Sunday of St John Climacus – By practicing the virtues we acquire the power of the Holy Spirit, Patriarch Daniel says

By practicing virtues we acquire the power of the Holy Spirit, Patriarch Daniel says

Aurelian Iftimiu – Basilica News Agency – March 2017

Patriarch Daniel reflected on Sunday on the healings related by the gospel reading: Our Saviour healed the incertitude of the father of the lunatic child. He healed the child of his sickness and freed him from the impure spirit. He also healed His disciples from spiritual incompetence.  

His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, attended on 26 March 2017 the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the St Gregory the Enlightener Chapel of his Patriarchal Residence.

According to His Beatitude, the gospel reading on the Healing of the lunatic child reflects the great suffering that Jesus Christ observed in the demon-possessed boy and the weak faith of his father.

The Apostles could not heal the child, the Patriarch explained in his homily, because of the father’s weak faith and of their spiritual incompetence.

By asking ‘you unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you?’ (Mark 9:19), our Saviour indirectly rebuked the child’s father so that He would not add more suffering through the burden of reproof.

The more faith weakens in people, the more power evil spirits have over people, causing them to complain, to rebel or to blaspheme God when they go through suffering or see an innocent child suffering.

Even though He rebukes the father’s lack of faith, Jesus remains in a state of love for people going through suffering and asks for the son to be brought to Him.

The Patriarch said that after spiritually directing the troubled father, the Lord Jesus healed his boy, commanding the demon to come out of him. This way, those present observed the merciful and healing love of Jesus.

His Beatitude went on to reflect on prayer and fasting, through which we acquire the power of the Holy Spirit that casts out evil spirits.

The Apostles find out from their Teacher Jesus Christ that it does not suffice to command demons to come out of the child, but they have to be in a state of living communion with God, through prayer and fasting.  

By fasting man humbles himself, and the more he lowers himself the more fiery and powerful his prayer becomes. Thus, by combining prayer and fasting, Christians empty themselves from selfishness and fill with the humble and sanctifying love of God, the Romanian Patriarch noted ending his Sunday homily.

© Lumina Newspaper

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