1Kings19:9a, 11-13a Romans 9:1-5 Mathew 14:22-33
Theme: “Courage! Do not be afraid”
Today is the 19th Sunday of the year A in ordinary time. The three readings we have today present an image of God that is very encouraging and overwhelming. An image that we all as children of God will be proud to associate with at all times. A God that is very close to us and is willing to come to our assistance at any time we call upon him for assistance. He never refuses to help us whenever we call out to him in our time of need and difficulties.
Sometimes, the challenge we have is that we are fixated on how we expect him to respond to our requests. The 1st reading is saying a lot to us in this regard. The Lord was not in the wind, he was not in the earthquake, neither was he in the fire. He was rather in a still voice. This goes to show us that the way God operates, is different from our human ways. Thus, confirming the saying that the way of God is different from our way. God comes to us sometimes in the most unexpected ways, but we must be attentive to him for us to recognise him like the prophet Elijah did in today’s 1st reading. Otherwise we will not recognise him when he visits us through different ways in our daily lives. This can also happen when we make requests from God; he can answer our prayers in different ways that we least expect. Just listen and you may find out that you may still be praying for an already answered prayer. He answers our prayers in ways that he knows is best for us. Though sometimes not exactly as we wished.
In the 2nd reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, we see the challenges that are faced by true disciples. St. Paul is worried about the attitude of most Jews in relation to the gospel of Christ. Like a true disciple will do, he is worried about them as a result of their attitude. This shows that St. Paul cares for the people. This brings us to a very important question that we need to answer as individuals, do you consider other people in your actions or it is always about you? The action of St. Paul invites us to embrace this practice in our daily lives and make our world a better place. The world, in which we live, is in need of selfless men and women to make it a better place. Self-centredness is selfish and very destructive. Always remember that selflessness attracts the blessings of God to all those who strive to practice it.
In the gospel reading, we see the scenario between Jesus and Peter. This encounter has a lot to teach us as followers of Christ. In view of this, I would like to point out three important points from the gospel.
The first point is the fact that Jesus took time out and went to the hill to pray. This shows that as children of God we must strive to find time for prayer in our daily life. It is important and a necessity in our lives.
Secondly is the faith of Peter that prompted him to walk to Jesus. It takes a lot of courage to do it. Faith in God is a necessity in our life and relationship with God. We must continue to work and pray for increase in faith.
Lastly is fear and doubt. When we give room for both of them, we are bound to get into difficulty. This is exactly what happened to Peter and he started to sink until he called out to Jesus, “Lord save me”. Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
There will be moments of storms and difficulties in our life. Have faith and trust in God, he will never allow you to ‘drown’. May God grant us increase in faith. Peace be with you. Amen.
Our faith in God brings us close to the solution to our challenges in life.