Today, 10 August 2014, the Orthodox Church is on the 9th Sunday after Pentecost. His Beatitude delivered a speech after the Divine Liturgy at the chapel of the Patriarchal Residence dedicated to Saint Great Martyr George, in which he explained the significance of the Evangelical Pericope of Saint Matthew, 14:22-34, which presents us the walking on the water – stopping the storm.
Jesus’ disciples could not have been saved without Jesus’ help
The Patriarch of Romania said that today’s Gospel was focused on encouragement and hope, on fight and victory: “The Gospel shows us that the overcoming of the hard situations is not done through one’s own force, but first of all through the divine help. No matter how good, professional and experienced fishermen and sailors Jesus’ disciples were, no matter how good swimmers they could have been, they could not have saved themselves through their own forces without Jesus’ help. And so, no matter how many and worthy servants the Church may have, no matter how good preachers, pious, administrators, enthusiast shepherds and missionaries they might have been, they could not have saved the Church of Christ in her fight against sin of the human nature, against the evil spirits, storms of the persecutions and heresies, against the waves of the lack of faith or of spiritual indifference all by themselves, but only with Christ’s help. All trials and troubles we are faced with in our life can be overcome with spiritual benefit, if we do not rely on our own forces first of all, but entrust ourselves to the help of God first”.
Jesus Christ, our Saviour, helps us not despair in the storm of the life’s trials
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also shown that Christ, our Saviour, would exempt us of the trials of life if we had strong faith: “As long as our faith remains in a living steady relationship with Christ, our Lord, we can be saved just because He helps us not be enslaved by the wilderness of the material things, or lose our temper in the storm of the trials of life. But if our faith and love for Christ diminish and we start being afraid of the changing powers of the material world instead of loving God, then we start sinking in uncertainty despair and fear”.
The ship represents the Church tried by the storms of history
The ship of the Gospel is the image of the Church in the world. Its mission is to save people, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has also explained: “Symbolically understood, the ship represents the Church tried by the waves or storms of history, persecutions, heresies, by the forces opposing her. The wind blowing against the ship represents the times or cases in which the Church meets hostility and rejection in her missionary work designed to pass people from the earthen temporary life to the heavenly eternal one”.
Next Sunday, the Orthodox Church will be on the 10th Sunday after Pentecost.