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Pentecostarion

4th Week after Pascha : of the Paralytic

“With Your pure hand, you created mankind;
You came to heal the sick, compassionate Christ!
You raised the paralytic at the Sheep’s Pool by Your word,
You cured the woman of her painful haemorrhage.
You had mercy on the Canaanite woman’s daughter.
You did not reject the centurion’s request.”

MONDAY VESPERS : LORD I CALL (tone 1)

You raised the paralytic at the Sheep’s Pool by Your word

The focus here is on the unfathomable depth of compassion that Christ shows. He singles out one paralytic among many at the Sheep’s Pool who has no human helper and who has been waiting patiently for 38 years for a miracle. Thirty eight years — imagine that! Christ singles him out and does not even expect him to have faith in Him. Indeed, when asked if he wants to be healed the man refers to the only source of healing he knows about — being lowered into the water after an angelic stirring. No-one has seen fit to show him mercy and help him into the pool he laments. Christ says, “Go, pick up your mat”, and then later, “sin no more”. Wow!

You cured the woman of her painful haemorrhage.

The woman with the flow of blood sneaks into the crowd . She thinks, “I only need to touch the hem of his cloak to be healed”. She is right. Christ’s power transcends material nature — this is why the relics of saints are so grace filled. She touches his coat with such faith as this and then she realises that, yes, she has been healed. Christ, knowing what has really happened still says, “who touched me?” even with the press of the crowd around Him. She comes forward to confess her boldness and presumption and hears Christ say, “your faith has healed you, go in peace”.

You had mercy on the Canaanite woman’s daughter

The Canaanite woman is not even an Israelite — she is goyim, an outsider. But like the dogs at the Master’s table she begs a crumb of comfort for her daughter from the philanthropos (lover of man). She passes the test of faith, and Christ rewards her insistent faith by healing her daughter. What love is this!

You did not reject the centurion’s request

The Centurion — a symbol of Rome’s tyranny over the Jewish people — intuits Christ’s status as ‘Pantocrator’ — Lord Almighty. He realises in his gut that Christ can do all things. And he is sure that Christ can heal his beloved servant by just a word without even seeing him.

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