The 10th Sunday of Matthew (the father with the epileptic child)
The crucial point for all of us here is faith
The pained father says to Christ that he brought his child to his disciples, but that they were unable to heal him. He then begged Christ to do something. And Christ says to him: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”. And this applies to all circumstances. The crucial point for all of us here is faith. The father of the epileptic child received that which he wanted. And this, he was given by Christ because he spoke so truthfully: ”I believe, Lord, help my unbelief”. It was as though he said: “If you ask me, my God, my whole soul is one giant unbelief, but whatever depends upon my logic, whatever on my intention, I believe, Lord, help my unbelief”. And this was the right response.
Either you want it or not, this is what you are. Recognize this, and confess it. When you, as a free human being, think logically you are able to express what is right, to speak the truth, and God hears it. Hence you will receive that which you desire. When this involves bodily sickness, the Lord will heal it. When, however, it is about our souls being healed, we will experience a great deal of pain. And this, not because God tyrannizes or wants to torture us, but because man is distorted. For this reason, that which is first needed is for man to feel, to accept, that he is distorted and to confess it: “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief. Help the perversion that exists in me, and bring out the good that only you can bring out”.
When we approach God in this way, little by little we uncover the true road, eventually saying: “But, what is this? What is happening? For so many years I’ve been a Christian, and yet I wasn’t a Christian at all. And it is only now that I am beginning to find God, only now that I begin to find God’s grace”. And you feel –even belated– that God accepts you and as you repent, that he gives you forgiveness, and gives you his grace.
Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos