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Gospel Reflection for 19th Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – August 13th 2017
1st Reading: 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13
2nd Reading: Romans 9:1-5
Gospel: Matthew 14:23-33
The readings today are about the storms of life. Times of distress and may lead us into asking the help of God. The gospel is full of incidents where Jesus comes to the help of those who are in the darkness of life, like in illness, bereavement, hunger and thirst, and death.
We come to God like that ourselves. We hope for a cure from illness, for help in financial difficulties, for employment. We come to him in the losses and bereavements of life, and feel like Peter we are walking on water and nearly sinking.
Sometimes we think God can wave a magic wand and all will be well. We know of dramatic cures. We know also that the darkness doesn’t lift but that God’s care and protection are near. We know that much human suffering is caused not by God but by other human beings, as when we are victims of perhaps injustice, bullying and addiction.
For Peter the Lord stretched out a hand and helped him. Only after that did the storm calm down. In our trust in God and believing he is with us in trials comes some consolation and comfort. We put our hand in the hand of Jesus, of God and trust there is help.
The help will often come through each other. In a few hours of listening, anxiety and sadness can turn to calm. In the times of hardship, help with getting a job or some financial help gets us over some of the bad times. God’s hand is so often the hands of another.
Lord, help me in times of trouble; let me be a help in times of trouble for those near and dear to me.
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger