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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time — Aug. 13, 2023

Bishop’s Reflections

August 13, 2023

Every Sunday, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time — Aug. 13, 2023

The storm was rough, the waves were high, the boat that was filled with disciples was being tossed about and Jesus came walking to them on the water. Peter said to him, “Lord, if it you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said to him, “Come.” So, Peter came, walked out of the storm-tossed boat with faith and, miraculously, began to walk on water. Peter stayed afloat — until he realized that the waters were still churning, and the wind was still blowing. That is when he began to sink — when fear overtook his faith. Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Every one of us will have those times when life tosses us about. We can begin with a lot of faith (“I can do it, Lord”) but then fear gets the better of us. Death, sin, unemployment, cancer, threats of war, bullying online or in school, a raging opioid epidemic, an unplanned pregnancy, the failure of a marriage – the list can go on and on. The winds of life are sometimes very strong. The sea of this world can sometimes toss us to and fro.

It is when Peter cried out to Jesus in his distress, “Lord, save me!” that Jesus pulled him up from the sea and set him back into the boat, where the disciples were, where the Church was, where Jesus would sit and command the storm to be quiet.

When we begin to sink, we need to cry out with Peter, “Lord, save me!” And he will. He will put us back in the boat, where the friends of Jesus are, where the Church is, and where Jesus sits at the center, leading us to safety and to salvation.

We should mediate often on the words under the Divine Mercy picture: “Jesus, I trust in you.”

Listen to this story: One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I'll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy protested, "Daddy, I can't see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that's all that matters."

Today’s Gospel is about faith. Ultimately, this Gospel is a reminder that we can’t save ourselves, we depend on Jesus for that. He says to us, just as he said to the earliest disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Have a blessed week everyone.

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