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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 6th, 7th, 2011

 

Fearing The Storm

 

 

Reading 1

1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-13a


At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.

 

85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14

Responsorial Psalm

 

R. (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD — for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

 

Rom 9:1-5

Reading II

 

Brothers and sisters:
I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie;
my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness
that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ
for the sake of my own people,
my kindred according to the flesh.
They are Israelites;
theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants,
the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
theirs the patriarchs, and from them,
according to the flesh, is the Christ,
who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Mt 14:22-33

Gospel

 

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

 

 

 

 

 

       

 A young boy, riding in the family car on a trip to the country, suddenly burst out in a fearful rage begging his dad to slow down.  His father was only going 50 miles an hour, under the speed limit.  The boy didn’t calm down until his dad slowed down to 40 miles an hour.  He was afraid of going too fast.

 

        A young wife, while hanging clothes on the clothes line outside, sees lightning in the far off distance and hurries to gather her three children and take them to the cellar, afraid that a storm is coming.

 

        We live in a world today, and most folks know it, where there is a tremendous fear all around.  All across the world there are storms that frighten and trap people in state of fear.  Just about any place we look or choose to look, there is war – war without a conscience.  War waged by terrorists upon innocent people.  Protests upon protests in the Middle East, bringing bloodshed and uncertainty. In this country we know and feel the affects of such a war, of defending ourselves and weaker countries from the grip of such terrorism.  We fear the death of our own as well as those of all the innocent lives throughout the world who face such terrorism on a daily basis.  It’s a way of life.  No one really wins anything by destroying another life, no matter how that is done.  Lives are lost by the thousands, tens of thousands each day.  People live in constant fear – clinging to anything that will give them the hope of a more peaceful existence, of a better tomorrow. And yet, even in our country, protests are emerging, pitting citizens against state governments who are trying to stay afloat economically, citizens against fellow citizens. These are some of the storms.  And most likely they will continue.

 

        We live in a decaying country that knows no bounds to crime, injustice, and violence.  It’s in the media, in the work place, and on our streets.  Everyday someone is caught in the storm of uncertainty and strife.  No longer are these kinds of storms confined to the big cities, but are rampant in the smallest of communities, in our homes, and in our schools.  Most certainly in our government that a vast majority of people find hard to trust. 

 

        The storms of humankind are many.  For a little child it might be that first day of school.  For a widow or widower it might be the dark  aloneness that engulfs their life day in and day out.  For a young couple with a child it might be the fear of no employment, leading to all kinds of problems.  Storms of life prevail throughout our lives;  diseases robbing our every breath, broken relationships that end in heartache, alcohol and abuse in so many forms that ends in  the destruction of a person’s body or mind or in the lost of life of such innocent people.

 

        And so then we read in this gospel Jesus telling Peter, “O you of little faith.”  Peter terrified that he will drown when he takes his eyes off of our Lord and his bid for Peter to come to him.”  Peter lacked faith at that moment.  Perhaps Jesus is asking us why we lack faith, why are we so terrified?  We know that all of these things happen, all over our world, all over in our lives, in us, around us, and out of us, and behind us.  But what are we suppose to do?  We can’t tell a wind to be still or quiet and it will be calm, or can we?  Peter couldn’t.  The other disciples couldn’t.  Only Jesus could.  However . . . well, that will come later. 

 

        Alone, our chances of getting results in this stormy world lie very slim.  The key to calming all the storms that happen is togetherness in faith.  Together in faith and prayer, yes, lots of prayer, we can quiet the storm.  Well, maybe we can't, but God can from hearing our prayers.  Being together in one heart, one mind, and one prayer, with faith in Jesus, is the only way that all storms of the world will cease.  When our prayer is united with each other in faith, that faith will endure and conquer all that fears us.

 

        Jesus speaks of faith so very much in what he says and so many times.  Perhaps we are to understand that we are the faith that will calm the storms of life.  Perhaps, and not only does it make sense, but is quite evident for those whose experience it has been, our praying together is what heals so many in their world of storms.  In faith in our Savior, as we are empowered to make a difference in our world, no matter how bleak it seems to be at times.  We are called to make a difference to so many;  the wayward stranger, the oppressed, the afflicted with disease, the mentally impaired, the lonely person across the road, the homeless, those who face the uncertainly of employment, of loosing their jobs in this unstable economy, in this struggling country where good is constantly battling evil.

 

        As Christians, believers, brothers and sisters in Christ, and as servants, we are indeed called, together in faith to calm the storm, to quiet the wind, to be Jesus to each other!  And perhaps, in the process, or in that way of living, our very own fears will be overcome by faith.

 

        If you read this message and are not a believer,  we invite you to a different kind life.  Yes, one of struggle and one of suffering and pain, but also one of bonding to others, of receiving many graces and blessings, and most of all a share in a life that is eternal.  You know that this journey of life is not all there is, you see that every day.  The life I speak of is not of this world.  So if that life appeals to you, then I bid you to believe, starting right now.  God loves you and is waiting for you.  Come with us, we will take you to Him.  Time could be running out.  Each of us was once invited just as you are.  Be blessed.

 

 

© Deacon Steve

August 6, 2011

 

 

 

~ The Scars of Life ~

 

 

From evils claws depression come
so many people live in strife
not knowing how to cope or live 
always burdened by the scars of life

Everyone must bear their share of pain
sometimes alone, sometimes not
but no one is really completely lost
there might be someone they just forgot

We all carry burdens that are not so light
and some feel heavier as life goes on
but without a friend standing nearby 
we can feel like life is finished or done

The scars we live with wont just go away
they remain with us wherever we trod
and they can drag us to the oceans floor
if we do not release them to our God

Some are permanent and will always be
a reminder of a time when we were lost
but why carry those we can set free
and be victims to a waste less cost

Joy and happiness reign supreme
there is a time when birds do sing
and a time when the sun does shine
and in soft breezes, chimes do ring

We make choices every day
that often come with uncertain stress
those are the scars we do not need
we can let them go, or theyll make us less

Lifes journey has many paths
we can decide which to take
one of darkness, and stand alone
or a path with friends, for a better fate

We can control to much degree
the kind of life we want to choose
to hold the hand of a friend indeed 
someone who cares, how could we loose?

Joy and pain live side by side
and both are felt as when they come
we can live the joy in comfort and peace 
or relent to the pain; nothing is won

If we choose to walk our path alone 
then the scars of life will victory claim
but walk with a friend who cares and loves
then The Masters Paradise will always reign!

God clings to His children so close and dear 
the love He gives cannot be compared
we can overcome the scars of life we fear
when embraced by a friend whose love we share!


© Steve A. Politte

2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Jackson - How Great Thou Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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