TRUST EVEN IN THE WIND AND STORM OF LIFE
There is no doubt in the mind of the prophet what the Lord has done for the people he calls his own. A people he loves to the detriment of all other nations. Yet, the people, this people, go against his will. The duty of the prophet is to call the attention of the people that go astray. To remind them that they have to reciprocate the love of God. Sin is the failure to return love for love. How many sins do we commit unknowingly? If that is the case, infraction of the law of God would be less. Anyway, in the Gospel reading of today, Jesus tells us to have unalloyed confidence in him. In the first place, he, our Lord and God, sleeps not. He has already told us elsewhere: Do not be afraid!
Lord our God,
you let your Son reassure us
with a word of reprimand:
“Why are you afraid, people of little faith?”
Let that little faith grow in us
and make us absolutely certain
that you are with us in your creation,
in the dark and in the night,
in the wind and in the storm,
even in the depths of death.
For you are the God who said:
“I am there for you,”
now and for ever.
1 Reading: Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12
Hear this word, O children of Israel, that the LORD pronounces over you, over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt: You alone have I favoured, more than all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your crimes. Do two walk together unless they have agreed? Does a lion roar in the forest when it has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from its den unless it has seized something? Is a bird brought to earth by a snare when there is no lure for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground without catching anything? If the trumpet sounds in a city, will the people not be frightened? If evil befalls a city, has not the LORD caused it? Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets. The lion roars—who will not be afraid! The Lord GOD speaks—who will not prophesy! I brought upon you such upheaval as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah: you were like a brand plucked from the fire; Yet you returned not to me, says the LORD. So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel! and since I will deal thus with you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 5:4b-6a, 6b-7, 8
R. (9a) Lead me in your justice, Lord.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight. R.
You hate all evildoers;
you destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors. R.
But I, because of your abundant mercy,
will enter your house;
I will worship at your holy temple
in fear of you, O LORD. R.
Alleluia Ps 130:5: Alleluia, alleluia.
I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
In the first reading, Amos questions the people of God and asks them to give an account of how they have answered God’s love. Do we not realise when we hurt God and his love for us? Are we not aware that we have gone the wrong way, the way that is contrary to the commands of the Lord? Do we not commit sin knowingly and willfully?
“What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?” We have to recognize the Lord’s presence and to keep trusting in him, when storms rage within us and in our world as they threaten to engulf us and make us ask: “Lord, where are you?” These may be the storms of temptation, of doubts and fears regarding the faith, of threatened loyalty. The winds of change too, may be howling typhoons tossing the bark of the Church around, before we can enter the calm waters of a renewed Church. The Lord is there, we should not be afraid.
– For the Church of Jesus Christ, that its faith and love may not waver in the difficulties and storms of our time, we pray:
– For sailors and fishers, that the sea may be peaceful and generous to them; for all who travel, that they may safely reach their destination, we pray:
– For ourselves, that we should never be afraid, for we know that Jesus is with us. That we may remain serene and in peace, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
we have prepared this bread and wine
to welcome your Son in our midst.
May we also recognize his presence
and keep relying on him
in our human achievements.
May no success, however great,
cause us to forget
that without him we can do nothing,
that this world is your creation
and that we can be fully human only
in Jesus Christ,
who lives with you and with us for ever.
Prayer after Communion
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to whom else should we entrust ourselves
than to Jesus, our God-with-us?
Let him sail with us to brave the waves,
and to face the heart of the storm.
When he is with us,
even when apparently asleep,
let us no longer be afraid
of committing ourselves to your sea,
for we are sure Jesus will lead us
to your safe harbor of peace for ever.
“Why are you afraid, people of little faith?” Let us entrust ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord. With him, we can overcome all difficulties. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!