Nocturn III: Homily of St Maximus, Sermon 108
Reading 9: From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew: At that time Jesus entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into His own city. And so on.
This day's reading hath shown us an instance of how Christ, in those things which He did as Man, worked deep works of God, and by things which were seen wrought things which were not seen. The Evangelist saith Jesus " entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into His Own city." Was not This He Who had once parted the waves hither and thither, and made the dry ground appear at the bottom of the sea, so that His people Israel passed dry-shod between masses of water standing still, as through an hollow glen in a mountain.
R. We have heard of the tribulation of those cities, which they have suffered, and we have fainted. Fear and confusion of mind are fallen upon us. Even the mountains will not give us a refuge.* Lord, have mercy.
V. We have sinned like our forefathers, we have done unjustly, and wrought iniquity.
R. Lord, have mercy.
Reading 10: Was not This He Who made the depths of the sea solid under the feet of Peter, so that the watery path offered a firm way for human footsteps.Therefore then denied He unto Himself a like service from the sea, but crossed over that narrow lake at the cost of a voyage on shipboard " He entered into a ship, and passed over."
Reading 11: What wonder, my brethren Christ came to take our weakness upon Him, that He might n make us partakers of His strength to seek the things of men, that He might give to men the things of God to receive insults, that He might bestow honours to bear weariness, that He might grant rest for the physician that is himself beset by no frailties, knoweth not how to treat the frailties of others, nor he that is not weak with the weak, how to make the weak strong.
Reading 12:Therefore, if Christ had abode still in His strength, He had in no wise been a fellow of men if in Him Flesh had not run the way of flesh, then had it been idle for Him to have taken Flesh at all. " He entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into His Own city." The Lord, the Maker of the world, and of all things that are therein, having been pleased for our sakes to prison Himself in our flesh, began to have an human home, and to be a citizen of a Jewish city Himself the Father of all, to have parents and all, that His love might invite, His charity draw, His tenderness bind, His gentleness persuade them whom His Kingship had scared, His awfulness scattered, and His power terrified out of His dominion.
R. One Seraph cried unto another * Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts the whole earth is full of His glory.
V. There are Three That bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these Three are One.
R. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. The whole earth is full of His glory.
Gospel: Matthew 9:1-8
AND entering into a boat, he passed over the water and came into his own city. And behold they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee. And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth. And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then said he to the man sick of palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. And he arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men.