“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.” (Matthew 17: 15) THE SUFFERING FATHER AND HIS SICK CHILD: The Lord was on mount Tabor where the unique event of the Transfiguration took place. Three of His disciples, Peter, James and John were with Him. The other nine disciples at that time found themselves confronted with a difficult case. A distressed father brought his sick son and asked them to cure him. The young man was under the influence of a certain demon which caused him epilepsy. This was an everyday suffering state, both for the child and his family. However, the frequent disturbances by the demon caused spasms in the child and led him to throw himself in the fire to be burnt and in the water to be drowned. Thus, the danger of death was imminent. When the father appeared, the Lord was not there and he, therefore, approached the nine disciples. However, the disciples were not able to cast the demon away. The father then felt more pain, became disappointed and saw no way out of the problem. THE ARRIVAL OF THE LORD: At that particular moment the Lord, accompanied by the three disciples, descended the mountain. He found Himself in front of the rest of the disciples, who were puzzled at their weakness to free the young man and also the suffering father who complained about the weakness of the disciples. THE REACTION OF THE LORD: The Lord, having heard all that the complaining father had to say, including his request, spoke and added His own complaint against the father as well as against the disciples. He called them “faithless and perverse generation”. Furthermore, He added “How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” (Matt. 17: 17). The Lord then asked for the child to be brought to Him. WHY THE LORD COMPLAINED: As we know, the event of the Transfiguration took place a few days prior to the passion of the Lord. Therefore, about three years had already passed since the Lord launched His redeeming task. During that time the Lord taught many things to many people. He performed miracles to individuals and groups. The miracles took place on people, on nature and on Himself. All these things became known in the land of Palestine. Additionally, the disciples experienced all these first-hand and when the Lord sent them on a missionary task, they returned full of joy and satisfied with their success. What is more, with one voice they announced that “even the demons submit to us”. However, now they were puzzled as they faced their weakness. THE MIRACLE: When the young man was led closer to the Lord, He severely rebuked the demon. The demon released its victim and immediately the young man became well. THE PUZZLE OF THE DISCIPLES: When the disciples saw the miracle, they took Jesus Christ aside and asked what was the reason for their weakness and inability to send the demon away. The Lord answered them that their failure was mainly due to their lack of faith. THE POWER OF FAITH: Afterwards the Lord explained to them that this kind of demon is defeated and gives in when the person who tries to put them down implements his action, after prayer and fasting. Additionally, the Lord informed them that if they had the least faith, just the size of a mustard seed, they could remove mountains from their place and every thing for them would be possible. The removal of mountains can also be taken metaphorically. For instance, something which in human terms and measures seems impossible, with faith, prayer and fasting becomes possible. JESUS’S SECOND PREDICTION OF HIS PASSION: As we have already mentioned, the event of the Transfiguration as well as the miracle of the healing of the young man which followed, both took place a little earlier than the Lord’s passion. Thus, today’s gospel refers to the second prediction of the Lord’s approaching passion. The disciples, of course, did not understand what the Lord said to them at the first prediction of the passion, nor did they understand what the Lord said to them this time, at the second prediction. According to what Mark the Evangelist says, this time they discussed among themselves who was the greatest. On the first prediction of the passion, Apostle Peter tried to discourage the Lord, saying to Him not to go through with it. The Lord then told him: “Get behind me Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Mark 8: 33). At the third prediction of the passion the two brothers, James and John, asked for the best places in the Lord’s kingdom; this request was made either by the disciples directly or by their mother Salome and provoked the jealousy of the rest of the disciples. This kind of behaviour on the part of the disciples was due to the fact that they were under the influence of the climate of secular and materialistic messianic ideas. All these expected the Messiah as a political leader, who would drive away the Roman occupiers and would free the land of Palestine. THE RIGHT WAY OF DEALING WITH THE YOUTH: Since enough hermeneutic comments have been made regarding the text of the gospel, we can now take the opportunity of the healing of the child who was under the influence of the devil and say a few words for the vulnerable youth. The young men and women throughout all ages and especially in our time are confronted with many traps and snares of Satan and his followers. For this reason we, the grown-ups, need to offer sound advice to the young people which can endure throughout their young life. It is necessary to guide the young people on the right path and lead them close to Christ from an early age so that He will bless them, guide them, protect them, teach them and heal them. There will come a time when all these spiritual provisions will prove to be useful to them and will support them. Amen! C O M M U N I T Y N E W S SUMMER EDITION OF SCHOOL MAGAZINE: We gladly announce that the summer edition of the School Magazine, I PHONI TOU SCHOLIOU, is now in circulation. This bears the number 105. The present edition on its front cover has two photographs presenting the children when participating in the music lesson and also taking part in a school function. Among other essays it includes the end-of-the-year school report delivered by the Headmaster, Bishop Athanasios of Tropaeou. In this edition you will find essays by teachers as well as a wide range of essays on many topics written by the pupils, plus many advertisements by our kind sponsors and photographs of the school classes as well as photographs of school and community events. RENEWAL OF SUBSCRIPTIONS: The subscriptions for the Community (£50.00), Pantanassa (£25.00) and the Archdiocese Magazine (£15.00) are now due. If you have not already paid your subscriptions or wish to subscribe to any or all of these you may contact our Community’s offices. SCHOOL ENROLMENTS: The enrolments for the new school year 2009-2010 have already begun. If you wish your child/children to attend St Barnabas Greek School in September please call at the office to register them as soon as possible. FIFTY YEARS OF SERVICE IN GT BRITAIN: His Eminence, Gregorios, the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain has completed fifty years of service in Great Britain. The Trustees of the Archdiocese in co-operation with the Association of the Greek Communities are preparing a celebration to mark the event. The celebration will include a dinner given in honour of His Eminence on Saturday, 31st October 2009, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel. Tickets are available at £65.00 each. On Sunday, 1st November 2009, a Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the Cathedral of St Sophia, Moscow Road, W.2. His Eminence will preside at the service, having as concelebrants other Bishops and assisted by priests and deacons.