Homily Nineteenth Sunday of the Year A - Sunday, August 13, 2017
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: 1 Kings 19:9. 11-13
Psalm: Ps 84:9-14. “Lord, show us your mercy and love, and grant us your salvation."
Second Reading: Romans 9:1-5
Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Nineteenth Sunday of the Year A - Sunday, August 13, 2017 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-edition-42-nineteenth-ordinary-a
[“’gospel’ values included in the readings:” God is to be found in the ‘sound of sheer silence’ not necessarily in dramatics of storm and earthquake and wind./ Trust in Jesus, who stills the storms/ The kind of love, (unconditional, faithful, outward-looking), is needed to begin to understand God’s relationship to his people; and it is expressed beautifully by Saint Paul in this passage of the Romans… his affection and dedication was so deep that he would willingly have allowed himself to be “cut off”^ if it would have done any good in saving his people and reconnecting them to God’s favour)].
In the first reading, Elijah meets God; whose presence is indicated by a “tiny whispering sound” ….or as a “gentle breeze” ... which is also translated as “the sound of sheer silence”.... And then, in the Gospel, Jesus is encountered taming the wild, raging, stormy waters…… God is gentle and also profound, and is more powerful than ANY storms, dramas or “clamours” in life…. God is quiet and also authoritative, (not needing to “out-yell” contrary voices). His quiet but profound TRUTH will prevail over even the biggest, loudest and scariest of situations.
And so, whether it be storms or silence… / dramatic or ordinary… the message is the same… God is present and active amongst us and with us…. and the signs are there… if we search and listen with the “eyes and ears” of faith.
We can be drawn to look for and discover God in “the dramatic” and in extraordinary moments.... But we can sometimes miss the presence, action and voice of God in the ordinary, the quiet, the everyday moments.
In a world filled with noise, clamour and busyness, it is even more vital than ever that we listen for the voice of God in the silence, and in times of reflection and prayer.
In our regular prayer, (in addition to our favourite recited-prayers), we also add times of silence, stillness and listening. And also times of spiritual reading of the Scriptures; .. so that God’s “still, small voice” can be discerned over the clamour and noise of life (even the noise created by our ever-busy, and “at-times-distracted” minds).
We have learnt all too well that the loudest voices in the world are not necessarily the ones which hold the key to eternal truth.... Jesus’ voice was by no means the loudest voice of his time, but his message is ultimate truth and life, and his gentle, quiet voice of truth has travelled further down the centuries than any other voice ever could.
A witty commentator once wrote, rather cleverly...: “What good is it having a leader who can walk on water, unless you can follow in his footsteps?” - But this gospel makes it very clear… if we really ARE going to follow in the footsteps of Jesus….then we need to hold tight to Christ’s hand at all times…… Following Our Lord, leads us into uncertain waters…. unchartered territory…. We need to trust our leader completely… We must not allow ourselves to doubt that Jesus is our Lord… He does have the words of eternal life.. he does love us and care for us… and want only the very best for us…. // We must be willing to be “called forth” by Christ in the very heart of the storm… and to trust in his companionship with us…through all the “ups and downs” and storms of life…… and that takes enormous courage… //enormous trust…… //
St Peter shows us this… and he shows us the real fears and doubts that can be experienced along the way….
Peter’s encounter with Jesus is interesting … he says….“if it is you Lord… (if it is you??... he doubts still…..)…. Bid me to come across the water”.. and Our Lord does call him……… but Peter sinks without Jesus….
Peter’s ministry, (and our ministry,// our lives)… are essentially connected to Jesus… /./ Without Jesus, we’re sunk !……. We need to stay next to Jesus and close to his message or else we’re well and truly out of our depth….
Saint Peter clearly also represents us (the “church,”) …So, we come to understand ourselves by standing in Saint Peter’s shoes. Being human, we will always be vulnerable, not simply to harm but also to fear, doubt, and hesitation. The storm will frighten us, and the sea could well drown us. These fears are quite real; the challenge is to live boldly despite (or beyond) the fear and the danger. We have to be willing to get out of the boat, with heart pounding and mind racing, our eyes fixed always on Jesus and his command: “Come to me…. Walk with me! ” #
Fr Paul W. Kelly
#* Alice Camille.
^WILLIAM BARCLAY . THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS.
REVISED EDITION. 1975 . The Saint Andrew Press. Edinburgh, Scotland.
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Nineteenth Sunday of the Year A
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father: Lord, have mercy//You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth: Christ, have mercy//You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life: Lord, have mercy.//
Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.
Preface Sundays VIII
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
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