Aug. 9th Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Introduction

Trust in God is the essence of faith. Christ says in our gospel “do not be afraid, I am with you”. It was also the motto of John Paul II and look where it led him. Lets confess any ways we may have failed to trust in Our Lord..

Homily

“I feel just awful, I wish someone would shoot me, I feel I can’t go on living”. That’s what someone said to me recently. It shocked me to the core, for to me life is precious. I can’t conceive of anyone ever giving up on the joy of life. But maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked, despite modern progress many in society are in despair. Look at the numbers ringing Samaritans and help-line. We all go through rough patches in our lives. Problems and difficulties pile up and we’re tempted to lose hope. In that situation we should listen to the words of Jesus: “Why are you so frightened? It is I, do not be afraid”. Peter lost faith and began to sink, but Jesus rebuked him for his lack of faith and lifted him up and calmed the storm. That’s what the gospel is about, Christ’s love. He will heal us if we let him, indeed he alone can lift us up in our darkest hours and lighten our burdens. Scripture says “cast your care on the Lord for he has care of you”, and Jesus in today’s Gospel says that with trust in him we can even walk upon water. All we have to do to avail of his healing love is just believe and put our whole trust in him. One who did that wholeheartedly was the late John Paul 11. His motto was “Do not be afraid for I am with you” and look what he achieved in the face of immense difficulties. Once they were putting the phrase on wrist-bands. Good! We should not only wear that motto not on our wrists but on our hearts. For then like John Paul we’ll be wise and dynamic people. Faith and trust in God will carry us past all obstacles. In that sense God is not a luxury we can take or leave, but as vital as the air we breathe.

Without Him life’s more empty and meaningless. This is a proven fact. A new psychological study in hospitals have shown that those with faith are more likely to recover from illness and they recover quicker. And so many people have learned to the value of their faith when they ran into deep trouble. For example, I read recently about Pierce Brosnan, the James Bond star. He seems so blase and self assured. In fact he went through a terrible crisis in recent times. Only for his Catholic faith, he says, he’d never have survived. And That’s the consolation of all of us, the people of God, that we are not alone, that God is with us most when we are down and saves us if we only let him. Indeed, if we trust in him and pray he’ll turn our weaknesses into strengths.

Christ spent most of his time on earth caring for those in society who were sick or scorned by the rich and powerful. He was down there among them because he cared and they were his children. We must remember that we’re all children of that infinitely loving God who does not judge by worldly standards. His favorites are the humble who trust in him and let him help them find light in life’s darknesses. Indeed that’s wisdom, to know our need for God. It must really hurts God today when so many who need his help refuse to ask. He longs to heal them and they wont let him; He cant do anything against their will. So when things get rough they’ve no solid ground to stand on. We must remember, by contrast, that Christ is our lasting support. All else fades to dust and ashes at last but He is Lord of love, peace, glory, beauty and truth for our happiness in this world and forever and ever, amen. So as God’s people trusting in him to save, heal and lead us to life let’s profess our faith with a new sense of his caring love in our lives and in the world at large..

Prayer of the Faithful

For our holy father the Pope and all the leaders of the church that trusting wholly in God, they may bring all to the same life-giving faith and trust..

For our civic leaders, may they respect God, his churches and servants and serve the whole community with selfless dedication

For our great youth, that like those who during John Paul 11’s life put the phrase on their wristband: “do not be afraid I am with you”, they may trust in Christ’s love and so find strength, peace, grace and depth for their lives and for eternity..

For ourselves in our homes, work places and communities that our faith and trust in Christ may rub off and be a light to others also, especially our children..

For the sick that through our trust in the lord they may find in Christ the comfort, hope and peace for difficult times..

For the dead that their work in this life done, they may through our prayers and continuing love come to the arms of the Lord and their heavenly home..

and we ask all these prayers with the same trust in Christ our loving lord and savior that we bring to our faith

Reflection

A sense of trust in God, no matter what, fills the psalms: “I trusted (in God) even when I said I am sorely afflicted, when I said in my alarm no man can be trusted”. At times people let us down. Its when we’re in trouble, they say, that we know who our real friends are. And Certainly, that respect Jesus, as the song says, is our “very special friend”. Lets pray that trust in him may characterize our lives and make us great..Hail Mary

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