9  AUGUST 2020: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

by FR. Anthony, Parochial Vicar

“Fear not I am with you.”

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ,

One time a child was brought to a Hospital for a major surgical operation.  The very thought of the operation frightened him. But his father comforted him, “you can trust the doctor.  He is a very good surgeon and will take the best care of you.”  Then the child looked at the father and said, “I do not put my trust in the doctor. I believe only in one person.  That is Jesus.  I believe he will not forsake me.”  The father was dumb found and said – in fact my son taught me on that day what real faith is.  So let us remember amidst all our difficulties in life, in times of stress and anxiety, that Jesus is ever with us.  When we are helpless and looked down upon, Jesus is there at our side.  If we only turn our hearts to Him we will hear him say “Fear not I am with you”.      

The First reading tells us of how Elijah the prophet who had defeated the 450 false priests of Baal with the help of just a trusting faith in the power of  Lord Yahweh. Since God Baul was the God of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel they were angry and upset they want to kill Prophet Elijah. Elijah came to know their trick and their plot.  He fled to the Lord God for help with trust and asking strength he reached on Mt Horeb, and took shelter in the cave. There he encountered him, God’s Mercy. God helped him by sending angels and feeding him for 40days.  Then on the mountain sxperience of mighty wind, earthquake, and fire, the actual appearance of the Lord took place, not in the midst of the spectacular events of nature, but in a tiny whispering sound.  Thus God strengthened the prophet Elijah

In today’s second reading we have heard St Paul’s letter to the Romans. There is  a confusion in the society, their Jewish community was neglecting the other communities.  Such situations St. Paul says, I would willingly be condemned if it could help my brothers and sisters.  Christ is above all.  May He be blessed forever.  Trust in Him and have faith in Him.

In the similar thing in today’s Gospel we hear Mathew writes about faith.  Jesus wants us to grow in faith – sometimes we too have to pray like Peter.  Lord save me, help my little faith.  What Jesus said to Peter on that occasion, he says to us also.  As long as things go well our faith is sound, but when things go wrong, or out of control, that is when sickness, accident or death threatens us, we are inclined to give up out of doubt and confusion. We sink into our own problems like peter into the sea.

Such moments I’m reminded of a petition from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of God.”

Mother Teresa says “We need to find God. He cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature, trees, flowers, grass grow in silence!  We need silence to be able to touch our souls.”    

Jesus invites us to come out of the caves.  We are into the broad light of the mountain.  As Elijah and Jesus did.  For the Lord God to pass by us, a proper understanding of the Gospel story of Jesus walking on the sea has a lot to teach us about who Jesus is.  Jesus comes to us in our trials and tribulations.  He comes very calmly and quietly.  If we practice silence long enough, we may, like prophet Elijah, sense God in the most surprising moments of our lives. When we quiet ourselves we will find God closer to us than our own breathing.

      Joke: Mark twain recalls a visit to the Holy Land and a stay in Capernaum. It was a moonlit night, so he decided to take his wife on a romantic boat ride on the sea of Galilee. Twain asked a man in a row boat how much he would charge to take them out on the water. The man saw Twain’s white suit, white shoes and white hat and supposed he was a rich Texan. So he said, the cost would be $250. Twain walked away as he said,  Now I know why Jesus walked on the water.