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July 26, 2020

Homily One for the Seventh Sunday of Matthew - On the Spiritual and Physical Senses (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

On the Spiritual and Physical Senses

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

(Seventh Sunday of Matthew - 9:27-35)

Christ, as it says in the Gospels, performed many miracles to show people that He was the Messiah they had been waiting for and that these are foretells of the new life He has brought into the world. Miracles were proof of His messianic nature, in addition to the love he showed to people suffering from various ailments, physical and mental.

In today's Gospel we saw two miracles that Christ performed. One is that he healed two blind people who immediately gained the light of their eyes and saw the creations of God. The other miracle is that he healed a deaf man who could not hear, and this deafness was a consequence of a demonic condition and was not just a physical illness. In both of these miracles we see the healing of two bodily senses, sight and hearing.

Man is the most perfect creation of God. His body has various senses, among which are the sense of sight and the sense of hearing. With sight we can see the creations of God, but also move with ease, and with hearing we can hear and communicate with people. What would we be if we did not have these two important senses! People who lack them understand their value, even though God gives them a lot of strength to overcome their problem.

However, these senses help us a lot in our lives to move, work, read, listen and talk to people. If we study from an anatomical point of view how both of these senses function, we will be amazed at the wisdom of God who made them. The most perfect cameras and the most perfect acoustic machines cannot reach the perfection with which these two bodily senses work. We should praise God for their great value and because he gave us this blessing.

At the same time we must realize that, in addition to the physical senses, there are also the spiritual senses. Beyond the physical vision there is also the spiritual vision, the vision of the nous with which one can declare the glory of God. With our physical eyes we see the creation of God, with our spiritual eyes we see the Light of God. And beyond the physical hearing there is also the spiritual hearing and so man can hear both the created and the uncreated sounds. That is why Christ said: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matt. 10:15).

We praise God for physical sight and hearing, but we must, through our struggle, our prayer, our whole ecclesiastical life, acquire both spiritual sight and spiritual hearing. From the deprivation of these spiritual senses we suffer and have need, because we cannot see God and we cannot hear His will. Due to the lack of these spiritual senses we suffer a lot in our lives. Christ continues today, through the Church, to perform such miracles, that is, to heal the spiritual blindness and spiritual deafness of sick people. Such miracles should be sought to taste from God these miracles done in the Church.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.