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Grace (and Blindness)

“God and man then possess in common an uncreated energy and life, the One being the Source, and the other the vessel of grace.” (St. Gregory Palamas)

“We know that Jesus emphasized faith. To the woman with the issue of blood whom He healed, He said: “Your faith has made you well” (Mark 5:34). To the blind beggar He met on a street in Jericho and also healed, He said: “Your faith has made you well” (Mark 10:52). Jesus tied personal faith in Him to the efficacy of healings. But was faith the most critical factor behind these cures? Jesus perceived “power had gone forth from him” to heal the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:30). Sometimes Christ out of compassion healed people without asking for faith (Mark 1:34; 3:5). And so with all the acts of healing, it was above all Christ’s divine power that cured the sick, the lame, and the blind. The role of faith was significant but secondary to divine grace. God provided the grace, faith received the gift.” (Fr. Theodore Stylianopoulos)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me...” (Lk. 4:18-20), disbelief will obscure God’s healing presence. This kind of blindness is all around us today. Take care of the state of your heart before God! Captivated by spiritual ignorance, men and women become blinded, separated from God’s grace. Hence, they fail to recognize saving Truth even when He is standing in front of them. All that the Lord Jesus’ neighbors could see was “Joseph’s son” (Lk. 4:22). Saint Mark the Ascetic states the problem plainly: “Hell is ignorance, for both are dark.” This Gospel shows the power of delusion and wrong belief that distort perception and prevent salvation, but it also illumines the greater power of divine grace opens hearts and minds to life and healing.” (Dynamis 7/20/2020)

“…the voice of Christ is filled with grace.  Our calling to share the love of God as revealed by Christ is affirmed by the Apostle Paul as the highest calling we have: But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)  Christ came and revealed God’s great love for us.  His teaching and healing were filled with grace.  His voice through us calls all to come and receive forgiveness and be saved by grace…His voice brings healing, removes spiritual blindness, and calls us back from the path of sin into abundant life.  The voice of Christ through us speaks clearly and powerfully in the face of adversity, persecution, and even the threat of death, offering a witness of truth and faith.” (Archbishop Demetrios)

We become human at the moment when…we have entered into the realm of broken-heartedness, into the realm of love which is a response both to divine love and to human suffering. This cannot be measured. We can never, on that level, say, 'I am safe. I will come to the judgment and be one of the sheep', because it will not be a question of whether or not we have accomplished the law, but whether this law has become so much ourselves that it has grown into the mystery of love…We will have gone through all these stages of judgment, and will have emerged from blindness and from the law into a vision of the mysterious relationship which may be called 'mercy' or 'grace'. And we will be face to face with being human. But we must remember that to be human does not mean to be 'like us' but 'like Christ'. With this we can…begin to experience…the process of repentance, that discovery of the acts of divine grace which alone can lead us towards growth into the full stature of the likeness of Christ.” (Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh)


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