Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, Nor Gloom of Night

According to the website of the US Postal Service, their motto, “chiseled in gray granite over the entrance to the New York City Post Office on 8th Avenue,” comes from an ancient account of the Persian Wars by the Greek historian, Herodotus: “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

The saying lauds the fidelity of mounted Persian couriers who, during Persia’s war with the Greeks, braved all manner of obstacles to ensure the delivery of royal dispatches. To borrow from St. Paul, such men clearly “have a zeal for God,” but insofar as they carry messages from the wrong king in the service of Persia’s war, their zeal is “not in accordance with knowledge.” (Romans 10:2)

In the Gospel of Mark, the disciples are also called to be couriers; not of a worldly message with worldly concerns, but of Scripture. Insofar as their zeal lacks understanding, no matter how hard they row against the elements, they will never match the speed or efficacy of Jesus, who without boat or mount easily achieves “the swift completion” of his appointed rounds. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Mark 6:45-52.


Episode 164 Mark 6:45-52; Subscribe: http: // (; “Crossing the Chasm” Kevin MacLeod ( ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/


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