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“Woman, you are free of your infirmity” (Luke 13, 12)

Sermon from the 24th Sunday after Pentecost (Luke 13, 10-17)

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Glory to Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters!

Today’s Gospel leads us to one synagogue (goddess) and shows us the Savior who teaches people. And there was a woman who had been suffering from an evil spirit for eighteen years, was bent over, twisted so that she could not lift her head. There is no mention of whether she went to the doctors, or not, whether she was struggling with a serious illness, or already resigned, but according to the Gospel, we hear – seek salvation in the temple, at God.

Jesus Himself calls him to Himself and bestows what is most valuable to each person – spiritual and physical health. Healed and freed from the demon, the woman began to glorify God.

But here we can observe another act of the evil spirit. His influence on the woman was manifested on her body, and on the head of the synagogue – in his way of thinking. He was also “crippled” but in the spiritual realm. He was in bondage to the prescriptions of the law, which made him unable to rejoice in the woman’s healing. He was even overcome by the anger that Christ had healed this woman by breaking the Sabbath. He who is the Creator of the Sabbath is reproached for breaking the law on the Sabbath. But Christ came to fill law with the grace of God.

Probably many of us have read the book or seen the movie based on Victor Hugo’s novel – The Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris. Quasimodo is one of the main figures. The author described his beautiful human features, which were hidden behind with a deformed scary body. At the same time, he skillfully portrayed people’s behavior when meeting him. In a similar situation, a woman in today’s Gospel was maimed. But the Savior released her from that pitiful position. Note the circle of people who are “crippled” bodily or spiritually. However, the Savior is showing us a different attitude today. When he sees a crippled woman, he calls her to himself and heals.

So why are we suffering?

The answer to this question is already found in chapter 3 of Genesis, which reveals to us that it is not God but sin is the cause of all suffering and pain on earth.

Not only then, but also today the devil binds men with his chains. And now there are many bound fetters of sinful passions. The worst part is that people know about their shackles but cannot get rid of them. It is a great trouble if a person with devilish shackles is left alone with him. But it ceases to be a misery if Jesus Christ, by His great mercy, comes to the aid of a weak man.

fr. Myroslav Dumych

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