19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Readings: 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13/Romans 9:1-5/ Mt 14:22-23)
The first lesson is from the first reading:
In the first reading, the story of the prophet Elijah brings forth a very important message. When the Lord told him to go to the mountain because he would pass by, Elijah expected a very great event. But God did not appear in a mighty wind, or a great fire, or even in an earthquake. Instead, to his astonishment, Elijah felt God’s presence in a breeze so gentle that it was like a whisper. The message is simply this: God is not found in big, amazing events but in the daily and ordinary happenings of our life and in the silence of our hearts.
The second lesson is from the Gospel, which concerns faith.
The disciples were alarmed because of the big waves. Jesus appeared to them and said, “Have courage. It is I. Do not be afraid.” The significance is very clear: In the hour of the disciples’ need, Jesus came to them. When the wind was contrary and life was a struggle, Jesus was there to help and save.
There are moments when life is a desperate struggle with ourselves, with our circumstances, with our temptations, with our sorrows. Added to the almost endless list is the threat of the coronavirus weighing on every one of us. It is at such times when we need not struggle alone. For Jesus comes to us especially during the storms of life– moments when He stretches his hands to save us.
The third lesson: When Peter saw the Lord walking on the water, he became so excited that he also wanted to walk on the water with the Lord. But when he started to doubt, he also started to sink.
When Peter stopped trusting in Jesus and paid attention to the wind and the waves, he started to sink. This applies to us, too. When we concentrate on our problems and forget to lift them to God, we too sink in frustration and despair. The secret of overcoming our difficulties is to trust in the Lord at all times and cry out with Peter: “LORD, SAVE ME!”
Peter really never failed because in moments of failures, he clutched to the Lord. That is the wonderful thing about Peter—every time he fell, he rose again. A saint is not one who never fails, but one who gets up every time he falls and moves on again, again and again.
Ito ay isang pagpapa-alala sa ating lahat, lalo na ngayong maraming pagsubok ang ating nararanasan. The Lord continues to invite us: “Come, it is I….do not be afraid.” If we accept the invitation, we are assured that we will experience what Peter did experience. We will experience the hands of Jesus reaching out to us in Love.
Maybe we can start asking ourselves: “What are the storms I am are afraid of now?” If I find myself in danger of being swallowed by the storms of life, maybe it is because of my wavering faith.
In the midst of our struggles in life, let us pray that we may always be convinced that God is always near us with His hands ready to reach out to us in love and compassion.