The website of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America puts out a weekly bulletin which I assume is to be used in all diocesan parishes. Among the content is a brief commentary on the day’s Scripture readings. Below is a brief commentary from the readings on April 3rd, the Fourth Sunday Lent of St. John of the Ladder (see here for original bulletin). The first deals with a subject we will address this coming Sunday – doubt or unbelief.
COMMENTARY ON MARK 9: 17-31
The existence of doubt does not imply the absence of faith: the father “immediately…cried out…with tears” that he believed but then also asked for help with his unbelief. Christ accepts whatever sincere faith we possess and will increase it when we humbly desire Him.
COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 4: 25 – 5: 12
In the Old Testament, only a select few were chosen to hear God directly. Here, God Incarnate speaks to the multitudes face to face. The mountain is a place where divine action enters human history, where God reveals Himself to man (Matthew 17: 1; Genesis 22: 2; Exodus 3: 1, 19: 2; III Kings 18: 20). Matthew writing that Jesus “opened His mouth” emphasizes that Jesus is there to teach, not discuss or debate; the disciples are to listen as quietly and attentively as all those gathered.