Saturday, August 06, 2005
19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
AUGUST 7, 2005
19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - A
1 KINGS 19:9, 11-13
At the mountain of God, Horeb, Elijah came to a cave where he took
shelter. Then the LORD said to him, "Go outside and stand on the
mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by." A strong and
heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the
LORD-- but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an
earthquake-- but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the
earthquake there was fire-- but the LORD was not in the fire. After
the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah
hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the
Brothers and sisters: I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my
conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have
great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I
myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own
people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites; theirs
the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the
worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them,
according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is over all, God blessed
After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it
was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few
miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was
against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward
them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea
they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in
fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be
afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me
to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the
boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how
strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he
cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand
and caught Peter, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you
doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who
were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of
A fisherman was fishing in the open sea, when suddenly a violent storm
blew up. As the small boat was being tossed amidst the wind and sea,
the fisherman thought that surely this would be the last day of his
life. Suddenly he saw Jesus walking toward him on the water.
Remembering today's Gospel passage, the fisherman called out, "Lord, if
it is you, bid me to come to you on the water."
Jesus said, "Come."
After a moment, the fisherman ventured out of the boat walking on the
water. When he came close to Jesus, Jesus said, "You of little faith.
Why did you doubt?"
"Lord," said the fisherman, "I did not doubt. I trusted you. I came
walking on the water!"
"Then, why the life-jacket?" asked Jesus.
"Oh that," said the fisherman looking at his yellow life-
jacket, "that was just in case."
This little story aside from being humorous tells us something about
ourselves. Perhaps many of us are like the fisherman. It is not that
we have no faith. Rather, oftentimes our faith is found wanting - we
have our own "just in case" - the "anting-antings", lucky charms,
quack faith-healers, fortune-tellers, horoscopes, feng-sui, and the
like. Or, some go to church and receive Holy Communion on Sundays, but
also go to the Buddhist and Taoist temples to consult their fortunes on
other days. And meticulously follow the directions of feng-sui masters
to avoid bad luck.
A number of people choose certain days for weddings and baptisms
because they are "good days" according to the feng sui. They avoid
certain days because they are "bad days." I always tell them I do not
believe in those "good days" and "bad days." God did not create any
bad days. All days and time created by God are good. The Book of
Genesis tells us at the end of each day of creation "God saw how good
it was..." (Genesis 1:10)
Some Catholics hang on to miracles. They believe because they have
seen a miracle - like Peter, who should have relied only on the words
of Jesus, "It is I; have no fear." Instead he wanted to test Jesus by
walking on the water. For such Christians, miracles are a crutch to
walk with. They will ask for a miracle as a condition for faith. I
will believe if ... But a true believer sees miracles because he
believes, which is exactly the opposite.
The best example of faith is that of Abraham and Our Blessed Mother.
God asked Abraham to leave his homeland and his security without
telling him where to go. It is just "to a land that I will show you."
Abraham did not ask for a miracle before believing. He first believed,
left his homeland and went forth into the unknown, relying solely on
the word of God - overcoming human risk by his trust in God.
Mary of Nazareth, upon being told that she is to bear a son by the
power of the Holy Spirit answered, "Yes, be it done to me according to
your word." This she uttered in spite of the possible dreadful
consequences of being rejected by Joseph, and of being stoned to death
by the public.
The risk of faith arises precisely when the ground seems to disappear
under our feet, like what happens during great earthquakes, and we are
for a moment suspended over a vacuum... Then indeed the only
appropriate shout is that of Peter, "Lord, save me!"
When Peter stopped trusting Jesus and paid attention to the wind and
the waves, he sank. When we concentrate on our problems and forget to
lift them up to the Lord, we too sink in frustration and despair. The
secret of overcoming our difficulties is to trust in the Lord at all
times. Since the name of Jesus means "Savior," we can rely on him to
In today's Gospel story, when Jesus invites Peter to walk to him on the
water, Peter makes a good start, but then falters and begins to sink.
Jesus then stretches out his hand to Peter and brings him to safety.
Jesus is consistently portrayed as stretching out his hand. He cures
the sick by stretching out his hand to touch them, makes the lame walk,
heals lepers with a touch. He feeds the multitude and turns water into
wine for an embarrassed host. He consoles the sorrowing, instructs the
ignorant, and challenges the narrow-minded, and those of little faith.
Jesus is portrayed as a "man for others."
We therefore can't understand Christianity, or our practice of it in
any other way. We are authentically "Christian" in proportion to how
well we reflect Jesus in our own life and actions. As he stretched out
his hands to others, we are called to do no less. Whatever our work
and occupation, as Christians we are called to be "persons for others,"
to do something helpful to others - to stretch out our hands to
others in need.
Very often we tend to underestimate our capacity to be helpful, or we
are at a loss as to how we can assist others. We have the power to do
so much good, and with that good our happiness. comes back on ourselves
and can enhance it.
There are countless ways we can extend our hands to others such as
through our kind words, compliments, smiles, words of love and
understanding, or sympathy.
Fr. John Powell tells of a grade two boy, who wrote a note to his
grouchy teacher, "If you're feeling good about yourself, please inform
There's a saying that: "Some people bring happiness wherever they go.
Some people bring happiness whenever they go!"
If people leave your presence feeling uplifted, or a little better
about themselves for having met you, you are a "practicing" Christian.
If they can walk a little taller or have a better outlook on life for
having spoken with you, you are fulfilling your calling in an exemplary
way. It's the little things that count in following Jesus. Imitate
the Lord in his gestures. Make it a habit to stretch out your hand.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- good health of Papa Raul, Papa Fabio, Mama Teresa, Mama Baby, Daddy
Junior and Fredo Oljol.
- for the personal intentions of Smyd.
- for the repose of the soul of Freddie Ll. Pandes. Eternal rest grant
unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
- for the personal intentions of Veronica Yap.
- for the personal intentions of Cha.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Angelica Fae G. Tiu
- Birthday: Anita Pe Chongson
- In Memoriam: Concordia Go Chu
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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