Do you believe I am able to grant to you health and life?—Seventh Sunday of Matthew

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

You see, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, that the Lord in today’s reading heals in two ways: for the first two, the blind men, when they have cried out to him whereas the demoniac by others bringing him to Christ.  The former cried out to the Lord, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”  They were blind and desperate and the Lord leads them away to a quiet place in a house.  “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” says the Lord to them and he says the same to us: “Do you believe I am able to grant to you health and life?”

They had come seeking a man.  A special man, of course, one who had been wandering the lands of Galilee and healing: but their encounter with this healer was unexpected—they had hoped to receive their sight but in this encounter they saw the face of God.  “‘According to your faith be it done to you.’  And their eyes were opened.”  And face to face with their Maker, “as a man speaks to his friend,” (Exodus 33:11) the Lord meets them at their level, “See that no one knows it.”  “Tell no one,” says the Lord Almighty, “that the Son of David has healed you.”  Because the Son of David—the man—is the one whom they asked; yet the authority of this man is not based on his humanity but that he is the incarnate Son of God.  And these two could recognise what the Pharisees outside with the demons could not, they could not only behold the face of God but could recognise him as such.  And they kept to the word of the Lord—they spread not the healing through a mere man but that the Lord himself has visited his people.

And the Lord speaks to you and he speaks to me a second time, “Do you believe I am able to grant to you health and life?”  Because the healing comes with greater responsibilities.  He will respond to each of us, “According to your faith be it done to you.”  In as much as I have faith in, as I am faithful to, Christ to that same extent Christ will heal my soul and raise up my body.  It is a scary thought, a sobering thought, because it means leaving behind comfort and taking up my own cross, it means joining the battle against Sin and Death, it means rejecting that which is sinful in me.  And I would rather remain blind to this than stand alongside my Lord.  But if I want life, if I want to become whole and complete, it is a change I must endure and be prepared myself to “spread his fame through all that district.”

Following the healing of the former two, the demoniac is healed—one who himself is not able to cry out “Have mercy on me, Son of David,” since the demon prevented even that.  And the Lord heals him too.  And through the preaching of the first two, this man has the possibility of hearing that the God of Heaven has come down and dwelt with his people.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, be faithful to the Lord that he may heal you and you may glorify him.  And as many as receive this healing may spread the fame of the Lord throughout our world where so many have lost even the ability to cry out to him.  Remain steadfast in the Faith and the Lord will heal you and grant that you may be with him in his Kingdom.

To our incarnate and risen Saviour, the Healer of souls and bodies, may we offer all glory, honour and worship, together with his Unoriginate Father and the All-holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit.  Amen.

Brethren, we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
— Romans 15:1–7

At that time, as Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.” But they went away and spread his fame through all that district. As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.
— Matthew 9:27–35