NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - Reading for Sunday, August 13th, 2017
Reading 1, First Kings 19:9, 11-13
9 There he went into a cave and spent the night there. Then the word of Yahweh came to him saying, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'
11 Then he was told, 'Go out and stand on the mountain before Yahweh.' For at that moment Yahweh was going by. A mighty hurricane split the mountains and shattered the rocks before Yahweh. But Yahweh was not in the hurricane. And after the hurricane, an earthquake. But Yahweh was not in the earthquake.
12 And after the earthquake, fire. But Yahweh was not in the fire. And after the fire, a light murmuring sound.
13 And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice came to him, which said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14
Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
10 Faithful Love and Loyalty join together, Saving Justice and Peace embrace.
13 Justice will walk before him, treading out a path.
Reading 2, Romans 9:1-5
2 there is great sorrow and unremitting agony in my heart:
3 I could pray that I myself might be accursed and cut off from Christ, if this could benefit the brothers who are my own flesh and blood.
5 To them belong the fathers and out of them, so far as physical descent is concerned, came Christ who is above all, God, blessed for ever. Amen.
The Word of the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I wait for the Lord;
my soul waits for his word.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 14:22-33
"It is I - have no fear"
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away.
23 After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24 while the boat, by now some furlongs from land, was hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head-wind.
25 In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea,
26 and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. 'It is a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.'
28 It was Peter who answered. 'Lord,' he said, 'if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.'
29 Jesus said, 'Come.' Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water,
30 but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. 'Lord,' he cried, 'save me!'
31 Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. 'You have so little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'
32 And as they got into the boat the wind dropped.
33 The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: Does the Lord Jesus seem distant when trials or adversity come your way? It was at Jesus' initiative that the disciples sailed across the lake, only to find themselves in a life-threatening storm. Although they were experienced fishermen, they feared for their lives. While Jesus was not with them in the boat, he, nonetheless watched for them in prayer. When he perceived their trouble he came to them on the sea and startled them with his sudden appearance. Do you look for the Lord's presence when you encounter difficulty or challenges?
This dramatic incident on the sea of Galilee revealed Peter's character more fully than others. Here we see Peter's impulsiveness - his tendency to act without thinking of what he was doing. He often failed and came to grief as a result of his impulsiveness. In contrast, Jesus always bade his disciples to see how difficult it was to follow him before they set out on the way he taught them. A great deal of failure in the Christian life is due to acting on impulse and emotional fervor without counting the cost. Peter, fortunately in the moment of his failure clutched at Jesus and held him firmly. Every time Peter fell, he rose again. His failures only made him love the Lord more deeply and trust him more intently.
The Lord keeps watch over us at all times, and especially in our moments of temptation and difficulty. Do you rely on the Lord for his strength and help? Jesus assures us that we have no need of fear if we trust in Him and in his great love for us. When calamities or trials threaten to overwhelm you, how do you respond? With faith and hope in God's love, care and presence with you?
Prayer:"Lord Jesus, help me to trust you always and to never doubt your presence and your power to help me. In my moments of doubt and weakness, may I cling to you as Peter did. Strengthen my faith that I may walk straight in the path you set before me, neither veering to the left nor to the right". Amen
Fight fear with faith