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19th Sunday Year A. READINGS, REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS AND COMMENTARY Number 9

02 Aug

‘Lord, save me!’

CONTENTS OF THIS SECTION

  • Readings for the Sunday.
  • Reflective Questions. For private or group use.
  • Focusing the Gospel.
  • Connecting the Gospel.
  • Understanding Scripture.

 

SUGGESTION BEFORE YOU READ THE SCRIPTURES TODAY.

Try not to read just to read it and get through it. Got my drift? We can do this so easily. Take the Readings slowly….as you read, you might like to read it aloud. The sound of the words help us concentrate and it helps us reflect as we read. Try and be aware of your breathing before you even start….it is better to be at 5 k.p.h than 50!
Enable words and meanings to gently jump out at you….soothingly take note in your mind as to what teases you as you read and see God’s Word. Don’t forget that the First Reading is always linked to the Gospel…..see if you can pick up the links.

 

FIRST READING:

A reading from the first book of the Kings

When Elijah reached Horeb, the mountain of God, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. Then he was told, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ Then the Lord himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah
heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM:

R. Lord, show us your mercy and love, and grant us your
salvation.

I will hear what the Lord God has to say, a voice that speaks of peace. His help is near for those who fear him and his glory will dwell in our land. R.

Mercy and faithfulness have met; justice and peace have embraced. Faithfulness
shall spring from the earth and justice look down from heaven. R.

The Lord will make us prosper and our earth shall yield its fruit. Justice
shall march before him and peace shall follow his steps. R.

SECOND READING:

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans

What I want to say is no pretence; I say it in union with Christ – it is the truth – my conscience in union with the Holy Spirit assures me of it too. What I want to say is this: my sorrow is so great, my mental anguish so endless, I would willingly be condemned and be cut off from Christ if it could help my brothers of Israel, my own flesh and blood. They were adopted as sons, they were given the glory and the covenants; the Law and the ritual were drawn up for them, and the promises were made to them. They are descended from the patriarchs and from their flesh and blood came Christ who is above all, God for ever blessed! Amen.

This is the word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL READING:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

 

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord’, he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

How about going back to the First Reading, and see if the link between it and the Gospel becomes more evident.

 

REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS:::::::  POINTS TO PONDER  ‘Lord, what are you saying to me through your Holy Word today?’

 

  1. Lord, what are you saying to me through your word? What response can I make
    to your invitation?
  2. What strikes you as you read this Gospel reading? Why?
  3. What do you think is the meaning within God’s Word in the first Reading?
  4. Where do we look for God in our daily life?
  5. Think back over your life time…when and how have your heard God speaking to you?
  6. In the first reading, we see the surprise that God’s presence was in the gentle breeze…quiet different to what Elijah was looking for; can you pin point in your life some of the most unexpected times that you have felt God’s presence?
  7. In the Gospel reading we hear Peter praying…’Lord, save me’? Have you prayed that kind of prayer in your life? When? Now, as you remember that time, see if you can pray another prayer to God as a result of recalling this experience.
  8. From your reading and reflection, can you make out the subtle thread which runs between the first reading, and the Gospel? If, so what is it?

 

Try not to be afraid of this question….just quietly go back over the Gospel passage, and see what jumps out at you; is it an invitation? Is it a challenge? Let the message of God’s Word in all its richness, enter into your whole being…like sandalwood oil seeping gently into a beautiful Tasmanian oak floor, leaving behind its precious scent…..

 

GOD’S WORD IS NOURISHMENT:

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side.

Jesus called out to them, saying ‘Courage! It is I!

Lord! Save me!’ Peter cried.

Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?

Truly, you are the Son of God.

I hope in the Lord, I trust in his word.

to the point

Jesus reveals who he is by his command over nature (‘walking on the sea’) and his command to Peter (‘Come’). Peter’s doubt (‘if it is you’) results in disastrous fright. The good news of the gospel is that doubt doesn’t lead to drowning but to insight ( faith) and homage.

Connecting the Gospel

to the first reading

Revelation leads to homage. Elijah’s response to God’s revelation is to pay homage (‘covered his face with his cloak’).

to human experience

Nothing in our human experience leads us to expect that we will ever walk on water! But that is not the goal of faith. Faith in this instance can be seen as ‘insight’ the ability to see the saving work of God alive and inviting us through Jesus. Worship follows, with a sense of contrition.

Understanding Scripture

Walking on water

Just as there were many levels of meaning in last Sunday’s miraculous feeding of the 5,000, so, too, this Sunday’s gospel coveys more than Jesus’ power over nature.

The climax of the story is Jesus’ self-revelation to his frightened disciples: ‘It is I’ (14:27). The English translation obscures the impact of the Greek which reads simply, ‘I am,’ evoking the divine name revealed to Moses in the burning bush, ‘I AM WHO AM’ (Exodus 3:14). It evokes, too, the characteristic way the Lord self-identifies in Isaiah 40 – 55. In one particularly telling passage God announces, ‘I am the Lord . . . who opens a way in the sea, a path in the waters’ (Isaiah 43:15-16). The reference is to God’s making a dry path through the Red Sea and saving the Hebrews from oppression. The work of God who saves at the sea is manifest once again in Jesus who saves Peter on the sea (Matthew 14:30-31). Moreover, in the Old Testament, God alone has power to walk on water (see Job 9:8; 38:16); thus, Jesus is one who does what God alone does. Both in his self-disclosure and in his walking on water Jesus dramatises one of Matthew’s most important theological convictions: in Jesus, ‘God is with us’ (1:23; see also 28:20).

There is still more to the story. In the Old Testament, as throughout the ancient Near East, the sea symbolised the unruly and threatening powers of chaos. Both in the Canaanite myth of Baal who battles ‘Prince Sea’ and in the Babylonian creation story in which Marduk battles Tiamat (the evil sea-goddess), the sea can be quelled and conquered only by a god. In this gospel story the storm at sea evokes the forces of evil arrayed against the community of disciples which – without Jesus in their midst – is tossed about and in peril. But Jesus, walking on water, conquers and quells evil. Neither Peter nor the community of disciples can do as Jesus does; but when Jesus is with them, they are safe. Their place is to pay homage and acknowledge him as ‘Son of God’ (14:33).

 

IMPORTANT NOTICES:

Fr Kev and Tara!

Dear One and All,

I am trying to have the Readings and Commentary available for you on Tuesday nights, in preparation for the following Sunday’s Liturgy. I will post the realhomilie on Thursday nights or early Friday morning.  This will enable you to have a look at the readings, reflective questions and commentary in plenty of time before the
realhomilie gets posted.

 

Now to catch up on the very funny story of the little Irish village of Finuge, I generally post a new chapter every Monday night on the FUNNIES TAB. We are now up to Chapter 10  🙂  I have a pretty tight timetable for all of
this…so far so good, let’s hope that it will keep up.

Tell your friends about the realhomilies and pass on the website to them. A couple of people have emailed me, asking that I go even deeper into the Scriptures each week.  My response to that is that on the READINGS TAB, I will continue to post Essays on various aspects of Christian Spirituality, and that will be like getting into a T-bone steak! I am working on the project at the moment.

Happy reading and reflecting on God’s living Word,

Sincerely in Christ Crucified,

Your friend,

Fr.Kev

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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