Romanian Orthodox Church
Yesterday, 25 July, the Orthodox Church spent the 9th Sunday after the Pentecost. During the Divine Liturgy, the pericope of the Gospel according to Matthew was read relating about the Saviour walking on water and calming down the storm.
His Beatitude participated in the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the chapel of “Saint Gregory the Enlightener” of the Patriarchal Residence, where he delivered a sermon in which he explained the spiritual meanings resulting from the Holy Gospel read: “This Gospel shows us three different truths, namely the importance of the thanksgiving prayer to God for the good things received from Him, the fight against the trials of the life as means of strengthening in the faith and the relationship between the symbol of the ship in which the disciples were and the life of the Church on the stormy waves of history”, said His Beatitude, as “Lumina” newspaper informs us.
The Patriarch of Romania explained that the Saviour retired into the mountains to pray after the wonder of multiplying the bread and fish, so that He may avoid the people’s praises on one hand, and on the other hand, to thank God, showing us in this way that the prayer is the foundation of the spiritual life. His Beatitude underlined the fact that “Christ, our Lord, often retires to pray alone, because He wants to show us that we need to fill our soul with the grace of the merciful love of God-the-Father, so that when we are in front of the crowd, we may not have our soul empty, but full of the merciful love of God for the people”.
The Gospel read yesterday remembers the moment when Peter, getting the blessing of Jesus to get off the ship, started to walk on the water, but after a while, when the wind was blowing hard, he was afraid and began to sink. The Patriarch of Romania explained that: “as long as Peter was looking at Jesus, the spiritual bond with the Saviour kept him above the water; but when he started paying more heed to the ever changing storms of this world than to his relationship with God the Creator, he started to sink. The storms of this world influence the human being. So, we see that whenever we are in the storming waves of this life, we should not fear anything more than love Christ, our Lord. It is only our relationship with God in time of sorrow that can keep us above the trials, can give us courage not to sink into fear and despair. Whoever fights against the hardships of life having strong faith, and getting always the help of God, he receives power from Christ, lest he spiritually fall into fear and despair.”
The Primate of our Church also said: “The ship is the symbol of the Church in the stormy sea of history. The Church is the salvation ship that takes us from one shore to another, from the temporary earthy life to the heavenly eternal life. The wonder the Saviour made shows us that the victory comes from God if we call Him to help us and say, just like Saint Peter: ‘Save us, Lord!’.