Mon, 18 February 2019
(Gn.6:5-8,7:1-5,10; Ps.29:1-4,9-11; Mk.8:14-21)
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters,
the Lord, over vast waters.”
“Mighty” indeed is the voice of God, but who can hear it? Who listens to its “majestic” ringing in their ears?
In the time of Noah the Lord’s “heart was grieved,” for He “saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil.” So great was the Lord’s grief over man’s disobedience that He uttered the saddest words we could hear: “I am sorry I made them,” and resolved to “wipe [them] out from the earth.” If we have not pleased our Father, what hope have we of life? If we have not listened to His voice, what can we hear but a sentence of condemnation?
It seems Jesus’ heart is grieved, too, today at His disciples’ ignorance of His instruction. Here in a boat upon the waters His voice chastises their slowness to comprehend His call to wakefulness in the Spirit: “Are your minds completely blinded? Have you eyes but no sight? Ears but no hearing?” and finally, “Do you still not understand?” And though He seems eminently frustrated by the fact that their vision is still trained so stubbornly on the bread of earth rather than the Bread of heaven, though they so quickly forget the miracles He has worked and the power He has revealed, yet He shall not remove them from His sight, but continue in patience with their schooling.
For just as “Noah found favor with the Lord” and thus served to salvage our race from utter destruction, so the Lord’s apostles have found favor with Him. And Jesus knows that as “Noah did just as the Lord had commanded him,” putting complete faith in God’s word, so these disciples will also in strength and in faith carry out His mission after His own death and resurrection, after His ascension into heaven… and with the Holy Spirit’s power upon them. As in Noah’s ark God keeps man’s “issue alive over all the earth,” preserving them from the flood, so now in the barque of Peter “all the [Lord’s] household” takes refuge from the fiery destruction that is coming upon the world in these the last days.
Like the “one loaf” the disciples hold in their hands is the Church of the Lord – it is all that is needed for food in this world. And so as we sail along to the farther shore, let us listen to God’s mighty voice speaking through Her. As the end approaches, be sure to heed the Lord’s instruction: “Keep your eyes open!” Beware the hypocrisy and pride of the powers that be.
O LORD, how shall we be just in your sight
and begin to understand your majesty and glory?
YHWH, you are majestic, exalted far above earth and sea and every living creature. But we are deaf and blind to your ways, and so, beset by wickedness. How shall we hear your mighty voice calling to us over the waters, calling to us in your Son? How shall we heed the thunder of your glory and praise you in your Temple with full voice? How do we begin to understand what is far beyond our poor minds?
Send your Spirit upon us, LORD, that we might know and eat the Bread that is your Son, that we might be saved from the destruction that is coming upon all living things. Into your Ark let us come, into your holy Church; with your apostles let us dwell, enlightened by your teaching and sharing in your food.
The Bread of Heaven make our own, LORD, that we might rise above the earth to where you dwell enthroned in glory and majesty with your only Son.