Friday, February 5, 2016

Vainglory is a grave Sin ( Part 1 ) - Bishop Nikiforos Theotokis

At that time, when Jesus departed from there,
two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly
warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.”
But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country (Mt. 9:27-31)

In today's Gospel narrative, I observe how Jesus Christ remained silent as the two blind men—
from the center of the street and amidst a multitude of people—cried out in a loud voice,
"Son of David, have mercy on us!"
Furthermore, I hear the commandment He gave them after He restored their vision and enlightened their eyes, "see to it that no one finds out" (Mt. 9:30). When I consider that both Christ's silence as well as His commandment were intended to conceal the miracle, I am truly amazed and perplexed. If the Lord had acted in this manner only in this instance with the two blind men, there would be an explanation to the query. However, since we repeatedly note the God-man always acting in the same manner every time He performed a miracle, not only does our query remain unanswered, but also our perplexity grows and escalates.
After Christ cleansed the leper whom He
encountered and freed him of his disease, He immediately ordered Him thus:
"See that you tell no one"(Mt. 9:4). Christ stopped the chronic issue of blood from the lady who
had been bleeding for many years, and thereafter He attributed the miracle  not to His own power,
but to the sick lady's faith.
Your faith, He said, healed you from your illness:
“Daughter, your faith has made you well”
(Mt. 9:22). 

He spoke similarly when He gave movement to the paralyzed body of the centurion's slave: "
Go your way, and as you have believed, so let it be done for you" (Mt. 8:13). Likewise, when he freed the Canaanite woman's daughter from the tyranny of the devil, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire” (Mt. 15:28).
When Christ visited Peter’s home, He put an end
his mother-in-law’s fever, He cast out the demons from them who were brought to Him, and He healed all the sick people who came there seeking His help(Mt. 8:14-17); subsequently, when Christ saw that a great crowed had gathered around Him, He immediately departed from there:
“And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him,
He gave a command to depart to the other side” (Mt. 8:18).
Christ did the exact same thing when he calmed the storm at sea and stopped the wind: He immediately departed, and having crossed to the
other side of the sea, “He came to the country of the Gardarenes” (Mk. 5:1). When He made
the paralytic rise from his bed, immediately “Jesus
withdrew” from the multitude in order for Him to remain unknown (Jn. 5:13). When He fed the
five thousand men with five loaves of bread, He
forced His disciples to depart from there (Mt. 14:22). And when He fed the four thousand men with seven loaves of bread, He immediately left
and went to the region of Magdala (Mt. 15:39). When He went to the home of the ruler of the
synagogue to resurrect his daughter, Christ sought to hide the miracle: first, He told everyone present,
“Depart, for the girl is not dead but sleeping,”
and, in following , “He put them all outside”—
only then did He resurrect the deceased girl
(Mt. 9:23-25 & Mk. 5:40).

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