The Sunday of the Blind man
The Sunday of the Blind man
If you want to know the grace of God, close your eyes to know the value of light and vision. This is how the saying goes. Whereas Christianity says: If you want to know the grace of God, open your eyes to see that God is incarnate, and became a man for the salvation of mankind.
This is maximum love and the divine dispensation for our salvation.
Epistle Reading (Acts 16:16-34):
Thou, O Lord shalt preserve us, and keep us from this generation
Save me, O Lord; for the godly man ceaseth.
“Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation”. And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, "These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe." Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here." Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household”.
The Gospel (John 9: 1-38)
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, "Is not this he who sat and begged?" Some said, "This is he." Others said, "He is like him." He said, "I am he." Therefore they said to him, "How were your eyes opened?" He answered and said, "A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed, and I received sight." Then they said to him, "Where is He?" He said, "I do not know." They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, "He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see." Therefore some of the Pharisees said, "This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?" He said, "He is a prophet." But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?" His parents answered them and said, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself." His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He is of age; ask him." So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, "Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner." He answered and said, "Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see." Then they said to him again, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?" He answered them, "I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?" Then they reviled him and said, "You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from." The man answered and said to them, "Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing." They answered and said to him, "You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you." Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him”.
Troparion (Tone 5):
Let us believers praise and worship the Word, coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation; for he took pleasure in ascending the Cross in the flesh, to suffer death, and to raise the dead by his glorious Resurrection.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
To thee I come, O Christ, blinded in my soul’s eyes, like the man blind from his birth, crying unto thee in repentance, Thou art the Light of transcendent radiance to those who are in darkness.
Kontakion (Tone 8)
Though Thou, O deathless One, didst descend into the grave, thou didst destroy the power of hell and, as a victor, thou didst rise again, O Christ our God. Thou didst greet the ointment bearing women, saying, Rejoice! Thou didst bestow peace upon thy Disciples, and resurrection upon those that are fallen.
- The Lord made clay and fashioned two eyes for the blind man, just like the way God created man. This is a clear sign that the Lord Jesus Christ is God incarnate.
- Jesus Christ gave light to the blind man because He is Light; He is Light of Light (as we read in the Creed).
How many people can see, but have a blind insight! How many people cannot see and yet have insight!
- Real vision is to be aware of God’s incarnation for our sake and that He is always beside us.
- The blind washing in the pool is like a new baptism of the body and soul.
- With his insight recovered, the blind man became a theologian and thus embarrassed the great scientists and the Pharisees, for he began to speak spiritually, witnessing to the Lord’s magnificence, glory, and salvation.
- The false pharisaic glory fell before the simplicity of the blind man who was full of the Holy Spirit.
- The word “until” in the text “the Jews did not believe the man was blind and that he recovered sight, until they called the parents of the one who was blind.”
“Until” shows that the Jews did not believe even after they saw the parents of the blind man. This reminds us too of what some people claim that the Virgin Mary had children after Jesus. They misinterpret the following verse: “He did not know her until she gave birth to her first born son.”
- “I am He”: It is an expression that is related the Lord Jesus Christ; it means “I am that I am”,(ehye asher ehye) in Hebrew.
It is the expression God used for himself when He spoke to Moses in the burning bush: YHWH. From this verb “to be” derives the word “Jehovah”.
The name of Jesus means “Jehovah Saves”, that is to say “I am the being who saves” meaning God.
In Greek the equivalent expression “Ω Ων” is written on the Lord’s icons.
Statement of the Antiochian…
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