Father Rodney Torbic

July 16 / 29, 2018

The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 14:22-34

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. (KJV)

John 17:1-13

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou Me with thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.I have manifested Thy name unto the men which thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee. For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. (KJV)

The Lord Jesus Christ was in charge of His disciples and they listened to Him. He directed where they were to go. Followers of Christ are to be obedient and to follow Christ out of love.

Believers are expected to follow the path of the faithful disciples and not deviate. Judasí betrayal of Christ is an example of the path Christís followers are not to take.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not only devote time to the disciples. Jesus Christ invested time with multitudes that were drawn to Him. Multitudes of people have turned to Christ from the time of His earthly presence until today.

Countless numbers of people have confessed belief in Christ through the centuries. Fully committed followers of Christ through the centuries have given their lives for Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ took time to pray. Jesusí actions give credence to the value of prayer. The Lord Jesus Christ taking time to pray is an example for believers in each century to seriously consider.

Jesus took time alone. Being alone with God enables individuals to collect their thoughts. Being alone is an opportune time for believers to listen carefully to God.

Being alone is a time to consider that even the Lord Jesus Christ took time to pray. Praying to God with concentration and worthy purpose is definitive and valuable. Praying to God is an investment in the Kingdom of God.

Prayer creates unity with God. Silent churches are good places to go to pray. Being alone with God gives an individual the opportunity to express personal concerns to God and to seek guidance.

Individuals will experience moments in life when it seems the winds are blowing strongly and life is in an upheaval. Moments occur in life when peace and stability seem threatened.

Changes can occur in life creating anxiety and uncertainty. A threatened job loss, unexpected major expenses, impaired relationships, sudden illness, accident or death of a loved one are among the many changes that will disconcert a person.

Lasting peace and stability are found only in complete unity with Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated His control over nature when He walked on the water.

The Holy Scriptures give many examples of Godís control over the expected natural order. Abraham and Sarah become the parents of Isaac during their old age. (Gen. 18:10-11, 21:1-2)

The Lord God divided the Red Sea and made it become dry. (Ex. 14:16-22). Jesus healed the man born blind. (Jn. 9:1-38) Other examples exist in the Holy Scriptures of miracles occurring due to Divine action that are outside the expected.

Serious believers come to know of these miracles from personal experience. The disciples were frightened when seeing Jesus walking on the water. Miraculous occurrences can initially be frightening.

Believers often develop a narrow view of life. Believers often fail to keep in mind the creative power of God. Believers can easily establish daily routines that do not include expectations from God of the extraordinary.

Extraordinary actions from God are always possible. Extraordinary actions may occur when a believer is least expecting them. The unexpected visit from a loved one, a new job opportunity or a sudden healing are examples of God at work.

The goodness of God is readily evident in todayís Gospel. Jesus put the disciples at ease and told them not to fear. The present Gospel reveals Godís ability to do the unexpected for the benefit of believers.

July 16 / 29, 2018
The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.
The Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils.
Athenogenes of Heracleopolis.
Holy Martyr Julia.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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