One of the most memorable stories from the Bible that we learned when we were children, is from the Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33, concerning the miracle of the walking on the water which specifically shows Jesus’ divine powers as Lord of creation. Remember Jesus came to the disciples from the raging winds and waves which in Holy Scripture symbolize chaos, sin and death. The disciples in the boat symbolized the Church, which because of the raging storm seemed hopeless, then Jesus revealed Himself as Lord with the words, “It is I”, which literally means I am here to save you! These same words were spoken to Moses as an assurance of Israel’s deliverance from the bondage of captivity and slavery.
Many times in our life, where everything seems futile, everything seems hopeless and overwhelming. The only way forward out of this abyss is to seek and find support in unconditional faith in the Lord. One of the most memorable verses from Psalm 144 is, “O Lord reach down from above, pull me out of the deep water, and rescue me”. We all have lives permeated by woes, perils and anxiety, but just like Peter experienced, there is the hand of Jesus stretching forth to us to deliver us and save us!
Today, following the Holy Liturgy, we will bless the many flowers and fragrant herbs characteristic of the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. This great feast of the Church honors the Most Holy Theotokos, Mother of God, through whom the mystery of the Incarnation took place.
Three things summarize the importance of this Feastday: first Mary conceived, carried in her womb, and raised and nurtured the Lord. Secondly, Mary serves as the pinnacle of faithful obedience to God’s plan for us. And finally, Mary intercedes for our salvation as the spiritual mother of all of us.
For it has been said, “the fuller the love, the fuller the love of the Mother of God”. For truly she is our advocate before God and the very sound of her name gladdens our souls, “…for all heaven and earth rejoices in her love” (Words of St. Silouan)