Furniture Mover


During the Sundays after Pascha, we hear about the ways people respond to the Resurrection. On Thomas Sunday, we found that some respond with doubt. In the Myrrh-bearing women, some respond by becoming servants to the Body of Christ. Today, we will find that another response is to become furniture movers.

This is the way St. Bede sees it the story of the healing of the paralytic. Thirty eight years is a long time to suffer from paralysis. Bede finds the number 38 to of interest. It is two less than perfection. How did he get that idea? Well, multiply 10 (for the Ten Commandments) by 4 (for the Four Gospels), and you get the number 40, a number  which represents the full number of virtues. We are behind by two/ What do we lack?

To find healing, we must move the furniture.

First, the Lord said “Rise!” Simply, there’s not going to be any healing if we continue to roll about in our beds. I know the bed is comfortable. We become use to it and in many ways the bed has become a part of our personality. Yet, if there is to be healing, we must throw off the covers and place our feet on the floor and stand up. Can we do it? Yes, if we have faith in the power of the Lord’s command. After all, didn’t His command still the winds and calm the seas?

Second, the Lord said “take up your bed.” St. Bede’s take on this may surprise you. He wrote that to take up your bed means that you are to “lovingly carry your neighbor, by tolerating his weakness.” I leave behind my sins by rising up and now I carry my bed by bearing the burdens of others. Well, this is different, but how else can it be? Would the Lord have me carry the bed of my old sins? If so, then I would continue to be a slave to them. St. Paul reminds us that it is by bearing the burdens of others that I fulfill the Law of Christ. I forget this truth and I believe that I must be a martyr. After all, I carry such a heavy load of my own stuff.

Third, the Lord commands that I am to “walk.” Here, St. Bede tells us that this means to love God. Therefore, walking involves loving God with the heart, mind, soul, and strength. He puts it this way: Walk…”so that you may be worthy to reach the vision of Him. Go forward by making daily strides of good works from virtue to virtue. Do not desert your brother…nor turn aside from the right direction of your path…In everything that you do, see to it that you do not fix your mind upon this world, but that you hurry to see the face of your Redeemer.”

The end result was that the man became well, took up his bed, and went on walking. Well, as always, it’s up to us. We can lie around and hope that someday, all the circumstances of life will line up and the timing will be just right. Then, we’ll get into the water and all will be well. It is a tragic attitude because we can lie on this bed for 38 years hoping to be the lottery winner. This kind of attitude reminds me of a calling card that a protestant minister once showed me. On the front was the all of the important contact information, but on the back was a picture of a man in a casket located at the front of the church. Under the picture were these words, “Well, he always said he’d get to church as soon as he got straightened out!”

We need wait no longer if we will rise, take up our bed, and walk.

Don’t you think it’s time to move some furniture?

5 Responses to “Furniture Mover”

  1. katia Says:

    Father bless,

    Thank you!

    It is time to move the furniture but we have to try to keep them ‘whole’ and not to ‘break’ them.

  2. frjohn Says:

    Yeah, dear Katia. I tend to bang a lot of furniture and dent a lot of walls when I move furniture. If I can afford it, its best to hire out to professionals. But in this case, I guess we have to carry the bed ourselves.

  3. katia Says:

    Dear father John, this has been sent to me by e-mail id like to share it with you:

    A drunken man who smelled like a stale beer mat, sat down on a subway next to a priest.

    The man’s tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading.

    After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, ‘Say Father, What causes arthritis?’

    The priest, indignant at the man’s condition, replies, ‘My Son, it’s caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and the lack of a bath.’

    The drunk muttered in response, ‘Well, I’ll be damned,’ then returned to his paper.

    The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. ‘I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to come on so strong. How long have you had Arthritis?’

    The drunk answered, ‘I don’t have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does.’

  4. Seraphim Says:

    Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d say it’s time sing a few verses of “Just As I Am.”

  5. shinie Says:

    thank you dear rev.for making me understand the prable.this is indeed Gods work through you to me.

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