October 2023 English Newsletter Posted December 14, 2023 by admin


My Beloved the Benevolent                        October 2023

Grace and peace, wishing you all goodness and blessings.

I would like to meditate with you on Sundays’ Gospels for the month of Babah:

The first Sunday falls on October 15th; the Gospel of the Liturgy is from St. Mark 2:1-12, on the healing of the paralytic carried by his four friends.

The second Sunday falls on October 22nd; the Gospel of the Liturgy is from St. Luke 9:1-11, on the miracle of the great catch of fish.

The third Sunday falls on October 29th; the Gospel of the Liturgy is from St. Matthew 12:22-28, on the healing of the blind, mute, demon-possessed man.

The fourth Sunday falls on November 5th; the Gospel of the Liturgy is from St. Luke 7: 11-17, on the miracle of the raising of the son of the widow of Nain.

We note that the four miracles mentioned in the Gospels of the Sundays of the month of Babah are miracles of merciful acts and help for those in need; whether healing the paralytic, healing the blind, mute, demon-possessed man, raising the dead son of his widowed mother, or helping Peter and those with him in catching fish after he had spent the whole night fishing and caught nothing.

+ The miracles of the Lord Christ have two main purposes:

The first is to confirm the belief in His divinity, as St. John stated, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30-31

The second purpose is as an act of mercy to help a suffering soul. Jesus Christ did not perform a miracle just for the sake of performing a miracle, in fact He refused to do so. When the scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus, saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.'” Matthew 12:38-39

+ I would like us to extract some spiritual lessons for our benefit from the miracles of the Gospels on the Sundays of the month of Babah:

1. The importance of serving others: In the miracle of healing the paralytic, the Bible shows us the role of the four men who carried the paralytic. They brought the paralytic to Christ, believing that He could heal him. When they found it difficult to get into the house, what happened? “And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.” Mark 2:4 They did a good deed regardless of the difficulty and risks. These four men were not performing a duty, but were on a mission to help this paralytic, and their purpose was clear: to reach Christ. The Lord Jesus looked upon their faith and perseverance; for their faith, the paralytic man was healed not only physically but spiritually. “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Mark 2:5 and then He said to him, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Mark 2:11.

2. An accurate reading of God’s work within us: In the miracle of the great catch of fish, St. Peter did not rejoice in catching so many fish, despite his great need. But he felt and thought deeper than the fish, as he looked to Christ, the miracle worker, and knew that he was standing before God. He said, “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!'” Luke 5:8. And as Isaiah said when he saw the Lord, “So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King. The Lord of hosts.'” Isaiah 6:5 Because St. Peter read the miracle of catching the fish the correct spiritual way, the Lord said to him, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” Luke 5:10

3. We do not fail to do good deeds: In the miracle of healing the blind, mute, and demon-possessed man, he was healed, “…and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” Matthew 12:22 Despite the greatness of the miracle, the Pharisees attributed the great miracle to the work of Satan, when they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” Matthew 12:24 Not everyone rejoices in witnessing good deeds, in fact, we might find those who criticize everything.  Therefore, doing good deeds requires perseverance and not concerning oneself on others’ reactions. He who does good deeds rejoices in doing them and rejoices in the reward from God. Also, a benevolent person may not see the fruit of his work during the time of doing the good deeds; therefore, doing good requires perseverance and not giving up due to the resisters who seek to make any good work fail. We must remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

4. Christ is the true Comforter: In the miracle of the raising of the son of the widow of Nain, the Bible mentions, “And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.”  Luke 7:12 The departure of a young man, an only son of his widowed mother is difficult, so many sympathized with this poor widow whose husband departed and now walks behind the coffin of her only son to bury him, and all her hopes with him. The large crowd that surrounded the widow came to console her, stand with her, and provide any possible support. But despite the good desire and good intentions, were any of them able to provide this widow with what she needed, which was her only son? The only one who truly comforted this widow was the Messiah, Who raised her son, “So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.” Luke 7:15

We must constantly look towards our true source of consolation and help: our good God who gave His life for our salvation. May the Lord grant us to strive to do good and not grow weary, laying what we offer before the Lord to bless.

May the Lord bless your gifts to support Santa Verena’s charitable programs.

Metropolitan Serapion