18th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jer 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22
The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book. For thus says the LORD: Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise; There is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you. All your lovers have forgotten you, they do not seek you. I struck you as an enemy would strike, punished you cruelly; Why cry out over your wound? your pain is without relief. Because of your great guilt, your numerous sins, I have done this to you. Thus says the LORD: See! I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity; City shall be rebuilt upon hill, and palace restored as it was. From them will resound songs of praise, the laughter of happy men. I will make them not few, but many; they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them. His sons shall be as of old, his assembly before me shall stand firm; I will punish all his oppressors. His leader shall be one of his own, and his rulers shall come from his kin. When I summon him, he shall approach me; how else should one take the deadly risk of approaching me? says the LORD. You shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Gospel: Mt 14: 22-36
Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, 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 him, 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.” After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.
JESUS IS OUR REFUGE IN TIMES OF TROUBLE: in our lifetime it is easy to follow Jesus and have total trust in Him when we are not in trouble. When faced with storms our faith tends to fade away. When in challenges we become anxious, fearful and desperate. The disciples of Jesus are facing this situation when they were alone in the boat. During the storm they see Jesus walking on the water. They think it is a ghost! The words of Peter, “Lord save me,” show helplessness and in need of help. Therefore, Jesus is encouraging them not to be afraid. Through the words of Jesus, we get more courage to trust him. Anytime that we are in trouble we should call Him because He is telling us to take courage. He is also warning us against our little faith. Let us take refuge in times of trouble.
Prayer: Lord hear my cry and save me from all troubles.
ENVY IS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE: Aristotle the ancient philosopher defined envy as the painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same. Miriam is envious because of Moses, and this is sinful before God. God chooses leaders for his people not in their perfection but out of his love. This is enabled by lack of trust in the genuineness of the calling of the one envied. But both in the first and the second reading we see God proving his servants. We see the weakness of Peter manifesting as soon as he starts to sink and Jesus reveals it as lack of faith. Do not envy others but ask God to use you in the area that he has called you. Envy does not make you or the other person better but destroys the church.