August 13, 2017

19th Sun., Ordinary Time

August 13, 2017:  Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

See 14 connections with today?
Legend below
For gospel

For Psalm 85
For future celebrations
Pope Francis Angelus
Today's gospel is rich in symbolism:  the boat is the life of each of us, but also the life of the Church; the wind, difficulties and trials.  Peter's request of and cry to Jesus are like our desire to feel the Lord's closeness but also the fear and anguish that accompany our toughest moments, marked by internal fragility and external difficulties.  Peter wasn't sure of the word of Jesus, which was like a rope to cling to in turbulent waters.  Similarly, if we have more security in horoscopes and fortune tellers than the Lord's word, we become submerged. 
Faith in the Lord and in his word doesn't make everything easy and quiet; it doesn't take away the storms.  But faith gives us the assurance of a Presence, Christ, pushing us to overcome them.  Faith isn't a loophole from problems but sustains and gives meaning to our journey.
Wordle: Readings 8-10-14
  • 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-13a  Elijah took shelter in a cave.  Lord:  “Go outside; the Lord will be passing by.”  A strong wind was crushing rocksbut the Lord wasn't in it.  Then there was an earthquake—but the Lord wasn't in it.  Then there was fire—but the Lord wasn't in it.  Then there was a tiny whispering sound; when Elijah heard it, he hid his face and stood at the cave's entrance.
  • Ps 85:9-14  "Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation."  God proclaims peace.  Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.  Truth shall spring out.  The Lord will give his benefits...
  • Rom 9:1-5  I have great sorrow and anguish; I could wish I were cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, my kindred according to the flesh:  Israelites.  Theirs is the adoption, glory, covenants, giving of the law, worship, promises, and patriarchs; from them, according to the flesh, is Christ.
  • Mt 14:22-33  Jesus made the disciples get into a boat then went to pray.  When waves tossed the boat, he walked on the sea toward them.  Seeing him, they were terrified:  “It's a ghost!”  Jesus / Peter:  “Don't be afraid.” / “Lord, if it's you, command me to come to you.” / “Come.”  He walked on the water toward Jesus but became frightened and started to sink:  “Lord, save me!”  Jesus, catching him:  “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  They got into the boat, and the wind subsided.  “Truly, you're the Son of God.”
  • Creighton:  Scripture challenges our views of the nature of God. The 1st reading shatters one stereotype:  don't look for God only in demonstrations of power; he's also in the weak and tiny.
God is a giver, not a taker (Pope Benedict):  he shows kindness, grants salvation, brings justice, peace, truth, benefits....  Paul describes Jesus as the Father’s gift and asks what we have that we haven't received.  Paul's willingness to give up his eternal happiness for the conversion of the Jews imitates Jesus' giving of himself for others.
Trusting God and being unafraid doesn't diminish his power.  The Lord doesn’t need his power affirmed by scared disciples.  We can be reverent and awe-filled without being afraid.  Which of my views of God today need to go?
    Walking on Water/ Aivazovsky
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Fighting to hear":  God whispered for Elijah to anoint Elisha; that led to two more anointings that destroyed the oppressive kingdom of Ahab and Jezebel.  To hear God, Elijah had to fight through despair, walk 40 days and nights, climb Mt. Horeb, and endure a violent wind, an earthquake, and fire. The devil can make it hard, but if we want to hear God and persevere, God will get through to us.  Daniel, who also wanted to hear God, mourned and fasted for three weeks before an angel delivered God's message.  A demon held the angel up till Archangel Michael helped.  To hear God, we must fight and persevere.
  • Passionist:  I was wrong in thinking Peter’s lack of faith in Jesus started him sinking; his little faith in himself did.  When he felt the wind and his courage failed him, he called on the Lord; that showed great faith in Jesus.  Peter underestimated his capacity to overcome fear and doubt but gained courage after the resurrection.  Amazingly, the disciples heard Jesus through the raging wind and waves.  Elijah couldn't hear God’s voice in the loudness.  Could Elijah’s own fear kept him from hearing?  When fear and doubt rage in us, may we still their voices to hear God’s voice.  Jesus always says, "Come."  When he does, may we not allow our doubts to drown out our desire to respond; he always plucks us out of the water and gets into the boat, and the wind dies down.
    As Paul lamented at the loss of his kindred Israelites who had cut themselves off from the Good News, today family members mourn the loss of their kindred who seem to have turned away from God.  May we surrender it all to “God who is over all” as Paul did.
    •  "It is I; have no fear":  These experienced fishermen feared for their lives and were further terrified (vs. joyful/revived) when Jesus walked on water towards them.  Peter, impulsive and afraid, didn't despair but called on Jesus.  The Lord keeps watch over each of us.  Do I look to and cling to him in adversity?
    Dress legend
    • 'Alps' tie pin:  Elijah took shelter at Mt. Horeb (1st reading); Jesus went up on the mountain to pray (gospel)
    • 'Rock' tie pin:  Wind was crushing rocks (1st reading)
    • 'Fire' pin:  "The Lord wasn't in the fire" (1st reading)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Lord proclaims peace (psalm)
    • 'Dove' pin:  "My conscience joins with the Holy Spirit..." (2nd reading)
    • 'Heart' pin:  "I have anguish in my heart" (2nd reading)
    • 'Menorah' tie bar:  "I wish I were accursed for the sake of my kindred, the Israelites" (2nd reading)
    • 'Walker' tie pin:  Jesus walked on the sea; Peter started to (gospel)
    • 'Boats' tie:  Peter got out of the boat (gospel)
    • Blue and green shirt:  Blue for sea (gospel), green for Ordinary Time season
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter" (gospel)
    • '?' tie pin:  "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (gospel)

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