Gospel: Matt 14:14-21 - commentary by Philotheos of Constantinople

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Gospel: Matt 14:14-21 - commentary by Philotheos of Constantinople

Postby Maria » Sun 22 July 2018 3:36 am

The Gospel: At that time Jesus saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick. (Matt 14:14)

The Explanation: When Christ learned that John the Baptist had been beheaded, and that Herod had said of Christ Himself, "It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in Him" (Mark 6:16; Matt 14:2), He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart (Matt 14:13). The Almighty Lord departed on account of the foul murder committed by Herod, thus teaching us also not to subject ourselves to trials openly. Moreover, (He acted) so that it might not appear that He was incarnate as a man only in appearance. For if Herod had detained Him, that most lawless and unjust of men would have tried to kill Him; and if the Lord had rescued Himself from the midst of danger when Herod began to kill Him (since the time for His Passion had not yet come), people would have thought that He was some phantom, that He had not truly assumed our flesh. It was for this reason that Christ departed in a manner befitting a man after hearing (about Saint John’s death); thus did He arrange things in His own way; as God He knew all things and had no need to flee. Christ, then, departed; He departed not into a city, but into a desert place, so that no one would follow Him. Even so, the people did not withdraw from Him, but followed Him with great love; not even the death of John had frightened them away. And because the people showed such faith and followed Christ when He departed, they received the reward of their faith, the healing of their sick and infirm. It took great faith for them to follow Christ on foot and to endure so much without any food; therefore, the most merciful Master was moved with compassion toward them and healed their sick.


Reference:
The Gospel Commentary, Compiled and Authored by the Holy Patriarch Philotheos of Constantinople ✠1379, pp. 331-338

Lord Jesus Christ come quickly. Heal us and save us so that we may be able to praise Thee forever.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.

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Gospel: Matt 14:15-16 - commentary by Philotheos of Constantinople

Postby Maria » Sun 22 July 2018 4:31 am

The Explanation: ... The day had begun to wane, but the people remained (with Christ) hungry, because their desire to hear Him overcame the pangs of hunger. Hence, Christ wished to feed them in a manner most wondrous, but He waited for others to give Him the occasion. Since the disciples were concerned and were seeking food for the people, Christ said to them, Give ye them to eat. He said this not because He was unaware of the Apostles’ poverty and privation, but in order that, when they said, We have not (enough), He would be seen to work a miracle out of necessity, and would not appear to do so out of a love of fame or a desire to please men. He did not say, I shall feed them; this might have evoked doubt; rather, He charged the disciples to give them food, that when they declared their insufficiency, He might then accomplish His work out of necessity.


Lord Jesus Christ, let us learn to be meek and humble, not desiring to please men.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.

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Re: Gospel: Matt 14:17-19 - commentary by Philotheos of Constantinople

Postby Maria » Sun 22 July 2018 4:39 am

(Matt 14:17-19)

The Explanation: When Jesus said to the disciples, Bring Me the loaves hither, they obeyed with great diligence and prudence, since they knew the advantage and the value of hospitality, which Christ had already taught them. Preferring spiritual goods, the Apostles had so little regard for the things of the flesh that the twelve of them thought to feed themselves with a mere five loaves of bread, and it was barley bread at that (cf. John 6:9). From this we also learn that, even if we have but little ourselves, we ought to distribute it hospitably to satisfy those in need. The Apostles had little, not even enough for themselves, yet they gave it all to the people. Just as then a little was multiplied, so will the little that ye have be multiplied by God’s blessing and grace. The Lord seats the multitude on the grass, to teach us humility and simplicity, that we might not seek always to recline on beds and couches, but even on the earth, as it is brought to us by the season, the place and the hour. Christ looks up to heaven and blesses the loaves, in order to teach and assure (the people) that He is not an enemy of God, but that He came from the Father, from heaven; also, to show us that when we come to the table we should bless and thank God, Who gives us food; we should invoke a blessing from heaven upon ourselves and (only then proceed to) eat.


Lord Jesus Christ, help us to learn to pray always and unceasingly, that we may never forget to bless God for our food and our very lives. Help us not to worry about what we are to wear or eat.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.

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Re: Gospel: Matt 14:19-21 - commentary by Philotheos of Constantinople

Postby Maria » Sun 22 July 2018 4:48 am

Matt 14:19-21

The Explanation: The Lord gave the loaves to His disciples to honour them for their closeness to Him, and also that they might not forget the miracle at which their hands had ministered. And they did all eat and were filled. Earlier Christ had filled them with spiritual food, teaching them and speaking to them of the kingdom of God; now He fills them with physical food as well; but not only that. By having the people recline on the grass He teaches them the wisdom of humility; in giving them nothing other than bread and fish He guides them to abstinence, and by distributing the same to all He gives them a lesson in equality. And they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. After Christ had broken the five loaves, He gave them out, and the pieces were multiplied in the disciples’ hands. A wondrous miracle! The bread lasted until all the multitude had been filled, and even exceeded what was needed. There were twelve baskets full of fragments remaining, so that the twelve Apostles would each carry a basket; their shoulders as well as their hands became servants and witnesses of the miracle. (Christ) also divided the fishes among them, and from these also the Apostles gathered up leftovers. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. This shows the great extent of the miracle, and the fact that the people followed Christ together with their wives and children is to their great credit. Since they came as families, whole families partook of the blessing. That the disciples might fix the miracle in their memory, and not forget it or put it out of their minds, Christ (first) gave the bread to them. The loaves were (then) multiplied, lest it appear that He had performed a miracle that was merely imaginary. There were twelve baskets (of fragments) left over, so that Judas also would carry one, and, remembering the miracle, would not slip into treachery; he, however, being ungrateful, foolish and unjust, forgot (about the miracle) and betrayed the Master. Our Master and God multiplied not only the loaves, but also the fishes, to show that He is the Creator of earth and sea. Whatever we eat day by day, we eat it because He gives it and bestows it upon us; by Him it is multiplied and abounds, that we may be plentifully nourished and render Him thanks. Christ performed the miracle in a desert place, lest anyone think that He had bought bread in a neighbouring town and fed such a multitude; the place (of the miracle) was barren, and lay far from any town. Now, just as those people went out from their cities and followed the Master Christ Who had gone into the wilderness, let us, also, brethren, retire from the bustle (of the world), refrain from (its) wicked and evil ways, and subjugate fleshly wisdom to the spirit; for all flesh is as grass (Isa 40:6; 1 Pet 1:24). Let us, therefore, strive to mortify the flesh, that, having done so, we may settle in verdant places; having also eaten the bread of God’s blessing, we shall receive the remission of our many and wicked sins. If the people had not left their houses and cities and walked through the wilderness, they would not have received healing and health for their sick, and the blessing of the loaves. In approaching so great a table, we also must display much forethought, listen to spiritual instruction with great fervour, and run to the church of God; abiding therein, with heart and soul, desire and volition, let us seek, yearn, labour and strive, that the Lord, seeing our assiduity and our patience, may be moved to take pity on us, and heal our illnesses and infirmities, spiritual as well as bodily, for He is the Master and Physician of our souls and bodies. And now may He that giveth food to all flesh (Ps 135:25) give (us) food in due season (Ps 103:29), and deliver us from every evil, from trials, wrath and affliction; and in the age to come may He grant us life everlasting and the enjoyment of imperishable good things; which may we all receive, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to Whom be glory and dominion, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Amen. Amen. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.


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