2nd Sunday of the Fast (St. Gregory Palamas)
(Mark. 2, 1-12)
That our heart be supported by Christ
Man often uses his logic to think negatively –just like the Scribes and the Pharisees do– in a way that is no good for his ownself. When we are overcome by thoughts that trouble us and nearly rip our souls apart, let us listen for and hear the voice of the Lord: “Why are you reasoning thusly in your hearts?” (Luke 5. 22)
It is very important to never be scandalized by Christ: to think that he doesn’t care for you, that he can’t help you, or that he won’t forgive you. The Lord wishes for us to trust him, in complete simplicity and purity, and without any trace of scandal.
Here, they bring in the paralytic, so that the Lord may heal him. The Lord, however, first heals the cause of his disease. This cause is sin. Thus, it is of great importance that sins be forgiven, that the soul be cleansed, and that man be healed from the evil of sin. Clearly, this is what the Lord came for. And yet, this happens with difficulty, since man’s attitude is an obstacle: Man doesn’t repent, doesn’t become humble, but petitions the Lord for other things, as though he doesn’t care about the forgiveness of his sins. Man needs to mature, so that whatever doubts he holds within himself will leave. He needs to hope, to believe, to become humble, and to truly repent. After this, comes a blessed time, a time in which the person is assured completely. He feels empirically within himself that God has accepted his repentance, has forgiven him, and has placed him on the road to salvation.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.