Reflections on the Paschal season
Protopresbyter Dr Doru Costache
Part Five: The Fifth Sunday
Recorded on 27 May 2020
Topic: From personal enlightenment to meaningful activity
The Paschal Revolution: Beyond the Forty Days with the Risen Lord
Reflection on the festival’s scriptural readings: Acts 16:16–34. John 9:1–38.
Excerpt from Reading Scripture in the Orthodox Church: The Sunday Cycle (pp. 27-28)
The Sixth Paschal Sunday reiterates the topic of the first two Sundays of the season: faith, spiritual sight, and perception of the Light of the world, Christ. The two passages present various kinds of blindness: physical (the man born blind), spiritual (the pharisaic hatred, the rage of the inhabitants of Philippi), and demonic (the slave-girl). Of these, the first and the third kind were innocent. Neither the blind man nor the slave-girl caused their predicament. Both were overpowered by forces which they could not control. But the second category included self-induced blindness. The pharisees were unwilling to recognise the Lord and insensitive to the man whom they had excommunicated. The masters of the slave-girl could not rejoice at her liberation. The inhabitants of Philippi refused the preaching of the apostles. Above all, it is because of the second kind of blindness that the Lord manifested himself as saviour—to call people to change their minds, to convert, to adhere to the Gospel. The paschal revolution calls all people to the Light, but it is up to them to turn away from darkness. People’s bodily eyesight and the rectitude of their by-the-book opinions do not count. The blind man saw the Light in his heart before his eyes were opened. Their pharisaic allegiance did not hinder Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus from turning to Christ. What matters is that people open their minds and hearts to the Light of the world and see everything in Christ’s light. What fulfils human life is to see Christ, the Light who cannot be conquered by darkness. People must convert to the Light. In Christ’s light, all people matter. This Light is the Life of the world, Life for all. Without the Life-giving Light, no fulfilment is possible for us, no achievement perfect.
God’s people are given spiritual sight through which they contemplate people and everything else.
27 May 2020 © AIOCS
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