Voices ever ancient, ever new. Christmas Weekday: Wednesday after the Solemnity of Epiphany.

“Then he made his disciples get into the boatp and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,* while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them.” (Mark 6:45-48)

In commenting upon these verses from today’s Mass Readings, Origen of Alexandria writes:

“The Savior thus compelled the disciples to enter into the boat of testing and to go before him to the other side, so to learn victoriously to pass through difficulties. But when they got in the middle of the sea, and of the waves in the temptation, and of the contrary winds which prevented them from going away to the other side, they were not able, struggling as they were, to overcome the waves and the contrary wind and reach the other side without Jesus. In this way the Word, taking compassion upon [NT Vol. II, p. 89] those who had done all that was in their power to reach the other side, came to them walking upon the sea, which for him had no waves or wind.

But what is the spiritual nuance of the boat into which Jesus constrained the disciples to enter? Is it perhaps the conflict of temptations and difficulties into which any one is constrained by the Word, and goes unwillingly? The Savior wishes to train by exercise the disciples in this boat which is distressed by the waves and the contrary wind.” (Commentary on Matthew, 11)

O God,
Who bestow light on all the nations,
grant your peoples the gladness of lasting peace
and pour into our hearts that brilliant light
by which You purified the minds of our fathers in faith.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia!