Monday, May 2, 2011

The Significance of Sunday for Healing

(The following passage refers to the account of Christ's appearances to his disciples after His Resurrection as recorded in The Gospel of St. John 20.19-29).

"You will see that it was Sunday when the disciples assembled and the Lord came to them.  On Sunday He approached them for the first time as they were gathered together, and eight days later, when Sunday came round again, He appeared to their assembly.  Christ's Church continually reflects these gatherings by holding its meetings mostly on Sunday, and we come among you and preach what pertains to salvation and lead you towards piety and a godly way of life.
     Let no one out of laziness or continuous worldly occupations miss these holy Sunday gatherings, which God Himself handed down to us, lest he be justly abandoned by God and suffer like Thomas, who did not come at the right time.  If you are detained and do not attend on one occasion, make up for it the next time, bringing yourself to Christ's Church.  Otherwise you may remain uncured, suffering from unbelief in your soul because of deeds or words, and failing to approach Christ's surgery to receive, like divine Thomas, holy healing.  There exists not only thoughts and words of faith but also deeds and acts of faith - 'Shew me', it says, 'thy faith by thy works' (cf. Jas. 2:18) - and if someone abandons these and is completely distanced from the Church of Christ and given over wholly to worthless pursuits, his faith is dead, or non-existent, and he himself has become dead through sin." 

St. Gregory Palamas, The Homilies, edited and translated by Christopher Veniamin, homily 17, "Explaining the Mystery of the Sabbath and of the Lord's Day and Referring to the Gospel of New Sunday" (Waymart: Mount Thabor Publishing, 2009), 141.