27th Sunday after Pentecost; Octoechos Tone 2; The Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes and Eugraphus
Ephesians 6:10-17; Luke 13:10-17
Glory be to Jesus Christ!
We know that healing and exorcism stories in the gospels function as signs pointing to the truth of Jesus’ claim that the kingdom of God is beginning now, in Jesus’ person and work. Because first century Jews believed that any kind of illness was caused by evil powers, every healing performed by Jesus indicated that God was indeed at work in him, overcoming the rule of evil and establishing the rule of power of God (kingdom of God) in this world. These accounts bear witness that the power of God has truly entered the world in Jesus, thus pointing to him as God’s chosen anointed agent.
In today’s Gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ performs an act of mercy to a woman without demanding anything from her – neither repentance nor faith. An opponent of Christ finds this as an appropriate occasion not to rejoice or give thanks to God, but rather to criticize the woman, though they carefully avoid criticizing Christ. God shows mercy, the religious zealots criticize the recipient of God’s compassion. How jealously we react to the blessings others receive, especially when we have judged that they aren’t worthy of such blessings. Christ reminds us to treat our fellow human beings better than we treat the animals that serve us or our pets.
Let us always rejoice at the blessings received by others and glorify God whose kingdom is at hand!