August 6, 2020: Reflection for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time… August 9, 2020

By Sr. Celeste Wobeter ND

This Sunday’s readings speak to me about faith and trust in God.  These powerful readings are so fitting for us at this time when we experience so much chaos in our world today with the Covid pandemic, racial tensions, the political scene, struggles of the most vulnerable in our world.

In the first reading Elijah is standing on the mountain awaiting God’s Presence.  Ferocious winds, an earthquake, a mighty fire – God was not in any of these.  It was in that moment of hearing a tiny whispering sound that Elijah experienced God in the depths of his being.  He hid his face in awe!

In the silence of our hearts, through God’s whispering voice, we, too, can experience God’s Presence.  We are called to listen, to be still.  Psalm 41 states, “Be still and know that I am God.”

We need to take time to enter into stillness, to listen with the ears of our hearts.  God promises, “I am with you always.”  Can we trust that promise?

The Gospel relates the story of the disciples in a boat when a strong storm suddenly rose up and threatened their lives. When they saw what looked like a ghost walking on the water, they were even more frightened until they heard Jesus calling out, “It is I! Do not be afraid.”   Peter, the passionate one, heard Jesus say, “Come!” and jumps out of the boat and begins walking on the water toward Jesus.  But only for a moment!  As he became frightened by the stormy winds, he began to sink and shouted out to Jesus, “Save me!”  Jesus reached out his hand and brought him to safety.

Jesus asked Peter, “O you of little faith.  Why did you doubt?”  Jesus asks us the same question

            when we struggle or are discouraged, when we doubt and question.  It’s hard to trust that God

            is with us when our lives are totally out of control, when we do not experience God’s Presence.

It is in those times that Jesus invites us, as he did Peter, “Come,” and reaches out his hand to pick us up, to give us strength and hope. 

Let’s pray for one another, for all those experiencing major struggles and pain.  May we all continue to grow in our faith and trust in our loving God in the midst of the many challenges at this time.