FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY GOSPEL MT.8.23 THE FRIDAY MEDITATION
GOSPEL (Matt. 8:23-27)
At that time, Jesus entered into the boat, and his disciples followed him: And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: "Lord, save us, we perish." And Jesus saith to them: "Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?" Then rising up, he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: "What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him?"
FridayOf the other point, Why Chriſt suffered the Tempest to be so great that the ship was like to drown.
Christ suffered the Tempest to be so great, that we may; learn never to diffide, and and distrust in the providence, and vigilance of God over us, though the danger be never so great, and God seem to sleep in our aide never so long.
As there is nothing please a carnal father better, then to have his child confident in him; So there is nothing that please God our heavenly father better, then that we his children should be confident in him ; it is a sign we have the spirit of children, if with confidence, we can say unto God Abba, that, is to say father, it is a sign we are true children, and not bastards or base.
Saint Paul biddeth us, in no case to loose our confidence in God; and addeth this reason, for it hath, say he, a great remuneration or reward with God: he saith not a remuneration, or reward, as it is said of diverse other other things, that pleaſe God well; but a great remuneration, which is seldom used in the Scripture of any other thing, to show that it pleaseth God extraordinary well.
So likewise God suffreth the tempest of tribulation, and affliction some times to be very great, that the lesser might seem the lighter, and with a quiet, and thankful mind we might say, grauiora tali, I have suffered greater then these, I thank God it is no greater.
Sometimes God sendeth vs great tribulations to make us see our weakness, that we presume not to much of our own strength.
So Christ did to Saint Peter, who presuming, and saying to Christ, that if all the rest of the disciples were scandalized at him, yet he would not; God suffered a poor silly wench to make him deny his Master; which did humble him so much, and make him see, his weakness, that afterwards at another time, when Christ asked whether he loved him more then the reſt, he durst not say he did, ( as he presumed of himself before his fall) but only, thou knowest O Lord I love thee: Sometimes God foreseeing our constancy, and strength, sendeth us great tribulations, to increase our merit, and to make us great in his favor: so he did to Tobias, and told him in plain terms that it was necessary for him to be tried with tribulations; and why? because he was acceptable to God, wieh knew his strength, and constancy to endure.
Sometimes God sendeth us great tribulations to keep us waking, and vigilant in calling upon him, & exercising our ourselves in good works, where in other wise we would sleep, and forget ourselves.
These considerations with earnest prayer, and the grace of God, are able to command the tempestuous Sea and winds of tribulations, and afflictions to be quiet in our soul: and not only to take them patiently, but joyfully; giving God thanks that hath ordained such a sovereign benefit for men, as tribulation is.
Wherefore as children are forced to kiss the rod, wherewith they are beaten, to signify that fatherly correction is good, and necessary for them: so let vs voluntarily kiss the rod of tribulation, and say to God, with the Prophet David thy rod (of tribulation), and thy staff (of grace to support it) these are the things have yielded me comfort.
A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634