Thursday, August 10, 2017

Nineteenth Sunday of the Year :A: August 13, 2017


First Reading : 1 Kings 19: 9, 11-13
Second Reading : Romans 9:1-5
Gospel Reading : Matthew 14: 22-33

   * First reading is from the first book of Kings. This passage describes the plight of Prophet Elijah. He was fleeing for his life because his enemies were trying to kill him. When everything seemed to be lost, suddenly he heard the voice of the Lord God. It was not in a mighty wind, or in a powerful earthquake but in the gentle breeze. Prophet Elijah's experience of the Lord God should remind us that coming of the Lord into our lives may not always be in an awesome manner like the earthquake or fire but in silence and in gentle whisper.

   * Second reading is from the letter of St. Paul to Romans. In this passage, Paul tells the Christians in Rome and us about his own sorrows and anguish that he suffered because of his fellow Jews who refused to accept the Lord Jesus as their messiah. He was willing to forgo everything he had for the sake of the Jews who were not ready to become sons of God through Jesus Christ.

"Jesus Walking on the Sea"
Today's Gospel reading is from St. Matthew. In this passage we have the extraordinary miracle of Jesus walking on the sea and coming to the disciples who were in a boat. On that particular day too Jesus had been breaking the word of God and had healed many who were sick. After that he went to a hill to pray alone and be in communion with the heavenly Father. As it happened, disciples went by boat and they were in the sea of Galilee fishing. At day break when it was still dark, Jesus came to them walking on the sea. The disciples thought they saw a ghost and got frightened. But Jesus assured them with the words, "Take heart, it is I, have no fear".
This is the assurance Jesus gives to each one of us when we are worried and frightened by many visible and invisible ghosts of this world. If we recognize Him and put our trust in the Lord, we would be more confident and less confused.
In the second part of the Gospel we see that Peter wanted to walk on the sea. Jesus granted him that privilege. He too started to walk but unfortunately seeing the waves and rough sea , he got frightened and started to drown. Then he cried out for help and Jesus saved him and reproached him for his lack of faith.. Yes we too can sink, if we lose faith seeing the threatening waves of the world and doubt the power of the Lord. Jesus' assurance to the disciples is for all of us. "Take heart it is I, have no fear".
Let our prayer be, Lord,  take us by your hand , lead us to have trust and confidence in You alone.
"Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore , no harm can befall you". -Blessed John Paul II
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it" - Nelson Mandela.

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