for Sunday, August 10, 2014
And you? Are you like Saint Peter? Most of us are! We are enthused at
times by the Lord Jesus - and then we get frightened. We want to walk with
Christ and act as He does and did - and then when we find ourselves doing the
impossible, we realize that we cannot do the impossible and our faith
Today the readings begin with the First Book of Kings. Elijah wants to see
the Lord. Ah, how we all long to see the Lord and yet look in the wrong
places! Not in some very special experience do we find the Lord, but in
the small and the ordinary experiences of our daily life. We have to learn
that the daily ordinariness of life is our cave and that the tiny
whispering sound is always with us. We are invited to open our ears now
and to stand in the entrance of our cave, our daily life which seems so
The second reading is from the Letter to the Romans. It also gives us a
deep secret of the spiritual life: love for our own people and willingness
to give our life for them. Yes, we can acknowledge the role of our Jewish
ancestors in the faith and give thanks for them. We also much acknowledge
all those who in our own lives have been our ancestors in the faith, and
give thanks for them. Our ancestors in the faith are no more perfect than
we are, but they are our ancestors in the faith who have handed on faith to
Sometimes our ancestors in the faith are our physical ancestors and
sometimes they are only spiritual ancestors. Yet we must come to see all
the ways in which others have brought us to life and have handed on faith
to us. Sometimes our ancestors are people whom we can touch and identify
easily. At other times, our ancestors are people whose books we have read,
whose lives and deeds have given us life and whose relationship to us is
much less direct. We all have a rich heritage of ancestors!
The Gospel of Matthew today opens us to the mystery of prayer and of
presence. First we note that Jesus is not afraid of going apart from
others for the sake of prayer and of being present to His Father. We also
must learn the necessity of going apart to pray, of being alone with God,
of taking time for this longing and communion with the Father.
When the needs of others call out to us, however, we must try to be present
to them and respond to that need. Jesus sees the needs of His followers in
their ordinary existence. Jesus is not out looking for others.
Evangelization is being present in the ordinary and recognizing the deep
need of others for the divine in their ordinary life. There are always
storms and there is always need. It is not something extraordinary!
Finally, we see the profound need to act in faith and not rely on our human
strength alone. The challenge is to keep our eyes and our hearts fixed
only on Jesus and not on what is happening around us. We are aware of what
is happening around us always, we cannot pretend otherwise. But in the
heart of our daily existence, we can keep our hearts set only on the Lord.
In that choice, Christ can become our power and our strength. Christ is
the power and strength of love and of concern for others.
Come, let us walk on the water in the storms of life because our feet are
held fast in the way of Christ.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 1 Kings 19.9, 11-13
Second Reading: Romans 9.1-5
Gospel: Matthew 14.22-33
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: