Christ is Risen!
The Fourth Sunday after Pascha
Sunday of the Paralytic
Jesus Heals the Paralytic
Close to the Sheep’s Gate in Jerusalem, there was a pool, which was called the Sheep’s Pool. It had five porches, that is, five sets of pillars supporting a domed roof. Under this roof there lay very many sick people with various maladies awaiting the moving of the water. The first person to step in after the troubling of the water was healed immediately of whatever malady he had.
It was there that the paralytic of today’s Gospel was lying, tormented by his infirmity of thirty-eight years. When Christ beheld him, He asked him, “Will you be made whole?” And he answered with a quiet and meek voice, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool.” The Lord said unto him, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk.” And straightaway the man was made whole and took up his bed. Walking in the presence of all, he departed rejoicing to his own house.
According to the expounders of the Gospels, the Lord Jesus healed this paralytic during the days of the Passover, when He had gone to Jerusalem for the Feast, and dwelt there teaching and working miracles. According to Saint John the Evangelist, this miracle took place on the Sabbath.
About the Icon
The icon of the Sunday of the Paralytic depicts the biblical story of the Christ healing the paralytic. Our Lord, accompanied by His disciples, is shown blessing the paralytic. The man has risen and taken up his bed as commanded by Christ. The paralytic is bowing toward the Lord in reverence and in gratitude for the great miracle that has been done. In the background of the icon is the pool where the infirm came for healing.
Read more on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website.
The Sign of the Cross, Icons, and Tradition in the Orthodox Church
St. Peter’s website contains of page of short, informal videos on the basics of the Orthodox faith.
Petition to Free Two Bishops Held Captive
From the Archdiocese:
His Eminence sends warm Greetings and love and would like to inform you about a petition (link below) that will be presented to the White House and the United Nations. Please sign it and encourage parishioners to do the same. Also, please keep His Eminence Metropolitan Paul and Archbishop John in your prayers.
On April 22, 2013, both the Greek and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Boulos Yazigi and Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (US citizen), were kidnapped in Syria near the Turkish border. Their driver, Deacon Fatha’ Allah Kabboud, was killed.
Today, 4 years later, the bishops remain missing – though for some time it has been rumored that only one of them is still alive. The bishops were abducted on their way back from the Turkish border, where they were negotiating the release of two priests, Fathers Michael Kayyal and Maher Mahfouz, who had themselves been kidnapped in February 2013.
We have been quietly inquiring behind the scenes for 4 years now. We will not be silent any more. As per the Freedom of Information Act and the fact that one of these men is a US citizen, we are now demanding from the United States government in particular as well as the international community in general, to provide us with answers as to the whereabouts of these two servants of the Lord and the Church, in the name of humanity and decency. We urge the United States government to place whatever pressure need be applied on all its allies to obtain results in this matter particularly Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and Syria.
Please sign the petition here.
Building St. Peter’s
Many, many thanks to all who worked so diligently to make our Lent and Pascha what it was. Orthodoxy is work but it is the kind of work that endures; the necessary work that allows us to move closer to Christ and experience Him in ways that transform us and the world around us.
That’s why we do it. The Church the Apostle Paul says is the “pillar and ground of the truth” — ground zero, the place where we can encounter Christ and learn His voice to be able to recognize Him when He meets us outside of it.
All of us have gifts given to us by God. Our job is to discern what they are and develop them. These gifts are not for us but for our neighbor — for our neighbor’s good and edification — although when we use them in these ways we discover real meaning and joy. We begin to comprehend the reason we are alive and what we were put on the earth to do.
No work is too small. The parts make the whole. When we live this way, Christ lives in us and His Church becomes His habitation, His house, His body. This too is what people who are looking for him will experience (they will sense Christ is present) and this experience is their confirmation that they too have finally found their home.
If we remain faithful to Christ in this way, our Lord with meet our needs and will also provide for us when it is time to build our permanent structure.
Christ is Risen!
Calendar At A Glance
- May 1, 2017 (Sunday) Baptism of Konnie Yankopolus grandsons (Please sign up if attending)
Wisdom From The Elders
Abba Moses asked Abba Sylvanus, “Can a person lay a new foundation every day?” The old man replied, “If you work hard, you can lay a new foundation every moment.”
How will we know whether we are living according to the will of God or not? If you are sad for whatever reason, this means that you have not given yourself over to God, although from the outside it may seem that you have. He who lives according to God’s will has no worries. When he needs something, he simply prays for it. If he does not receive that which he asked for, he is joyful as thought he had received it. A soul that has given itself over to God has no fear of anything, not even robbers, sickness, or death. Whatever happens, such a soul always, cries, “It was the will of God
Our Thoughts Determine our Lives: the Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
Do you want to find out what kind of love you have? Stand in front of the mirror of the 13th chapter of the 1st epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, and honestly look to see if those things the Apostle Paul says applies to you..True love is intertwined with a spirit of humility, sacrifice and giving.
Elder Germanos of Stavrovouni
If strangers are not your own family, you lose both your own family and yourself. If you do not see Christ in the person of the stranger, the sick, the suffering and the imprisoned, then you do not know Him at all. His own people, His friends, His family, His mother, and His brothers, are defined in a different way.
They are not defined by blood relationship or by sharing the same human opinions or temporal objectives, but by the love which brought all things out of non-being into being and regenerates fallen man: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Mk 3:35).
“Those who say, Lord, Lord,” are not my own people, nor will they enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but rather “those who do the will of my Father Who is in heaven” (Mt 7:21)
The Thunderbolt of Ever-Living Fire:
‘American Conversations’ with an Athonite Elder
The Lord came to send fire upon the earth (cf. Lk. 12:49), and through participation in this fire He makes divine not just the human substance which He assumed for our sake, but every person who is found worthy of communion with Him.
St. Gregory Palamas
Remember in Your Prayers
Petronia (Wife of Phil Pappas)
Anna Marie Smith Baker
Iris Kuring (Bettina Zifiris' mother)
Tom and Jean, parents of Patty and Jerry.
How should we pray for the sick? Remember them daily. Say their names (first names are sufficient) and ask God to bestow mercy and grace on them.
Add or remove names and print this list for easy reference during your prayer time on the St. Peter website.
Sing praises to our God, sing praises.
Clap your hands, all you nations.
The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (9:32-42)
In those days, as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him entreating him, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping, and showing tunics and other garments, which Dorcas made while she was with them.
But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John (5:1-15)
At that time, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethsaida, which has five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool and troubled the water; whoever stepped in first, after the troubling of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. One man was there, who had been ill for 38 years.
When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befalls you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had healed him.