Who are the ones who are disabled? by Eleni Caprio

from the St. Catherine’s Newsletter of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, May 2012  To access:

 http://www.assumptionchicago.org/assets/files/news/2012_Saint_Catherines_Newsletter_2_May.pdf

From the 2012 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,  Junior Division (Grades 7–9) Topic 1. Many times in the New Testament, we see Jesus caring about the blind, the paralyzed, and others with physical disabilities (for example, Matthew 9:2 and 9:27–29). Following Christ’s footsteps, discuss the Christian attitude toward disabled people

By Eleni Caprio

Disabilities. We know what they are, but do we really, truly know what they are? Most of the time we think of disabilities as a medically diagnosed condition that makes it difficult to function in daily life. Is this true? Certainly not. How many of us can say with a pure heart that we know what a disability is? Only one, Jesus Christ. In the bible, they define a disability as being a physical ailment, such as leprosy, blindness, or muteness. They even say that if you are a leper or are a paralytic, you have been cursed by God. This is not true. Since we are all made in God’s image, even people with disabilities look like God in a way. So why should we have the authority to say to them, “you are cursed”, or “you weren’t made in the image of God”. Neither of these statements are true, because God has never told us why people have disabilities. For all we know they could be a blessing. To show us who are the truly strong and faithful people in the world. With all the abuse and mockery they take, this could be true. In our society today, people define having a disability as having a medically diagnosed condition that makes it difficult to function in daily life. At least once in your life, you have probably been told not to stare. I’m sure the reason you were staring was because you saw a person in a wheelchair or was blind. In other words, they had a disability. Your parents have told us to be kind to them, help them and overall make their lives easier. This is how we deal with disabilities in our world today. Even us, as Christians treat them this way, as a person who needs to be looked after, who could break at the slightest touch. Our attitude, as Christians, should be to treat them as normal people. Read the bible with them. Teach them about the good news of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To Jesus, the only people who have disabilities are the ones who don’t know about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. The ones who don’t believe. Now, how would you help the people who don’t believe in Christ? Would you bring them to church? Read the bible? Tell them stories of the miracles Jesus performed? If you do at least one of these for a person who does not know the good news, you are helping a disabled person. If all of us did this to one person who doesn’t know, we could get rid of all the disabilities on the earth. Disabilities. What do you think they are now? I believe that disabilities are the conditions in which you will not or cannot believe in the Holy Trinity. Thos are the people who need our help the most. So, share the bible and your faith

picture from CPAC Oakland 

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