Homily (Reflection) for the Nineteenth Sunday of the Year (A) (13th August, 2017) on the Gospel
1Kg 19:9.11-13;Ps 84:9-14 (R.v. 8);
Topic: ... Lord, save me (Matt 14:30).
In today’s gospel, after feeding the five thousand, Jesus made His disciples cross ahead of Him to the other side in a boat. He dismissed the crowds, went up the mountain and prayed. The boat was battered by the waves because the wind was against them. “And early in the morning he [Jesus] came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’” (Matt 14:25-26).
There are lots of problems we have that are impossible with men but definitely not impossible with God, cf. Lk 18:27; Mk 10:27. No matter how dreadful a situation might be, what one need most is God. Regrettably, many often speak like the Israelites, “It is vain to serve God. What do we profit by keeping his command or going about as mourners before the LORD of hosts?” (Mal 3:14).
Our major problem is that we have neither knowledge nor understanding and as a result walk about in darkness, cf. Ps 82:5. It is necessary to pray with Saint Peter and the Psalmist in every situation we find ourselves with sincere heart: Lord, save us for vain is the help of man (Matt 14:30; Ps 60:11; 108:12). If only one can approach God with sincere heart in faith, he will certainly stretch out his hand and save. We ought to remember always that “With the LORD on my side I do not fear. What can man do to me?” (Ps 118:6). Let us “Trust in the LORD with all your [our] heart, and do not rely on your [our] own insight” (Prov 3:5). If only we have faith, we shall see the glory of the LORD in the morning, cf. Ex 16:7. God is a fortress and a refuge in the day of our distress, cf. Ps 59:16.
Let us conclude with the story of John Newton. He was a slave trader. One night a storm blew up, threatening to sink his ship. John cried out to God, “Save us, and I’ll quit this business and become your slave forever”. The ship survived the storm. John quit the trade and become a minister of the Gospel. He wrote these words of a famous song:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found –
Was blind, but now I see.
Call upon the Lord in every situation with all your heart. For “The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth” (Ps 145:18). God bestows His riches upon all who call upon him, cf. Rom 10:12. However, we must seek the LORD before it is too late, cf. Is 55:6.
Bible Reading: Prov 1:20-2:22; 3:1-18; Zeph 3:1-13.
Thought for today: Where is your trust?
Let us pray: Lord, save us for vain is the help of man – Amen (Matt 14:30; Ps 60:11; 108:12).
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