19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Reflection From Fr. Gerry

Some years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Holy Land and I am sure many of you reading this have also. Everyone that visits this special place seems to come back and talk about one special experience they had. My favorite one was crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat. This lake is about 13 miles long, about 7 miles wide and about 150 feet at its deepest. While other places became very commercialized, this area remained basically the same. It happened to be a beautiful day, the water was still and even though I did not see Jesus walk on the water, nevertheless I could almost sense his presence.

However, when we look at most of the story literally in today’s gospel, it seems to make no sense whatsoever. But if we look at it figuratively as Matthew intends us to, it certainly can and does make a lot of sense.

I think that all of you reading this knows what it’s like to be leading a tranquil life, when everything seems to be going very well and then it’s interrupted by an unexpected storm. It could be a sudden death, a bad doctors report, a pending divorce or whatever the cross. No one wants any of these crosses, but they are a reality of life. Even Jesus himself did not escape the cross. While we live in this world, the possibility of painful disruptions is infinite. The point I want to make is, if we are going to have a reasonable voyage across this sometimes, unpredictable sea of life, then we need to know something about storm survival. We need to have a procedure in place before trouble strikes. I believe that everyone turns to God in cases of extreme danger and many, turn to God only then. It’s easy to have faith and trust in God when everything is going well, it’s when tragedy strikes, it is then that our faith is tested. Speaking about faith being tested, I would like to share with you an experience I had in a parish in Nevada many years ago. I received the sad news that a young man about 25 years old got killed in a tractor accident. I was the one that had to break the sad news to his parents who lived about 70 miles away. I forget what words I used to break the news, but what I do remember are the words the father of the deceased man said. He paused and then he said, “You know, God knows what is best.” Then he cried. I did too and we prayed, there was a good bit of silence and a lot of sadness but also a lot of grace. He was a man of deep faith.

The important lesson today is that we learn to experience God in the quiet moments of our lives, through prayer, through reflection on the Scripture passages, through appreciating nature, and through thanking God everyday for the gifts and blessings that we have. This does not mean that when the going gets rough that it’s going to be easy, but what it does mean is that we will be given the grace and the strength to get through it and we can even be more transformed. I have seen that so many times and I am sure you have also.

So, to sum it up, I quote the words of John, “Have faith in God, have faith also in me.” He is telling us I know what I am doing, and it is for the best. I truly believe that. May God go with you.

 

 READINGS FOR AUGUST 9, 2020

 1st Reading—1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a—Elijah the prophet heard the Lord’s voice not6 in wind, not in an earthquake nor in fire, but in a tiny whisper. When he heard the Lord, Elijah hid his face in his cloak, overcome with awe.

Psalm 85: 9, 10, 11-12, 13-14—“Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.”

 2nd Reading—Romans 9: 1-5—Paul wrote that he would willingly accept being separated from the Christ for the sake of his fellow Israelite, from whom came the Messiah.

 Alleluia! I wait for the Lord;  my soul waits for his word. Alleluia!

 Gospel—Matthew 14: 22-33—Jesus walked on the water, he called to Peter in the boat with the other disciples. Peter stepped out on the water until his faith faltered and he began to sink. Then Jesus stretched out his hand to save Peter.

 

PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL

1) Let us pray for the Church:

Give calm and safe harbor to the Church in these turbulent times, O God.

Increase our faith and give us energy to serve you.

 

2) Let us pray for the nations of earth:

Being peace, dear God, bring peace to our brothers and sisters in

war-torn lands.  Calm the storms of hatred and vengeance. Keep those serving in the military in your loving care.

 

3) Let us remember the victims of storms and floods:

God, all times and seasons obey your laws.  Be the help of all who

suffer the ravages of natural disasters. Bring gentle rain to our fields.

 

4) Let us pray for the sick:

Reassure those who cry out to you, O Lord, and calm the fears

of those in pain, especially the terminally ill, and our friends —

Holly Francis        Lou Pyfer    Tony & Betty Morici      Bill Knight

Bill Jawlik  Marge Park           Elena Perea          Cooper Pavkovich

Dolores Cumming          Alex Fabian Family        Kallie Moshier

Dot Tebelman       Pam & Mike Allen          Renee Thompson

Diane Naren

And for all who have asked for our prayers.

 

5) Let us remember the dead:

May our beloved dead not be afraid and cross safely over the waters

of death to new life especially — Adam Verrechia, cousin of Judy Henley and…

(5:00 Mass)  Raymund Kotowski, Frederick & Mariah Andre

(8:30 Mass)  Earl Muhleck

(10:30 Mass)  Fely Lopez, Don Park

 

6) Let us bring our personal prayers to God:

Calm our fears, O Lord, and help us reach out to you.

May we be the help of those who are overwhelmed by the storms of life.

We pray to the Lord…

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS—August 9, 2020

  • This Saturday is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and our mid-summer Holy Day. We will celebrate this Holy Day on Friday morning, August 14th at the 9 a.m. Mass.
  • Christian Service is sponsoring a Blood Drive next Thursday, August 13th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please see the bulletin for more information.
  • Just a reminder that there is no socializing after Mass, please leave in a timely manner.