Sermon of St. Peter Chrysologus
This day's reading hath shewn 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? 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?
Wherefore 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. What wonder, my brethren? Christ came to take our weakness upon him, that he might 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.
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.