Monthly Archives: August 2014

Peter Walks on the Water by Fr. Joel

matthew 14A man who was mentally ill told his therapist that he was Jesus. The therapist got measurements of the man’s arms and height then went and got two pieces of wood with the same measurements and some nails. When the therapist put the two pieces of wood in the form of a cross and started nailing them together, he said to the ill man  “You should know what I am doing.’’ And the ill man said ‘’Wait! Wait! I am not Jesus Christ! Are you crazy or what?”

Anyone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus should be ready to be nailed to the cross. Trusting in Jesus means that you are willing to ‘’walk on water’’ as Peter did. Our faith tells us that we are to risk all relying on God’s support. Only a man of faith would accept an invitation from a ghost as Peter did to step out of the boat that was sinking because of a storm and attempt to walk on the water directly.

With faith, Peter was able to walk confidently on the water like Jesus. But as soon as he became distracted, he started sinking. That is what happens to us when we become distracted with worldly attractions and desires such as power, position, money, comfort and pleasure. We soon begin to sink into the ocean of sins.

Those who play games such as football, basketball, lawn tennis, cricket, golf and matthew 14matthew 14many others, are always told to concentrate by keeping an eye on the ball. The moment you take your eyes off the ball you are bound to make a mistake. You can easily let in a cheap goal or point for your opponent. This advice could be given to us as regards our faith. We need to concentrate and keep our eyes on Jesus. That was what Peter stopped doing and he started to sink. He started well but as soon as he became afraid of the wind he began to sink.

This also happens to many of us Christians, we begin well but after some time we begin to get distracted by taking our eyes off Jesus then we start to sink. We get disoriented during serious challenges such illness, loss of job, court cases, financial crisis, marriage crisis, childlessness and so on. We are distracted and we take our eyes off Jesus. Instead of looking at Jesus for solutions to these problems, we look elsewhere for answers. In Mathew 11:28 Jesus said, ‘’come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.’’ We seek help in secret cults, witchcraft, secular ideas, and civil courts for secular divorce or justice. We push Jesus to the background most often immediately. And when we do so, we get drown in the ocean of sins.

However, when we trust Jesus he will be there for us always especially during the storms of our lives’ journey. We are all in a boat in this life travelling to a destination called heaven. The world is the sea in which we are travelling and most times there are storms in this sea. St. Paul says in Ephesians 6:5- that we are fighting a battle against the devil and we need strength from the lord to fight him. All we need do is to have faith in Jesus and respond to his invitation to walk on the water. If we keep our focus on Jesus, we will surely not sink but cross over safely to our destination. The Bible in Philippians 4: 13- tell us that we can do all things in God who strengthens us. Just reach out to take the hand of Jesus and you will not be drowned. Keep your eyes on Jesus and reject the idols you have erected for yourself as solutions to your problems and it shall be well with us. 1Peter 5:8 says: ‘’be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same suffering.’’ Jesus has the power to save you from drowning. Go to him strong in faith.

NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE A

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God is Concerned About Our Daily Needs by Fr. Joel

Ordinary Time, Week 18, Gospel, EnglishA poor woman prayed for food and God answered her through a godless neighbor. She was extremely poor, but a very good woman. The godless neighbor often made fun of her for trusting God. One day as she was praying for food, the godless man heard and came and dropped bread by her door and left. When she saw the bread she praised God for answering her prayer. But the godless neighbor said to her, ‘’you think God answered your prayer? I am the one who brought the bread.’’ The woman praised God the more saying, God always answers my prayers, he has even used an unbeliever to answer my prayer this time around.

In today’s gospel Jesus fed more than 5000 people with only five loaves and two fish, and twelve baskets were left over. Imagine what was left over was much more than what was brought before they were fed. That was a great miracle by Jesus. That is how God blesses those who share their resources with others.

What lesson can we learn from this miracle? We should learn the virtue of sharing our resources with others just the way the little boy did by bringing his loaves and fish to be shared with others. Sharing with others increases our blessings from God. Unfortunately, today, in our world the value of sharing is giving way for greed, selfishness and individualism. People no longer want to stay together and share resources, everybody to his or her tent. That is why we see violence, depression and the destruction of lives and property.

We are always afraid that if we share our resources, we will not have enough for ourselves. No! Jesus is saying the opposite will happen as demonstrated by his miracle. Much more was available for everyone and there was left over. So, any time we share what we have with those who do not have, God blesses us with more. Hence the saying that, ‘’blessed is the hand the gives than the one that takes.’’ This explains why those who became rich but are not sharing with others are not satisfied at all, they keep looking for more. A few people are very rich and are controlling the world’s economy. While the majority of people are the poor and are work for them yet they are not satisfied. They pay unjust salaries to the people. Sometimes they denied them their rights and benefits. Anyone who gives or shares with others will never lack. If only we can learn to share, there will be peace in our world because there is more than enough for all.

If only we can learn from the first Christian community, to live together and share, life will a lot easier for us. When we don’t live together and share our resources we spend and suffer more. For example, one family using two or more cars to come to church instead of one, staying in different houses instead of one, going to a restaurant to eat instead of cooking and eating together at home, buying what you want instead of buying only what you need. Even in the church, some of us are not ready to share with others. That is very unchristian for us to behave that way. We should share our resources, talents and time with others. We appreciate you all for being very supportive of the church in different ways to enable her carry out her mission. Particularly with your money, time, talent and other resources which have been of great help to our work in the parish. Last week some of you supported St. Vincent de Paul by patronized their sales of food. The money realized will be used to assist those in need in our community. Please, we encourage you to do more. Share your resources with others and God will bless you the more. A lot of renovations are going in our campus, all due to your contributions. We thank you very seriously. It is our prayer that you will never suffer lack in your life. That God will multiply your blessings the way he multiplied the loaves and fish.

 

EIGTHEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME