Thought of the day
Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A
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"Let us go over to the other side" (Lk 8,22)

Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian 
Commentary on Saint Matthew’s Gospel, Book 11, ch. 5-6 ; PG 13, 913 ; SC 162
"Let us go over to the other side" (Lk 8,22)

“Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side while he sent the crowds away.” The crowds were unable to leave for the other side; they were no Hebrews in the spiritual sense of the word, which means: “people of the other side”. This feat was reserved for Jesus’ disciples: to set out for the other side, to go beyond the visible and corporeal, those transient realities, and be the first to reach the invisible and eternal… And yet the disciples could not reach the other side before Jesus…; perhaps he wanted to teach them by experience that without him it was impossible to get there… What was this boat into which Jesus forced his disciples to embark? Would it not be the struggle against temptation and difficult circumstances?...

Then he climbed the mountain apart to pray. Who was he praying for? Probably for the crowds, that having been sent away after they had eaten the blessed bread, they might do nothing contrary to this dismissal of Jesus. And for the disciples too…, that nothing evil might happen to them on the sea because of the waves and contrary wind. I have a mind to say that it was because of Jesus’ prayer to his Father that the disciples did not come to any harm when the sea, the waves and the wind were fighting against them…

And we, too, if we are ever in the grip of inevitable temptations, let us remember that Jesus forced us to embark. It is impossible to reach the other side without bearing with the trial of contrary waves and wind. Then, when we see ourselves surrounded by numerous and painful difficulties, worn out by sailing through their midst with the poverty of our means, let us think that then our boat is in the middle of the sea and the waves are trying to “make shipwreck of our faith” (1Tim 1,19)… Then let us be sure that towards midnight, when “the night is advanced and the day is at hand” (Rm 13,12), the Son of God will draw near to make the sea calm for us by walking on the waters.

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