Saturday, August 09, 2014
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 10, 2014
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Kgs 19: 9a, 11-13a / Ps 85: 9, 10, 11-12, 13-14 / Rom 9: 1-5 / Mt 14: 22-33
First Reading: 1 Kings 19: 9a, 11-13a
On reaching the place, he came to the cave and stayed in it. Then the word of Yahweh came to him. Then Yahweh said, "Go up and stand on the mount, waiting for Yahweh." And Yahweh passed by. There was first a windstorm, wild wind which rent the mountains and broke the rocks into pieces before Yahweh, but Yahweh was not in the wind. After the storm, an earthquake, but Yahweh was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, a fire, but Yahweh was not in the fire. After the fire, the murmur of a gentle breeze. When Elijah perceived it, he covered his face with his cloak, went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Second Reading: Romans 9: 1-5
I tell you sincerely in Christ, and my conscience assures me in the Holy Spirit that I am not lying: I have great sadness and constant anguish for the Jews. I would even desire that I myself suffer the curse of being cut off from Christ, instead of my brethren: I mean my own people, my kin. They are Israelites whom God adopted, and on them rests his Glory. Theirs are the covenants, the Law, the worship and the promises of God. They are descendants of the Patriarchs and from their race Christ was born, he who as God is above all distinctions. Blessed be He forever and ever: Amen!
Gospel: Matthew: 14-22-33
Immediately Jesus obliged his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the crowd away. And having sent the people away, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. At nightfall, he was there alone. Meanwhile, the boat was very far from land, dangerously rocked by the waves for the wind was against it. At daybreak, Jesus came to them walking on the lake. When they saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, thinking that it was a ghost. And they cried out in fear. But at once Jesus said to them, "Courage! Don't be afraid. It's me!" Peter answered, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you walking on the water." Jesus said to him, "Come." And Peter got out of the boat, walking on the water to go to Jesus. But, in face of the strong wind, he was afraid and began to sink. So he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and took hold of him, saying, "Man of little faith, why did you doubt?" As they got into the boat, the wind dropped. Then those in the boat bowed down before Jesus saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God!"
We often find life burdensome. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by circumstances we find ourselves in. These may not always be a tragedy or a gigantic failure but situations which make it hard for us to continue moving on. We suffer, we struggle, and sometimes we feel numbed and we cannot find answers to our predicament. In the First Reading we saw Elijah under the threat of death because people have broken their covenant with God and have torn down the altar and killed all the prophets. He felt he could not continue being a prophet. In the Gospel the disciples were afraid because of the storm and did not know what to do. To make the situation worse they saw Jesus Christ walking on the water and they thought he was a ghost. Jesus knowing the situation spoke to them at once, "Courage." It is I, don't be afraid. Encouraged by the word of Jesus, Peter said, "Order me to come out on the water to you." Then Jesus said to Peter, "Come." But when Peter noticed the strong wind, he was scared and started to sink into in the water. And the only thing he was able to say is, "Save me, Lord."
The experience of Elijah and Peter are just like ours. When we are afraid, lost, struggling, suffering, we cannot see God in our lives. But when things become quiet and we have calmed down then we see a glimmer of hope. Peter and Elijah were in the same predicament. It was only when things calmed down that Elijah and Peter recognize the presence of God in their midst. Elijah finds God after the earthquake and then he heard the whisper of a soft voice. Peter and the disciples recognize Jesus after the wind died down when they got in the boat and said, "Truly you are the Son of God."
As human beings we try to focus our attention on things that affect us like sickness in the family, calamities, death, rather than the presence of God in our lives. It is hard to find God when we are hungry or when making both ends meet. Sometimes we complain that we have been abandoned. But as faithful followers of Jesus we must try our very best to reflect on our experiences in order to see the hand of God in our lives. We can face all the tribulations of life. Recognizing the presence of God in our midst can help us weather the storm that comes our way. If we give more time to prayer and focus our relationship with God, probably it will be easier for us to realize how much he is there to save us.
Faith is putting your complete trust or confidence in someone or something. So how much faith do we really have in God?
This passage obviously revolves around faith, or rather the importance of it. Inevitably, we have all experienced trials in our lives. All of us have called out to God and asked for a miracle or a sign and most of the time God was quiet, no answer. But it's not because He doesn't want to help us, it's because he knows what's best for us. We have to believe and put our complete trust in Him and His plan for our lives. Faith is powerful. As Jesus said, if you have faith even as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. Nothing will be impossible for you.
Faith isn't just limited to patiently waiting for God's answer to your prayer. It's also about believing that something great will happen in your life or someone else's life. It's about letting go of your fear and doubt and just surrendering everything to the Lord.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the repose of the soul of Dy Ka Bian
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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