19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today, we start with a reading from the first Book of Kings, the book is one of the historical books in the Bible and this reading I think is the most quoted from Kings. In the reading today we have the prophet Elijah at Horeb, the mountain of God, and he is told by the lord to come out of his cave and stand on the mountain before the Lord as he will be passing by soon. So Elijah comes out of his cave and first comes a strong wind, then an earthquake, then fire but the Lord was not in any of these things. Then a small whispering sound come by and Elijah hides his face as it is in this whisper that the Lord is passing through. All too often we expect the Lord to be this loud force that throws storms this way and that, but the Lord is in the stillness and in the quite of the world. It is a big shame that many people seems attached to their cell phones. Earlier this week Pope Francis voiced the same concern, saying to a group of visiting youths “Perhaps many young people waste too much time in useless things: chatting on the internet or with your mobile phone, the products of technology that should simplify and improve the quality of life, but sometimes take attention away from what is really important,”

As we make our way to Paul’s letter to the Romans we encounter a strange reading as Paul is praising the Israelites this reading. He is basically saying it is because of them that we are here today so we should praise them. It is not for the newly formed Christians to hate the Jews as they are from the same cloth. This idea of love and respect among people who have been known to not get along should be brought to the world today as there is a lot of violence going on especially in the Middle East and this long simmering sibling rivalry, among the Abrahamic religions, needs to come to an end.

Turning to the Gospel we continue in Matthew 14 picking up right after the feeding of the 5000, Jesus tells the disciples to get on a boat and he will met them on the other side Jesus will help dismiss the crowd. So later that windy night the disciple on watch sees a figure walking on water and cries out “It’s a Ghost” then the figure say “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” So Peter hears this and being Peter says to Jesus “If it is you tell me to come out and walk on water with you.” Peter gets out of the boat and takes a couple of steps them he get frightened and starts to sink in the water and Peter is pulled back up to the boat. As soon as Jesus steps onto the boat the winds died down and those on the boat began to realize that Jesus was the Son of God. Peter in this story can also be symbolic of the Church as a whole as they both need to rely on Jesus to continue to work. Sometime it seems like many parishes and diocese are only after more and more money and there seems to be a disconnect with what really matters.

It isn’t the structure in which we go to celebrate but it is in the community of people who come to celebrate. We the people are Church and we just need to keep Jesus in our sights. Sure at times in our lives we are all like Peter we loose focus on Jesus and start sinking. Pope Francis also gave the gathered youths some advice “I’ll give you some advice: the Gospel that you listen to during the liturgy, read it again personally, in silence, and apply it to your life; and with the love of Christ, received in Holy Communion, you can put it into practice,” This is a simple process, listen to the Gospel during the liturgy, re-read the Gospel on your own, and take it out into the world by applying it to our life.

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