Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 13
It is the eighth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen” (My sighs, my tears):
Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 6:30-34, 53-56.
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
. . . .
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
The prescribed reading skips over the miracles of Jesus feeding the five thousand and walking on the water, as contained in Mark 6:35-52. In the Revised Common Lectionary, we will hear those stories next week from the Gospel according to John. I have included the Gospel of these miracles according to Mark on a separate page, here — so that if you wish, you can see what is omitted by the ellipsis in the quoted passage above.
The text of today’s piece is available here. The text reflects the misery and pain that people can feel, as did the masses who came to see Jesus … and the comfort that one can feel from trusting in God.
My sighs, my tears
can not be counted.
When one daily encounters despair
and the anguish does not fade,
Ah! Then this pain must already
be building the road to death for us.
. . . .
My turmoil seizes
and robs me of all rest,
my vessel of sorrow is completely
filled up with tears,
and this anguish will not be stilled,
and makes me numb and emotionless.
. . . .
Aching and pitiful weeping
does not help the sickness of care;
yet he who looks towards heaven
and concerns himself there for comfort,
for him a light of joy can easily
illuminate the sorrowful breast.
Therefore take hold of yourself, my soul,
and trust only in Him
who has created you;
Let it go how it goes;
your Father in the heights
knows the wisdom of all matters.
The final chorale (“Therefore take hold…), which can be heard at 18:55, uses a melody that reappears in the St. Matthew Passion, here:
Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.