In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen

Today is the 35th Sunday after  Pentecost and the commemoration of St.
Euthymius the Great. because of the way this year turns, out with
Zacchaeus Sunday coming up next week, we are actually reading a gospel
that would have been read earlier in most years. It is about the healing
of the blind man by the wayside.

As is usual in the scriptures, there is an inner and outer story. the
outer story is very easy to see, but the  inner one takes a little but
more work to see and understand. For this, we have the inspired Fathers
to help us. the story shows us the healing of a man, his faith, and how
he struggled, and  continued to pray even when told to be quiet. the
inner one tells us about  the healing of humanity, because this man,
according to the fathers, represents all of humanity. there is even a
play on words which underscore this point,  and has a mystical meaning. 

And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain
blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass
by, he asked what it meant. 

Out Lord traveled  all over a large area. His traveling was not
accidental. He did just  go here, and there, without any plan or
purpose. He had a purpose when going to every place. In this case, His
purpose included encountering this blind man. 

The word "Jericho" is interpreted "moon". the moon represents weakness.
You see how it waxes and wanes, it changes  continually. It is very
ephemeral. It's light is weak, because  you only see it when the sun is
not there, and it's light is only a reflection of the sun's light. So,
the moon represents humanity. We wax and we wane, and we are weak, and
the only light we have is if indeed we glorify God by our works and by
our faith. 

this man was sitting by the wayside. this is just a simple expression;
and it is what beggars did. they say in places  where there was commerce
and traffic, so that there was a chance that they would be able to get a
few pennies. But there is more here - he sat by the wayside, and Christ
came. Christ said: I AM the way. 

The wayside,  brothers and sisters, is where Christ is coming, and where
He will go. The wayside is the life in the church. We can see that  this
man had great faith in a moment, so he was prepared and ready, because 
of his character, to receive healing from god, and as is usual when
blind mane are healed in the scriptures, two kinds of blindness where
cured, the inner and the outer blindness. 

Have you noticed  something about the stories in the Scriptures? I am
always amazed to see how almost nonchalantly the evangelist  talk about
great miracle. they say "As He was going..", or "It came to pass....",
even about great things.  Look at how the Nativity is described, very
simply, without great fanfare,. Or the baptism of our Lord. One can read
all the scriptures  about His baptism in less than two minutes, if you
read slowly. some many other occurrences are detailed in the  scripture
quietly, with any fanfare, very laconically. 

 God is heard in quietness and stillness He is not heard in the trumpet
or in the fire or the flood or earthquake-He is heard in the still small
voice The only way you can hear this still small voice is to de still
and to listen. it is not worth it to shout out about holy things because
people wont hear them. Those who are choked with cares or sins wont
hear. To the extent that we are choked with cars or sins we went hear
either. Indeed there is much that every single one of us doesn-t hear
because our entire salvation is set out before us in every divine
liturgy. All of the services are precious. They are like pearls and they
will teach us so much if we listen and yet we miss this teaching time
and time again. 

In every year in almost every service I am struck by something and say
to myself I never thought of it that way before.. Well glory be to God
that He enlightened poor soul a little bit on that day but what about
the other I times heard it when me ears were stopped up and I was not
looking and listening? That-s what happens to us. By the way that is why
we repeat things so often - not to bore people but the church knows that
we need this repetition in order to learn since so many times we miss
the salvific message that God is trying to give us.

Have you noticed that in the scriptures things are said very commonly?
Often very great things happen in the course of common daily life. Our
Lord was walking along a dusty road and it was hot and there was beggar
by the road-There are many beggars by the road. And in the course of His
walking by the road He sees this beggar and heals him.  Just part of
daily life and indeed it is - this is common for Christians because we
live with the miraculous. The ordinary is made extraordinary.  And what
is the secret to saving your soul? Its no secret at all. The church has
already told us everything we need to know.  Its really profoundly
simple to know how to save your soul. You follow the war of the church
which is not full of fanfare and great events which are published
abroad. It is full of fasting saying your evening prayers and morning
prayers reading holy things especially as a family in the evening
together confessing your sins as often as you can communing as often as
you can coming to the services consistently and with zeal- not just the
liturgy    everyone goes to the liturgy coming to the vigil services to
feed yourself from the deep well of their theology struggling against
your passions. There is nothing really as we say to write home about
there  just day in day out struggling to be Christians and to live in
Christ. That is how God is revealed to us. In the seemingly mundane He
is revealed to us. 

We must  cultivate our vision of God our understanding of God through
these things that god has given us though both wars of living and
physical things that He has given us for our salvation.

So I ask you and I beg of you - I beg of myself  - don-t miss any
opportunity. Your daily life going to work every day saying your morning
prayers and your evening prayers keeping the fast even when its
difficult even when you are traveling even when you are tired even when
there is no other food available except things that are not fasting -
all these things and many more in toto are for our salvation and will
reveal God to us. 

And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried,
saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

This man shows his great faith and knowledge here. because he calls
Jesus 'Son of David'. This is another name for the Messiah. Indeed He
was the son of David and he was of our flesh.

 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.

 {39} And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his
peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on

 {40} And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and
when he was come near, he asked him, {41} Saying, What wilt thou that I
shall do unto thee? 

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it
shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he
that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall

 And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. {42} And Jesus said
unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 

{43} And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying
God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.


 This homily was transcribed from one given On December 16th,  1996
according to the church calendar, being the Twenty Ninth  Sunday after
Pentecost, and commemoration of the conception of the Most Holy

There are some stylistic changes and minor corrections made and several
footnotes have been added, but otherwise, it is essentially in a
colloquial, ?spokenŠ style. 

It is hoped that something in these words will help and edify the
reader, but a sermon read from a page cannot enlighten a soul as much as
attendance and reverent worship at the Vigil service, which prepares the
soul for the Holy Liturgy, and the hearing of the scriptures and the
preaching of them in the context of the Holy Divine Liturgy. In such
circumstances the soul is enlightened much more than when words are read
on a page. 

 Luke 18:35-36

 Luke 18:37-38

 John 14:6

 Matthew 7:7-8

 Matthew 21:22

The Thirty Fifth  Sunday after Pentecost 

The Healing of the Blind Man by the Wayside

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