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Homily 08 10 2014
19th Sunday OT - A

Homily 08 10 2014
19th Sunday OT - A

View the Readings for this day

How do we find God in the storms and struggles of our lives, in the trials we encounter in trying to do His will?


God commands Elijah in today's First Reading to stand on the mountain and await His passing by. And in the Gospel, Jesus makes the disciples set out across the waters to meet Him.

In each case, the Lord makes himself present amid frightening tumult - heavy winds and high waves, fire and earthquakes.

Elijah hides his face. Perhaps he remembers Moses, who met God on the same mountain, also amid fire, thunder, and smoke (see Deuteronomy 4:10-15; Exodus 19:17-19). God told Moses no one could see His face and live, and He sheltered Moses in the hollow of a rock, as He shelters Elijah in a cave (see Exodus 33:18-23).

The disciples, likewise, are too terrified to look on the face of God. Today's Gospel is a revelation of Jesus' divine identity. Only God treads across the crest of the sea (see Job 9:8) and rules the raging waters (see Psalm 89:9-10). And the words of assurance that Jesus speaks - "It is I" - are those God used to identify himself to Moses (see Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 43:10). Even Peter is too overcome by fear to imitate his Lord. His fears, Jesus tells him, are a sign of his lack of faith. And so it often is with us. Our fears make us doubt, make it hard to see His glory dwelling in our midst.

By faith we should know, as Paul asserts in today's Epistle, that we are heirs to the promises made to His children, Israel. We must trust that He whispers to us in the trials of our lives - that He who has called us to walk along the way of His steps, will save us whenever we begin to sink. I'll bet every one of us this morning can think of some remarkable water-walkers we have known.

We all have watched simple, straight-forward, hard-working men and women, little toddlers and tormented teens, the shut-in elders and the shut-out homeless, perform acts in their lives that defy the limitations of the world in which they live. The chemotherapy patient who gets out of bed, puts on clean clothes, picks up the house, before going for treatment. What is he or she doing but walking on water? The homeless woman who sleeps in a box, gleans food from dumpsters, but still smiles a greeting and laughs at a joke, What is she doing but walking on water?

The single parent, overworked, overwhelmed, over-extended in time, money, and energy, who makes it to soccer games and school plays and checks to see that homework is done . . . What is that harried parent doing but walking on water?

The octogenarian who lives alone, whose family has forgotten him, who counts the postal carrier and the water-meter reader as "company," but still is up and dressed by 8am and sits at the table for all his meals. What is he doing but walking on water? There are people here this morning who are walking on water. You may not know who they are, and the difficulties they're facing, but I can tell you as their pastor (and I don't know all the stories represented here this morning, but enough to speak with conviction). I'm looking out now at people who are walking on water...who each day are asked by life to trust, to reach out for His hand.

There are times in your life when you may feel overwhelmed, when you may be out of your depth, when you feel you are drowning under a multitude of problems. Don't lose heart. For it is at times like these that Christ will draw you out of your turbulence and calm the storms of your life. As we near the end of our lives, you and I will have to step out from family and friends and walk through the waters of death. It is then that we are invited to fix our eyes on Jesus, to trust in Him, and to know that he will draw us safely back home to our Heavenly Father.

The virtuoso pianist and composer, Franz Lizst, for the most part was not religious. But towards the end of his life, that changed. Lizst was particularly drawn to the story of St Francis of Paolo--a story which in turn was inspired by Jesus walking on the water. St Francis had hoped to get a boat across the Straits of Messina from the coast of Italy to Sicily. But he had no money, and the boatman refused to grant him any favors. Indeed he taunted him and told him to make his own way across the strait. Francis put his cloak on the water and stepping onto it, began to walk. In 1863, Lizst composed his piano piece, St Francis Walking on the Water--a piece of music that remains a great challenge to any emerging classical pianist.

It is a profoundly spiritual work: a strong melodic hymn begins the piece; but then the whole piano is gradually and frighteningly caught up in a ferocious storm, through rushing scales and tremolos. Gradually, tentatively, the hymn of faith fights back, resolutely walking on the waters of this terrible storm and finally emerges in a glorious fortissimo of victory. Faith, justice and love have triumphed over the infernal elements unleashed against them.

Walking on water? A human impossibility. But with faith and God-given courage both as an individual and as the church, you can move mountains and walk on water!

At certain times in our contemporary Church history, everything seems to indicate shipwreck, fear, drowning and death. But let us be honest and realize that the Church goes on, saving souls and journeying to its final harbor. In that blessed realm, beyond the seas of this life, all the things which threaten God's Church in this world will be gone for ever. At those times, we must listen to the Lord, as Peter did, and cast the nets again into the deep -- for it is our faith that is being tested -- not as to whether we profess it or not -- but as to whether we are ready to do something about it or not.

He calms the storms of life

Let us never forget this fact: We are on the waters with Jesus. He is in the boat with us, during the night and during the storms. The Lord does not abandon those who come seeking his mercy and his forgiveness. He walks upon the waters. He calms the storm. He guides the boat into safe harbor, and brings with him the great catch, the great feast, to which we are all summoned -- the daily feast of his Body and Blood, our food for eternal life. This is cause for rejoicing!


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Mass Schedule

Saint Aloysius
Tue - Fri - 8:30am
Sat - 5:00pm
Sun - 10:30am

Holy Days
8:30am & 7:00pm

First Friday
8:30am followed by Adoration until 7:55pm

- After weekday Mass
- Before Sat & Sun Mass
- Mon - 3:00pm

Sat - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Or by appointment

Our Lady Of Lourdes
Sun - 8:30am

Before Sunday Mass

Find Us

Saint Aloysius
211 West Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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Office Hours
Tue - Fri 9am - 12:00pm

Our Lady Of Lourdes
506 Ash Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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