Sunday of the Blind Man
† 6TH Sunday From PASCHA
“ On the same day, the sifth Sunday from Pascha, we celebrate the wonder done to the man blind from birth by our Lord and God and Sav-ior, Jesus Christ.” Constantine (†337) & Helen (†327) Equal-to-the-apostles. Righteous Pachomios (1730).
Sunday of the Blind Man (Κυριακή τοῦ Τυφλοῦ)
Have you ever seen a blind person? A blind person can maybe understand what is around them, but they will never get to see God’s creation. Yet, there are “blind people” that can see with their physical eyes, but have blinded the eyes of their souls because of their own will. We find both these people today in the Biblical passage.
This Sunday’s Gospel commemorates the miracle of Jesus with giving sight to the blind man. Suffering for so long, he is cured of his ailment by our Lord. The Jewish authorities, being jealous of Christ, decided to question the man and want him to admit that Jesus did not do this. They even bring in his parents to try and sway his mind.
It does not work; rather, he further upsets them since he asks them why they are asking these questions—”do you want to become His disciples?” They banish him from the synagogue, but he finds his true home when he meets his Lord soon. The man said that Jesus is the Son of Man, confessing that He is the only way to salvation.
This man had been blind for so many years, he finds out the way towards Heav-en in an instant! He is on the Way to eternal life. The sad thing is that the Phari-sees had seen many miracles that Jesus did, but they did not believe Him be-cause they chose to be blind to the power of God.
This is why we choose to be with God or not. He shows us His wonders—that we get up every morning from our sleep, the creations of the world, our very person, and so many other things. It’s in our hands to believe in His wonders or not. Let us pray that we are illumined and see His majesty and glory!
Those that see and those that do not see
It is worth noting that the blind have developed the ability to perceive and observe things in depth while, many times, those that can ”see” cannot discern anything around them because they are so engulfed in their own world.
“Having the eyes of my soul blinded, I come to Thee, O Christ, like the man blind from birth, and with repentance I cry to Thee: Thou art the bright Light of those in dark-ness.” (Kontakion of the Blind Man)
Ο εκ γενετής τυφλός -The man born blind
Ο άνθρωπος γεννήθηκε τυφλός. Δεν είδε ποτέ το φως αυτού του κόσμου. Ποτέ δεν είδε τα πρόσωπα των αγαπημένων γονέων, συγγενών και φίλων του. Ποτέ δεν θαύμασε την ομορφιά των πεδίων. Ποτέ δεν μπορούσε να φανταστεί το πλήθος των χρωμάτων των λουλουδιών. Ποτέ δεν κοίταξε να δει τα αστέρια στον ουρανό. Ποτέ δεν κινήθηκε από το φως του φεγγαριού που λάμπει στα ήρεμα νερά της Τιβεριάδος, της θάλασσας της Γαλιλαίας. Ποτέ δεν είδε το ρεύμα των υδάτων του ποταμού Ιορδάνη να διασχίζει και να ποτίζει τη γη του Ισραήλ.
Ο νεαρός άνδρας βρισκόταν στο απόλυτο σκοτάδι από τη γέννησή του. Ο μόνος και αδιάσπαστος σύντροφος του ήταν το απεριόριστο σκοτάδι, και όμως η καρδιά του ήταν γεμάτη από τη χάρη και την αγάπη του Θεού. Κάποιος μπορεί να το δει αυτό, επειδή όχι μόνο καθόταν δίπλα στον ναό, ζητώντας έλεος (Ιωάν. 9: 8), αλλά ήταν επίσης πιστός και γνώριζε τον λόγο του Θεού (Ιωάν. 9: 3Ι).
Το Άγιο Πνεύμα φωτίζει τον άνθρωπο για να αποφύγει την αμαρτία, αλλά εξαρτάται από την ελεύθερη βούληση του ανθρώπου, εάν θέλει να ακολουθήσει την πορεία μιας ενάρετης ζωής που έχει δείξει ο Θεός. Με το Άγιο Βάπτισμα ο άνθρωπος καθαρίζεται από το προπατορικό αμάρτημα και από όλες τις προσωπικές αμαρτίες. Κατά τη διάρκεια της ακολουθίας της βάπτισης, η Εκκλησία προσεύχεται στο Άγιο Πνεύμα για να φωτίσει το νεοβάπτιστο.
The man was born blind. He never saw the light of this world. He never saw the faces of his beloved parents, relatives and friends. He never admired the beauty of the fields. He never could imagine the multitude of the colours of the flowers. He never looked up to see the stars in heaven. He was never moved by the light of the moon shining on the calm waters of Tiberias, the sea of Galilee. He never saw the stream of waters of the river Jordan crossing and watering the land of Israel.
The young man was in total darkness from his birth. His only and inseparable companion was the unlimited darkness, and yet his heart was full of God’s Grace and love. One can see this, because, not only was he sitting next to the temple, begging for mercy (John 9:8), but he was also faithful and knew the word of God (John 9:3l).
The Holy Spirit enlightens man to avoid sin, but it depends on man’s own free will, if he wishes to follow the path of a virtuous life shown by God. With Holy Baptism man is cleansed from the Original Sin and from all personal sins. During the Baptismal service the Church prays to the Holy Spirit for Him to enlighten the newly baptized.
In our daily lives we must turn to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and ask Him to give us our spiritual sight. We must kneel in front of His Divine presence and ask Him to clear our hearts from the dark and black clouds of the sinful desires and the passions of the flesh and to clean our whole existence from the dirt of sin.
The Sacrament of Confession at the early stages of childhood
The sacrament of confession-repentance is a sacrament, which is good to enter the Chris-tian's life from an early age. It is a fact that the legacy of our depravity and propensity to sin is inherited by our children.
The Fathers in the tradition of the Orthodox Church tell us that somewhere after preschool age, i.e. school age, we have what we call conscious sin, i.e. from 5-7 years onwards.
Clearly, the sins of children do not have the same weight, but they do not cease to be an obstacle to the personal relationship that Christ calls us to have with Him, which He first inaugurates from the day of Baptism and Chrismation and lovingly awaits our great yes.
Therefore, some statements, usually from family members that children do not need to con-fess, are certainly not true. The child's relationship with the spiritual father is a precursor to the personal relationship with Christ.
Therefore, let us not wait until pre-adolescence or adolescence to guide our child. Little by little, in our own way, with love and freedom that we have no right to violate, we lead it to the spiritual father. The Fathers of our Church state that the spiritual education of man begins from the moment of conception and speak of intrauterine education.
In any case, the confession guides (lists of sins) must be used, which not only harms the child but helps and guides the parent as well, on the other hand, it should not be used in a legalistic way. The path to confession should help the child to understand that we all fall short and make mistakes and various sins.
We should explain to the children that this sacrament is not simply a redemption of sins or what we simply say: "I write off traffic tickets," but the result of the repentance that has preceded, as long as this can be "experienced" at a young age.
All of these are “grafted” slowly into the heart and mind of our child with the constant catechism and the sacramental life that he/she will experience at home, where the person in Christ is built on the foundations.
Making one a spiritual Father Confessor
We should consider it self-evident that in a family whose members are active in the Church, there is a spiritual Father confessor presence.
Therefore, within the family it is wiser to make the choice of the spiritual father, always taking into account the desire of the child, who does not cease to be a free person.
We have a duty and responsibility to choose as confessor guides, people suitable with experience and spirituality and not with a "worldly" mindset.
After all, we are responsible for this choice as baptized Orthodox Christians.
If we look at references from the Fathers (St. Nikodimos the Hagiorite, St. Porphyrios, St. Paisios, etc.), they tell us that we must find a suitable one and not just any spiritual father.
The Stole is not a tool of magic action. In addition to the sacrament of forgiveness of sins, spiritual guidance is also needed.
It is also necessary for better training of parents that are spiritually equipped to help their children in difficult times and struggles that they may encounter in their lives. Don't forget that everything starts with the family.
If there is an environment of spiritual life, then it becomes easier for all of the above to work.
† Memorial service for the fallen in the Battle of Crete.
May their memory be eternal!
Mon: Acts 17:1-9; John 11:47-54
Tues: Acts 17: 19-28; John 12:19-36
Wed: Acts 18:22-28; John 12:36-47
Thurs: Acts 1:1-12; Luke 24:36-53
Fri: II Corinthians 4:6-15; Matthew 11:2-15
Sat: Acts 20:7-12; John 14:10-21
Sun: Acts 26: 1, 12-20; John 9:1-38
Resurrectional Hymn (3rd tone)
Τὸν συνάναρχον Λόγον Πατρὶ καὶ Πνεύματι, τὸν ἐκ Παρθένου τεχθέντα εἰς σωτηρίαν ἡμῶν, ἀνυμνήσωμεν πιστοὶ καὶ προσκυνήσωμεν· ὅτι ηὐδόκησε σαρκί, ἀνελθεῖν ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ, καὶ θάνατον ὑπομεῖναι, καὶ ἐγεῖραι τοὺς τεθνεῶτας, ἐν τῇ ἐνδόξῳ Ἀναστάσει αὐτοῦ.
Let us worship the Word who is unoriginate with the Father and the Spirit, and from a Virgin was born for our salvation, O believers, and let us sing His praise. For in His goodness He was pleased to ascend the Cross in the flesh, and to undergo death, and to raise up those who had died, by His glorious Resurrection.
Dismissal hymn of the Saints
Τοῦ Σταυροῦ σου τὸν τύπον ἐν οὐρανῷ θεασάμενος, καὶ ὡς ὁ Παῦλος τὴν κλήσιν οὐκ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων δεξάμενος, ὁ ἐν βασιλεύσιν, Ἀπόστολός σου Κύριε, Βασιλεύουσαν πόλιν τὴ χειρί σου παρέθετο ἣν περίσωζε διὰ παντὸς ἐν εἰρήνῃ, πρεσβείαις τῆς Θεοτόκου, μόνε Φιλάνθρωπε.
He beheld the image of Your Cross in the Heavens and, as Paul, he too did not receive the call from men. Your Apostle among Kings placed the care of the Royal City in Your hands. Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, O only Loving Lord, keep it ever in peace.
Dismissal hymn of St. George
Ὡς τῶν αἰχμαλώτων ἐλευθερωτὴς καὶ τῶν πτωχῶν ὑπερασπιστής, ἀσθενούντων ἰατρός, βασιλέων ὑπέρμαχος, Τροπαιοφόρε Μεγαλομάρτυς Γεώργιε, πρέσβευε Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
Liberator of captives, defender of the poor, physician of the sick, and champion of kings, O trophy-bearer Great Martyr George, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.
Kontakion of Pascha
Εἰ καὶ ἐν τάφῳ κατῆλθες ἀθάνατε, ἀλλὰ τοῦ ᾍδου καθεῖλες τὴν δύναμιν, καὶ ἀνέστης ὡς νικητής, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, γυναιξὶ μυροφόροις φθεγξάμενος, Χαίρετε, καὶ τοῖς σοῖς Ἀποστόλοις εἰρήνην δωρούμενος ὁ τοῖς πεσοῦσι παρέχων ἀνάστασιν.
Though You went down into the tomb, You destroyed Hades' power, and You rose the victor, Christ God, saying to the myrrh-bearing women, "Hail!" and granting peace to Your disciples, You who raise up the fallen.