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The 4th Sunday of Great Lent: Infirmity (Metsagu)

Updated: Apr 10

Infirmity, the Paralytic (John 5:1-15), The fourth week of Great Lent is called Metsagu, meaning infirmity. In our church, each Sunday carries a spiritual theme, which helps us engage in spiritual

dialogue with God through the incarnate, crucified, and risen Christ.

The fourth week of Great Lent teaches us that Christ came into this world not only to preach and teach about the kingdom of God but also to heal the sick, the infirm, and those possessed with mental and spiritual diseases. Our Lord teaches us that mental and spiritual illnesses are caused by sin. The power of forgiveness is available through faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit, via His church and the sacrament of penance.

Therefore, it is named Metsagu because it is dedicated to the Lord's acts of HEALING. As of the eve, passages and songs focus on His act of healing the wounded, the leper, etc. Acts of those He chose, who have also performed such healing services in line with His blessing, will also be remembered. The following are some of the verses frequently read and/or sung: Matt. 8:2-34, Matt. 14:14-36, Matt. 10:1-10, Luke 18, John 9:1-40.


"The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed. I said, 'Lord, be merciful to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.' " Psalm 41:1-3

Lesson I - Metsagu: The Paralytic Man:

In this lesson, there are many things that we could learn. First, let's discuss things that paralyze our mind, body, and spirit.

Nowadays, most people are seeking satisfaction by doing something/being someone - getting high, looking cool, and being popular is always the end game! Such people think that finding satisfaction through physical experiences is their unique new motto - hence, all we think, talk, and dream about is something that paralyzes our life and our future.

As a first-generation Ethiopian American youth grown up here, we have a lot of opportunities that our parents dared not wish for. Sometimes we forget the struggles our parents went through to get us to where we are. We have been given privilege with a lot of responsibilities. However, this is a simple lesson we have difficulty learning or understanding. Some of us drink or smoke excessively to numb the pain of facing reality, and others try to hide by having "fun" or filling their emptiness with temporary pleasure [we paralyze ourselves and become victims of our desires]. The question is, what is going to happen when the laughter stops and reality sets in? What is going to happen when you are a parent with no job or education to care for the baby, when you feel stuck while being a player and your friends have all gone for better? Recently, there was a person who, in seeking "pleasure," was paralyzed by his/her choice and dream and tried drugs. Life-changing moments! Now all dreams have come to a halt!? Now every future plan has to be rerouted according to the person you've become. People are too concerned about having fun now and not worrying about paying for it later. The paralytic man sinned and spent 38 years paying for his deed. The reality is that there will be a price to pay for the choices a person makes. For example, if a teen or a freshman college student gets pregnant at a party (mind you: the behavior is not just a mistake, it is a choice too), what will her life look like afterward? All pleasure-seeking behavior that paralyzes our life comes at a cost. If you choose to indulge in all the pleasure you want without making sure you have the means to cover them, then the consequences will follow you for the rest of your life.

In this lesson, we have learned that the paralyzed man we read about in the Bible chose to sin, which paralyzed him for 38 years. What about us? Where are our choices, way of life leading? To prison, being paralyzed, or to freedom and happiness? Today, the story teaches us that Christ, our God and Lord, has offered us a choice that requires our response. He is asking, “Do you want to be healed?” Healed from false pleasure, dreams, stress, and disappointment. Everything we do has consequences that shape and influence our life for the rest of our lives. There is no other choice

- either live with Him or else - What will it be?

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