August 25 Gospel Reading

Galler55 Mark 4:35-41

[35] And the same day, when evening had come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.[36]
And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was
in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.[37] And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.[38]
And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they
awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?[39] And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.[40] And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?[41] And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Augustine the Blessed said:

"When you have to listen to abuse, that means you are being buffeted by the wind. When your anger is roused, you are being tossed by the waves. So when the wind blows and the waves mount high, the boat is in danger, your heart is in peril. Your heart is taking a battering. When hearing yourself insulted, you long to retaliate. But the joy of revenge brings with it another kind of misfortune. Shipwreck. Why is this? Because Christ is asleep in you. What do I mean? I mean, you have forgotten His presence. Rouse Him, then. Remember Him. Let Him keep watch within you. Pay heed to Him. The temptation arises. It is the wind, it disturbs you. It is the surging of the sea. This is the moment to awaken Christ and let Him remind you of these words. 'How can this be, even the winds and sea obey Him."

St. John Chrysostom said in his Homily XXVIII on Matthew VIII:

"For like a most excellent trainer, He was anointing them with a view to two objects: to be undismayed in dangers, and to be modest in honors. So they might not be puffed up because, having sent away the rest, He retained them, He suffers them to be tossed with the tempest: at once correcting them, and disciplining them to bear trials nobly…These were of a type of the temptations that were to overtake them…For this reason Paul also said, 'I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren…that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life' (II Cor.1:8) …indicating that they should be confident even though the waves rose high, since He orders all things for good, He first of all reproves them."

St. Neilos the Ascetic's writing (only mildly pertaining to this topic) was included in the Philokalia, Vol.1 and is a great benediction to end today's Gospel reading:

"Let us begin, then, to withdraw from the things of this world. Let us despise possessions and money and all that swamps and drowns our intelligence. Let us cast overboard our cargo, so that our ship may float more buoyantly. Hard-pressed by the storm, let us jettison the greater part of our equipment; then our helmsman – the intellect, together with its thoughts – will be saved. Those who travel by sea, when overtaken by a storm, do not worry about their merchandise but throw it into the waters with their own hands, considering their property less important than their life. Why, then, do we not follow their example, and for the sake of the higher life despise whatever drags our soul down to the depths? Why is fear of God less powerful than fear of the sea? In their desire not to be deprived of this transitory life, they judge the loss of their goods no great disaster; but we, who claim to be seeking eternal life, do not look with detachment on even the most insignificant object, but prefer to perish with the cargo rather than be saved without it."

(the above icon was written by Karen Blampied and is a prototype of a 1610 Armenian piece)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s