Today’s epistle reading is from St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians 13:3-13.
Ambrosiaster writes that to live in peace means to live free from sin. The joy referred to here will come when the Corinthians mend their ways, after which, it will be possible for them to mature in faith. But before that, there will be consolation, enabling them to abandon the pleasure of the present in favor of hope for things to come. The peace of God is one thing, but the peace of the world is another. People in the world have peace, but it works to their damnation. The peace of Christ is free from sins, and therefore, it is pleasing to God. A person who has peace will also have love, and the God of both will protect him forever.
Today’s gospel reading is from St. Mark 4:35-41.
The Blessed Augustine takes today’s story and gives us excellent advice. He writes:
when you have to listen to abuse, that means that you are being buffeted by the wind. When your anger is roused, you are being tossed by the waves. So when the winds blow, and the waves mount high, the boat is in danger. Your heart is imperiled. Your heart is taking a battering. On hearing yourself insulted, you long to retaliate, but the joy of revenge brings with it another kind of misfortune: shipwreck. Why is this? Because Christ is asleep in you. What do I mean? I mean, you have forgotten his presence. Rouse him then, remember him, let him keep watch within you. Pay heed to him. A temptation arises. It is the wind. It disturbs you. It is the surging of the sea. This is the moment to awaken Christ and let him remind you of these words. “Who can this be? Even the winds and the sea obey him.”
Christ is in us and among us. Let us rouse him when we are buffeted by the storms of temptation. Now to him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us. To him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.