Fourth Saturday after Pentecost

Read Romans 6:11-17; Matthew 8:14-23

“When it was evening, they brought [Jesus] many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick” (Matthew 8:16).

Our Lord came into this world to confront sin and evil directly, and to release us from slavery to sin that we might live in the freedom of faith. This is the promise of Jesus, “ ‘If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31-32). We have a misconception of freedom, we think it means the ability to do whatever you want, but it actually the power to become a child of God and to live in his love. There is a cost, it means commitment to Jesus, it means setting aside what we think are our needs, as the Lord challenges someone not yet willing to make that complete commitment, “Another of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, let me go first and bury my father.’But Jesus answered him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead’” (Matthew 8:21-22). 

St. Paul explains that this is a choice we must freely make, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16)” The reality, however, is that it is the choice of life or death, “Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). Christ is life, and life is freedom.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras