WSC Reflection for August 9, 2020
By BLD World Login / August 8, 2020 at 3:32 am
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year II)
Community Word: Jesus, the Bread of Life, answers the needs of those who heed Him.
Theme: We heed Jesus when we take courage and put our trust in Him.
Promise: “The Lord himself shall walk before him and prepare the way of his steps.” (Ps 85:13a, 4)
In our theme for the week – We heed Jesus when we take courage and put our trust in Him, courage and trust are the operative words. Today’s readings illustrate the insurmountable challenges faced by the characters. Elijah lived at a time characterized by profound political and social changes. Paul, in the second reading, almost gave up when he expressed a wish… “that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people,” (Rom 9:3). In the gospel (Mt.14:26), the disciples were in a state of confusion. They could not connect or see the face of God in the Risen Christ amidst the obstacles and difficulties of life.
Today, our situation is no different from what the prophets and disciples experienced. We, too, are in a state of confusion. We feel uncertain and insecure about our future. Covid19 stalks the whole world with a deadly disease, as two powerful nations threaten to resolve their conflict by annihilating each other, and in the process, the rest of the world. On the personal level, we are hard-pressed to reconcile and resolve our personal issues vis-à-vis our faith in God.
But God’s timing is always impeccable. He comes not when, or as we desire – with loud, dramatic entrances; or by the click of God’s fingers, annihilates our adversaries; or through an extravagant display of miracles that address our personal needs, but rather through a “tiny whispering sound,” (1 Kgs 19:12b). He comes in the silence of our room when we pray or as we visit Him in the adoration chapel. Yes, sometimes, God gives us a show like that experienced by the apostles on the stormy lake, when He commanded the storm to be still, and it obeyed.
In our ministry work, we sometimes experience rejections not only from our intended recipients, but also from our fellow missionaries & brethren from whom we least expect it. Imagine the frustration of St. Paul when he wrote his letter to the Romans, about 30 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. During this period, he tried every means to announce Christ to his fellow Jews, to no avail. Faced with rejection, Paul wanted to give up. Similarly, Jesus must have been frustrated with the apostles because they too, had a hard time understanding who Jesus is. The apostles only understood what Jesus meant after He had left them permanently, when the Holy Spirit opened their minds.
Matthew’s narrative tells us that we should never fear, or be afraid. We will experience confusion, uncertainties and inadequacies when we doubt God’s presence in our lives, when we fail to seek His will and trust Him, when we lose faith in Him and go our own way. Consequently, we sin. Sin, we all know, separates us from God. It hinders us from receiving God’s mercy, forgiveness and blessings. Through the readings and Christ life experience, we take courage and give our full trust to our Triune God amidst the obstacles and difficulties of life. Because God promises us: “The Lord himself…shall walk before him and prepare the way of his steps.” (Ps 85:13a, 14).
Abba Father, we praise and thank you for continually being with us in all the cycles of our lives. We take courage that for you, nothing is impossible and we place all our trust in you. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions:
1. What causes you to be fearful and afraid?
2. How do you intend to take courage and put your trust in the Lord?