Gospel Reflections

19th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 14:22-33

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Nancy Wellmeier

Published: August 10, 2014


In both the first reading and the Gospel today, strong violent winds figure. Elijah, discouraged with the unfaithfulness of his people and afraid of their anger at his denunciations, seeks refuge and solitude in a mountain cave. The wind and the earthquake mirror his agitation. Yet, when the calm comes, he recognizes the presence of God in the silence, and finds peace.

The disciples too are frightened by the wind tossing their boat around. We may have felt the same during periods of turbulence in an airplane. In spite of the wonder they had just witnessed, the spur-of-the-moment picnic provided for a vast crowd of followers of Jesus, they were not ready to recognize him when he came walking on the water to join them in the boat. Peter needed proof. The proof was offered but the fury of the wind led to doubt. That too can happen to us.

When Peter and Jesus joined the others in the boat, the wind died and calm and faith returned. What message can we find here?

Our lives are full of noisy wind and turbulence. We have difficulty finding God there. It is calm and silence that bring us to the Presence and to faith. How do we carve out a cave, a safe boat, in the midst of the winds of busyness to listen to the silence and to proclaim, "Beyond doubt, you are the Son of God."

 

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