to sin again.

Let the Lord save you.