Archpriest Maxim (Bykov)

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Christ is Risen!

Dear brothers and sisters, today we have heard the Holy Gospel (John V:1-15), where was described a story about the paralytic man, who had been lying near the pool. And every year God’s Angel came and stirred the water up, so every man, who managed to dip into that water first got the physical healing. Maybe it was more physical healing that spiritual one.

But we see that God came past that man, who had been suffering, who was an invalid. He didn’t have enough strength to dip into that water, or to touch it in the right time, because somebody else always came before him.

And the Lord with His mercy, love, while accomplishing His mission on the Earth had made such miracle – He healed that man. He said to Him: “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”

And that invalid had been healed at once. And that healed man was so impressed by that miracle. A moment ago he just shared with some unknown Man, Who just came and asked: “Do you want to be healed?” And he was healed very fast. He had been the invalid for thirty-eight years, so many years He just had been lied near that pool and waited. And in a moment he was healed. Can you imagine his great happiness? And joy filled his heart. He even forgot to ask who that unknown man was. Maybe he even forgot to thank that man. He was so excited by the miracle, so he did everything what Jesus told him. He took his bed and walked.

But we have heard that priests and scribes met him and said: “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed and walk across the city.” And he answered them: “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk. And I listened to Him, because I have been expecting for God’s help. And the man came, God’s help accomplished through that man, so I listen to Him.” And he didn’t leave his bed at that moment, he continued his way.

Later Jesus found him and said: “I am Jesus Christ.” The Lord explained who he was. Because His mission had to go on and people had to know who accomplished that miracle that others could come to Him and started to believe in the future God’s Kingdom, in God’s salvation.

According to this example we must understand that you can live and constantly expect for one more chance, which God will give you. He will give a chance to touch this great power and get the healing. But people are people and God’s power is in Our Lord Jesus, it is always with Him. So, you can expect the whole year and get nothing. And there is a man, who is filled with God’s power, God’s grace. God’s Angels do not come once a year and help. They serve this man all the time. They serve God constantly in the image and likeness of the man, who is with us right now. It is possible to say that God was present in physical body. But now He is invisibly with us.

I also want to say that people, who follow God’s road, devote their lives to serve God also have angels near themselves, which are blessed by God. Angels help in life and give God’s healing.

But it does not always go in such way. Life is life, it is complicated. Sometimes we can lose that grace, which the Lord gives us. But do not forget that the Sunday comes and we go to the Temple. Every Sunday we come and touch God’s grace and love all together. And we unite with God’s power.

And every soul which sincerely pray and ask in this moment get the purification and always get help. Certainly, you can move ahead alone, but it is much better when we unite with God’s power, God’s love and God’s grace, which we get here. When we are the unity, when we are in God’s Temple, when we pray together, when we receive Holy Communion at this very moment we get all God’s gifts and His full grace.

Let’s remember about that! Let’s love each other, support each other and our Church, our Temple. Because this place is Holy for us. Maybe it is not for other people, but for us, for our souls, for our bodies, for our mind it is Holy.

Christ is Risen!