Thank you for joining the Good Shepherd Live Stream Mass for Sunday 8/9/2020

Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Sunday 8/9/2020

At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD — for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Reading 2

Brothers and sisters:
I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie;
my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness
that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ
for the sake of my own people,
my kindred according to the flesh.
They are Israelites;
theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants,
the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
theirs the patriarchs, and from them,
according to the flesh, is the Christ,
who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I wait for the Lord;
my soul waits for his word.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Fear Transformed

During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:25-27

Does Jesus frighten you?  Or, better put, does His perfect and divine will frighten you?  Hopefully not, but sometimes it may, at least at first.  This story reveals to us certain spiritual insights and the way we may react to the will of God in our lives.

First of all, the context of the story is important.  The Apostles were on a boat in the middle of the lake at night.  The darkness can be seen as the darkness we face in life as we go through various challenges and difficulties.  The boat has been traditionally seen as a symbol of the Church and the lake as a symbol of the world.  So the context of this story reveals that the message is one for all of us, living in the world, remaining in the Church, encountering the “darkness” of life.

Sometimes when the Lord comes to us in the darkness we encounter, we are immediately frightened by Him.  It’s not so much that we are frightened by God Himself; rather, we can easily become frightened by God’s will and what He asks of us.  God’s will always calls us to selfless giving and sacrificial love.  At times, this can be hard to accept.  But when we remain in faith, our Lord will gently say to us, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”  His will is nothing we should be afraid of.  We should seek to embrace it with full confidence and trust.  This may be challenging at first, but with faith and trust in Him, His will leads us to a life of the utmost fulfillment.

Reflect, today, upon whatever our Lord may be calling you to do right now in your life.  If at first it seems overwhelming, keep your eyes fixed on Him and know that He will never ask of you anything that is too difficult to accomplish.  His grace is always sufficient and His will is always worthy of full acceptance and trust.

Lord, may Your will be done in my life in all things.  I pray that I may always welcome You into the darkest challenges of my life and that I will keep my eyes fixed upon You and Your perfect plan.  May I never give in to fear but allow You to dispel that fear with Your grace.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life