Jesus on the Seashore

I really like this lovely meditation from St. Gregory the Great (died 604) and wanted to share it with you. Via, once again, the invaluable Magnificat Magazine, which I cannot recommend to you more whole-heartedly.

The question also rises as to why, after his resurrection, the Lord stood on the shore, while his disciples were laboring int he sea, when before his resurrection he walked on the waves of the sea in his disciples’ sight. We quickly perceive the reason for this if we consider the circumstances of each occasion.

What does the sea indicate but the present age, which is disturbed by the uproar of circumstances and the commotion of this perishable life? What does the solidity of the shore signify but the uninterrupted continuance of eternal peace?

Therefore, since the disciples were still held in the waves of this mortal life, they were laboring on the sea.

But since our Redeemer had already passed beyond his perishable body, after his resurrection he stood on the shore as if he were speaking to his disciples by his actions of the mystery of the resurrection: I am not now appearing to you on the sea, because I am not with you in the waves of confusion.

It is for this reason that he said in another place to these same disciples after his resurrection: “These are the words I spoke to you when I was still with you.” It was not that he wasn’t with them when he appeared to them as a bodily presence; he said that he wasn’t present with them since he in his immortal body was apart from their mortal bodies.

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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • joegleason

    Dear Anchoress -

    I’m so sorry to be using the comments section to say this, but I couldn’t find your email address and wasn’t sure how else to contact you. I’m a student filmmaker at the University of Notre Dame, and a few months ago, you posted one of my short films, “The Dinner Guest,” on your blog.

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve recently finished a new film entitled “The Hospital Ward.” It isn’t meant to be a political statement in any way – simply exploring the distinction between the innocence of children’s understanding of war as a game and the far more serious reality that it is.

    No pressure to post it, but I thought you might enjoy it. God bless you!

    Sincerely,
    Joe Gleason

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