August 9, 2020
Jesus Christ, the Word of the Father, tells us today, “Encourage, it is me, do not be afraid.”
Reading the first book of Kings 19, 9th 11-13th
In those days, when Elijah reached the Horeb, the mount of God, he entered the cave and spent the night. The word of the Lord came to him, who said to him:
“Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.”
Then the Lord passed and there was a hurricane so violent that it made the mountains and broke the rocks before the Lord, even though the Lord was not in the hurricane. After the hurricane, an earthquake, but in the earthquake was not the Lord. After the fire earthquake, but the Lord was not in the fire either.
After the fire, the whisper of a gentle breeze. When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with the mantle, came out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Exit 84, 9ab-10. 11-12. 13-14
R/. Show us, Lord, your mercy and give us your salvation.
I will listen to what the Lord says:
“God announces peace
his people and his friends.”
Salvation is already close to those who fear it,
and glory will dwell in our land. R/.
Mercy and fidelity meet,
justice and peace kiss;
fidelity springs from the earth,
and justice looks from heaven. R/.
The Lord will give us the rain,
and our land will bear fruit.
Justice will march before him,
and their steps will point the way. R/.
Reading the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans 9, 1-5
I say the truth in Christ, I do not lie—my conscience attests to me that it is, in the Holy Spirit—: I feel great sadness and incessant pain in my heart; for I wish I were an outlaw myself, far from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, those of my race according to the flesh: they are Israelites, and to them belong the gift of adopted affiliation, glory, covenants, the gift of law, worship, and promises; theirs are the patriarchs and from them comes the Christ, according to the flesh; which is above all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 14, 22-33
After the people had been satisfied, Jesus pressed his disciples to get on the boat and get ahead of him on the other shore, while he fired the people.
And after firing the people he climbed the mountain alone to pray. At night he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat was already a long way from land, shaken by the waves, because the wind was against it. The fourth candle of the night was approached by Jesus walking on the sea. The disciples, watching him walk on the water, panicked and screamed in fear, saying he was a ghost.
Jesus told them right away:
“Cheer up, it’s me, don’t be afraid!”
“Lord, if it’s you, send me to you on the water.”
I said, “Come on.”
Peter came down from the boat and walked on the water approaching Jesus; but, feeling the force of the wind, he became afraid, began to sink, and shouted:
“Lord, save me.”
Jesus immediately reached out, grabbed him, and said:
“Man of little faith! Why did you hesitate?”
As soon as they got on the boat, he kested the wind. The boat prostrated thee before him saying:
“You really are the Son of God.”
Today’s Word of God again is light for our journey.
The first reading introduces us to the prophet Elijah on Mount Horeb, the mount of God, at the entrance of a cave where he takes refuge and spends the night.
The mountain or mountain is always, in Sacred Scripture, the place that symbolizes the encounter with God, where you are heard and conversed with him. Climbing the mountain always involves effort and estrangement from everyday life. It has as its prize the beautiful contemplation of the landscape and the firmament. It is also prayer and its moments of encounter with God.
The prophet presents himself coming out of the cave and night, images of the inner solitude and darkness of the spirit, in search of the God who is Spirit. who knows how to wait patiently, and who he finds not in the hurricane, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the whisper of the gentle breeze. Sometimes we expect God to manifest Himself to us in an extraordinary way with extraordinary deeds; However, He prefers that we feel it in the simple, the small, the poor, the humble.
The prophet Elijah obeyed his invitation: “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” We must learn to leave ourselves and to remain in continuous prayer, patiently waiting for God’s passage through our lives.
Psalm 84 invites us to trust in the Lord. He always goes before us and announces peace to us, offers us his salvation, fertilizes our hearts with his grace, brings forth justice, pours out his mercy on each of us.
The second reading presents Paul’s lament for his people, the Jewish people who have ignored Christ. The Apostle says he feels incessant pain in his heart and great sadness. For their sake, he would not mind being an outlaw away from Christ, that is, he would be willing to lose the best he has, his faith in Christ, as long as they recognized him as God and Lord. Certainly this attitude of Paul reminds us of the attitude of Jesus himself when he cries for Jerusalem. And he invites us to think whether it also hurts for many not yet to know Christ, or to know Him not to love Him, but to offend and despise all that He has given us.
The text of the Gospel, which narrates the scene immediately after the miracle of the multiplication of breads and fishes, introduces us first to Jesus praying at night, having dismissed the multitude. He too needed to find moments of intimacy with the Father. He has come into the world to fulfill the will of the Father and only the Father is from whom he receives the strength to do his works.
Meanwhile, the disciples, already in the middle of the sea, shaken by the waves and with the wind against them, were bewildered and fearful. it was night. And Jesus approaches them and says, “Cheer up, it’s me, don’t be afraid.” Again this word today reminds us of fear as a human reality that paralyzes, ties us and takes our spirits away. The force that dilutes fear and eliminates it is that Jesus is with us. Jesus’ “it is me” is identified by the name of God, Yahweh, I Am. Jesus is God with us.
Again, he is presented to us as someone who has power over nature by being able to walk on the waters. He does so with the power of God his Father, with whom he identifies. Inviting Peter to walk with Him on the same waters is indicating to us that we are all called to participate also in his strength and dominion over what surrounds us. Faith, trust in Almighty God, gives us the ability to do God’s works.
The lack of faith in Peter, who emboldens himself and prides himself on the fact itself as if he were a power of his own, leads him to sink, as also happens to us when we put the success of our work in our own strengths and capacities. Peter’s cry, “Lord, save me”, must also be our cry when, as a result of our arrogance and arrogance, we wanted to put our mark where we should not, go beyond circumstances and problems that, in the end, have engulfed us.
Today we too are with the disciples, with truth and humility, invited to proclaim, “You really are the Son of God”, my Lord and my God.
Sir, save me.
Like Peter, too, I sink into dark waters.
Get me out, get me out of my anxieties and troubles, deliver me from sin and death, heal my wounds.
Sir, save me.
With arrogance and arrogance I wanted to step on the sea, put my mark on places of risk, peek into the summits and the abyss, be more than anyone with pride and pride.
Sir, save me.
On the night of my life, when the waves of events make my little boat creak and the onslaughts of the worldly wind shake it, when darkness does not allow me to see, and I am overwhelmed by the fear of being defeated and ending up in the background, I say to you and I repeat to you:
Sir, save me.
You are my Light and my Truth, the doctor of my soul, the gentle breeze in whose whisper God is. You are infinite peace and calm, rain that fertilizes the earth, dawn that does not know sunset, dawn skylight that dilutes my darkness, bread that nourishes my spirit, wine that fills me with joy.
Sir, save me.
Hold my hand and grab me tight. Guide my steps and strengthen my faith. Give me enough courage and humility to recognize my mistakes and sins, to return to the safe place that is the church’s boat.
You are my only God, my only Lord. Save me. Amen.