Saturday, August 9, 2014

Byzantine: 9th Sunday after Pentecost (8/10/14)

Sorry, but again nothing on the Apostolic reading this week.


Gospel

This week's Gospel follows directly on last week's, so it might be a good idea to read that again before reading this week's reading.

Christ walking on water is always a favorite story for children's videos. It's a good one. Now, we often hear how here how this is a lesson in having trust in God, so I'll try to strike out in a different direction (not because of a problem with that lesson, but because there are other parts of the story that can be examined).

Let's look at the figure of St. Peter. Here we see him painted in not the most flattering light. He comes out on the water, but then loses his focus on Christ (and how often have we all done that?) and begins to sink.

Two chapters from this incident, he makes the great confession of faith in Christ which results in his being elevated to the status of the prime minister of the Kingdom of God. Not much changes between these incidents; St. Peter is a largely insignificant character from here until the confession. So, this shows us again the importance of grace in the life of the believer. After being pulled out of the lake, St. Peter probably didn't feel like someone who'd be making a great confession of faith in just a little while. And yet, he did, because it was not his own power he relied on, but it was God Who enabled him (Matt 16:17). So it is for all of us.

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