Tuesday of the 18th Week of the Year

Matt 14:22-36

The Walking on the Water


A male teenager studying for the final examinations cried aloud in exasperation: “Ang hirap naman nito!” while almost simultaneously throwing away his books and notebooks. Hearing the cry of frustration, the father asked his son to help him wash the family car. Reluctantly, the son obliged. While washing the car, the father noticed that his son all wet. But the son’s reply was: “this is what it takes to wash the car.” The father answered: “So it is when you study. You will commit mistakes, experiences difficulties. But that’s what you pay for learning. The goal is always worth you make.”

Challenges are part of human life. They frighten us in the same vein that the apostles were terrified when they mistook Jesus for a ghost walking on the water. Beneath life’s challenges lurks the presence of Jesus who calls us to trust in him. Peter who, moving toward Jesus, got out of the boat and tried to walk on water, illustrates the capacity of every Christian to soar above seemingly impossible or frightening situations. But the eyes need to be fixed only on Jesus without whom any endeavour sinks into nothingness. Peter began to sink when he shifted his attention to the strong winds and not on Jesus.

The goal of our lives is always Jesus. In Him, through Him and in Him, all sacrifices are worth making. This is what it takes to be Christian, a follower of Christ. Challenges will certainly come, difficulties may storm our lives with pains and miseries. But it is only in Jesus that we can soar above all fears and frustrations. (Fr. Fred Saniel, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Jesus said that the Pharisees were blind guides


I was a volunteer at the Home of Love where abandoned children are taken care of. One day in the nursery, I took the initiative to care for a tiny month-old baby. I was feeding her when all of a sudden her lips turned violet. I panicked. In my heart I pleaded: “Lord, please save her. Don’t let her die in my arms.” I rushed to the person in-charge and through her calm efforts, the baby coughed and her lips became red again.

This experience of panic came back to me when I read Peter’s experience in today’s gospel. Afraid to sink down, he cried out: “Save me, Lord.” Jesus reached out to save him yet reprimanded him for his lack of faith. Peter’s cry for help came out of fear, not out of confidence that Jesus saves.

Jesus wants us to trust Him whatever the situation we are in. this trust will only develop on a faith-life that is rooted in one’s personal experience of God. Prayer and being communion with the One who loves can give us real security in times of uncertainty.

“Lord help me to trust, to believe that before anything happens you are resolved to save me always. Amen.” (Sr. Marlyn Leano, SSpS Bible Diary 2006)


LOOK UP! A man in his mid-thirties approached and said: “Father, when I was young I had a problem with impurity and I thought that when I got older I will be able to get rid of it. I considered myself quite a success but now, I am down with my sin. I don’t know why.” A mother in her forties shared with me and said: “I thought that when I’d get older, I would get more patient and mellow down. But the older I got, the more impatient I became.” A teenager approaches me and says: “I really want to be good son but I don’t know why, after my Life in the Spirit Seminar, I was doing very, very well. Now, I don’t know what has happened. I still pray. Unfortunately,, my mother and father cannot see the good things about me anymore again.” I can identify with these three. They want to be good. They want to get rid of a problem. They successfully conquered these problems or issues and yet they find themselves backsliding. They seem to be reverting back to their old ways. BSDU – Balik Sa Dating Ugali. What has happened after a loving encounter with Jesus in a retreat or LSS? What has happened?

That same question came to the mind of Peter. He wanted to cross over the water. He was already taking few steps. Yet Peter started to sink. Peter started to sink when instead on focusing on Jesus he focused on the wind. Reflect on those words. Peter started to sink into the water at that very instant his eyes and his senses was no longer focused on Jesus but more on the threat of the storm. That is what happens to us when our attention is more focused on the problem. We also get less focused on Jesus. When we are less focused on Jesus, we become less and less able to do the good things that we are supposed to do.

A few months ago, I joined a group of priests, thrill seekers you might say. In the name of fun we climbed trees 40 feet high and then walked on a cable. We were hanging on to ropes and then we were supposed to jump from the cable. So I climbed the ladder without a hitch. When I was stepping on the cable, I heard them shout: “Soc, slide.” So I slid because I wanted to get to the middle of that cable all by myself, holding on to the vines and the ropes securing me. Halfway through the cable, the thought of falling crossed my mind. I knew I will not get physically hurt but my ego will certainly be bruised. I was trembling. All of a sudden I didn’t know what to do, until I heard one of my brother priests shout at me saying: “Don’t look down, look up.” The moment i started to look up into the sky and look at the vine and the ropes I was holding on to, I was steady again and successfully completed my jumps – thoroughly enjoying it.

Don’t look down? Look up to God. Don’t look up at the storm, stay focused on Jesus. Whatever problem you may be carrying right now is bearable. You can even walk on the water. You can even glide through water if you are focused on Jesus. But if you are more focus on the law of gravity, if your attention is more on the force of the storm and the wind rather than on the force of God himself, it is no wonder that like Peter, you will keep sinking into your problems. Don’t look at the problems. Look at God. Don’t look at the wind. Look at Jesus. Right now, you can even walk through the waters of your problem undaunted, unafraid. (Bp Soc Villegas Love Like Jesus p. 139-140)


Ina book about her life, Mother Teresa confessed that it would be humanly impossible for her to perform service to the poorest of the poor without her personal prayers and her participation and reception of the Holy Eucharist. Her personal union with Jesus gave her the sufficient courage, guidance and inspiration to go about her daily missionary task.

Jesus confirms this fact of life in today’s gospel: “….he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.” His prayerful solitude united Him with the Father. The divine communion gave Jesus the power to overcome the daily challenges and demands of His public life, in particular, Peter’s lack of faith and the big task to heal all those who came to Him for healing.

Points for reflection:

  1. Do you subscribe to the idea “My work is my prayer?”
  2. What gives meaning to your daily routine?
  3. Does Jesus occupy a central or major part in your daily activities?
  4. How was your experience of rising from the turbulent storms of life? 9Fr. Ed Fugoso, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


There is a story about a prince who considered himself a worm and was so afraid of the chicken that he always hid himself under the table. The king announced to all in his kingdom that a big reward awaits anyone who succeeds in bringing the prince out of his hiding place. Many magicians and medicine men tried but failed. One day a small boy came to try his luck. He went under the table, sat down with the prince, played and talked to him. Finally he managed to bring the prince out. The king was very happy and asked the small boy how he did it. The small boy said that he asked the prince to say with him, “I am a man, not a worm.” All of a sudden the prince ducked under the table because a chicken appeared. The small boy went after the prince. He asked the prince if he believe that he was a man and not a worm. And the prince answered, “I am a man, not a worm. But does the chicken know that?”

Fear cripples, petrifies and can even send many to early death. It plays with the normal sanity of men. The disciples were terrified by the storm, the gospel narrates. Remember these were seasoned fishermen. They were even more terrified when they saw a ghost! Who would not be worse off when they even considered the Lord a ghost!

It is the Lord who always assures us not to be afraid. He is the omnipotent creator, most powerful and magnificent. We should be afraid of him more than any ghost. Yet it is the Lord who gently chided Peter for doubting. Faith in the Lord is the best medicine to all our fears. To the Lord of Divine Mercy we say: “Lord, we trust in you.” (Fr. Carlos Lariosa, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


August 2, 2016 Tuesday

In life, focus is very important. If we want to become successful in whatever we do, focus is necessary. This is also true in our spiritual life: we need to focus on God if we want to grow and to become victorious.

Today’s Gospel teaches us the importance of focus. When the Disciples got into the boat, Jesus was not with them. In the middle of the lake, Jesus appeared, walking on the water! At first, they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. Jesus affirmed them and said: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Seeing it was Jesus, Peter said: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

Jesus approved Peter’s request and said: “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.

Wow! It could have been a perfect miracle recorded in the annals of human history: Man successfully walked on water without sinking! But, there was a twist: Due to human weakness, Peter became out-of-focus; he saw how strong the wind was and he became frightened!

Thank God, the story did not end there. Immediately, Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter and said: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Jesus gave a reminder to all: Focus on God.

If ever we’ll be “out-of-focus,” be humble enough to ask God for help and “re-focus” on Him. The Gospel episode ended with two other miracles. When Peter and the disciples re-focused their attention on Jesus: the wind died down. At Gennesaret, people brought to Jesus all those who were sick and all were healed.

Yes, miracles do multiply when we focus and re-focus our attention on God-Jesus! (Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez, SVD DWC, San Jose, Occ. Mindoro Bible Diary 2016)



Theophany is how Bible scholars explain the significance of today’s gospel. This means that what happened is not simply a wonderwork of Jesus, but a self-revelation. Jesus has always claimed to be the Son of the Father. In the Old Testament, the Father is one who walked over the chaos of primordial waters so he could begin creation (Gen 1:1-2). Jesus’ walk over the stormy waters of Galilee is then a statement: he and the Father are one in power and in dignity. Jesus is not just another Jewish prophet. He is divine.  This was the conclusion of the disciples. They said: “Truly, you are the Son of God.” (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday p. 237)


Hindrances to our walk with Jesus. We also want to experience life as a walk with Jesus! Our Bible lessons make us reflect: What could be the hindrances in our walk with Jesus? The gospel proclamation underlines the first hindrance: fear. Anywhere, fear paralyzes and makes us lose confidence in self, in others, in God. Peter was able to walk at first, until fear struck him down. No wonder, in many occasions where God calls persons to Himself, His first words are always: “Do not fear, fear not.” The Spirit of God is peace, and peace cancels all fears.

The Old Testament passage (First Reading, Year I: Num 12:1-13) illustrates the second obstacle to experiencing life as a walk with God. This is pride. Too much of pride makes us turn green with envy and jealousy. This is what happened to Merriam, sister of Moses. She questioned Moses’ privileges. When pride strikes, we would not want others to have better and more blessings than us. With this disposition, we will surely miss out counting our own blessings and assurances from God! (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday p. 237-238)


v. 25: “During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea.” At the time we don’t expect, in moments of distress and darkness, Jesus comes to us. He walks in our sea of doubt and fear. Nothing can stop him to care for us. Recognize him. Hear him say: “it is I.” (Fr. Ching OP).


V.22: “23After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.” Jesus went to pray alone after he had dismissed the crowds. Find time to be alone. Don’t make your work an excuse not to find time to pray. If you can’t find time, make time. To miss prayer is to miss a moment of grace (Fr. Ching OP).


Monday, August 3, 2015

TUESDAY OF THE 18TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MATEO 14:22-36. KINSA MAY MAGHATAG KANATO’G KUSOG PANAHON SA MGA KALISOD? Ubos sa pagmando ni Hesus, si Pedro nakalakaw sa tubig taliwala sa kusog nga unos ug dagkong mga balod. Apan wala madugay si Pedro nisugod sa pag-unlod. Ngano man? Kini tungod kay ang panan-aw ni Pedro nibiya kang Hesus ug didto na napunting sa nagpungasi nga hangin ug mga balod. Niunlod si Pedro sa dihang siya giharian dili na sa pagsalig kondili sa kahadlok. Ingon usab niini ang mahitabo sa atong kinabuhi. Kon magpabilin kita diha sa Dios, walay bagyo o problema nga makapaunlod kanato. Apan kon mawad-an kita’g pagsalig, o kon makalimot kita nga kontrolado sa Dios ang tanan, mounlod usab kita sa atong nahimutangan. Ang Panultihon 29:25 nag-ingon: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.” Posted by Abet Uy



Monday, August 1, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 18TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MATEO 14:22-36. KINSA MAY MAGHATAG KANATO’G KUSOG PANAHON SA KALISOD? Sa pagmando ni Hesus, si Pedro nakalakaw sa tubig taliwala sa kusog nga unos ug dagkong mga balod. Apan wala madugay, si Pedro nisugod sa pag-unlod tungod kay ang iyang panan-aw nibiya kang Hesus ug didto na napunting sa nagpungasi nga hangin. Niunlod si Pedro sa dihang siya giharian dili na sa pagsalig kondili sa kahadlok. Ingon usab niini ang mahitabo sa atong kinabuhi. Kon mawad-an kita’g pagsalig, o kon makalimot kita nga kontrolado sa Dios ang tanan, mounlod kita sa atong nahimutangan. Apan kon magpabilin kitang masaligon sa Dios, walay bagyo o problema nga makapaunlod kanato. Sakto ang giingon ni Haruki Murakami: “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about.” Posted by Abet Uy



BEST PAIN DOCTOR – People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.– Matthew 14:35-36

Do you know that many of the patients in the hospitals in America are there because of psychosomatic illnesses? This means that the sickness of their bodies originate from their thinking.

Dr. John Sarno, a pioneer in psychosomatic medicine, has been dubbed “America’s best pain doctor” by Forbes magazine. He discovered that it’s easier to endure physical pain than emotional pain and, because of this, our unconscious mind produces all kinds of bodily pains to distract us from the real and deep emotional problems we have. Dr. Sarno believed that if a person faces her real emotional pain, then the physical pain would no longer have any use and would disappear.

Friends, do you have a chronic pain in the neck, shoulder or back for which doctors can’t find a cause? Maybe the real source of the pain is a broken relationship, a conflict, fear or worry.

The Lord wants to heal us. Let’s surrender to Him our hurts and pains and allow Him to heal our bodies and spirits. Rissa Singson Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)

Reflection: “Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing, peace is the measure.” (Phyllis McGinley)

Jesus, heal my body, my emotions and my relationships. Amen.




THE HEART OF OUR FAITH – In one of our pilgrimages to the Holy Land, we had a Muslim tour guide for two days because the Christian guide was sick. On the second day, we went into a Western restaurant where we enjoyed delicious pork chops. A kind old lady in our group invited the tour guide to join us. He smiled and said, ”Sorry, enjoy your meal, but I am not hungry,” while looking at our plates with a mixture of envy and desire. The lady had forgotten that Muslims, like Jews, are not allowed to eat pork.

Later, I explained to her why the guide had refused, or had to refuse. Sighing she said, “Thanks be to God that we Catholics can eat whatever we like.”

While several religions have prohibitions when it comes to food, we can, as the lady said, eat whatever we like. This is based on what we read intoday’s Gospel: “It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”

With these words, Jesus made it clear that God does not look at external observances but at the state of the heart. He knew very well that a person may observe all kinds of regulations, except to violate the basic law of love in interpersonal relationships. It’s a trap into which many Catholics fall. Some attend part of a Sunday Mass and say, “I am a good Catholic,” but their daily life is marked with gossip, intrigues, corruption, etc. A Christian may be involved with much zeal in Charismatic prayer groups but neglect their children at home. This person would not be praised by Jesus.

In his very first homily as pope on March 14, 2013, Pope Francis said, “We can journey as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, the thing does not work. We will become a welfare NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ.”

The Gospel passage makes us aware that faith does not consist in regulations and observances but in how we love. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you aware that love, even love of enemy, is more important than observing all kinds of religious rules?

Lord, to observe rules and rituals is easier than loving the people I meet every day. Let the cross remind me of the greatest and most important commandment.



August 4, 2015

Tuesday of the18th Week in Ordinary Time B

Num 12: 1-13, Mt 14: 22-36

St. John Vianney – the priest after the heart of Christ

St. John Vianney was an ordinary man, but as a priest he placed himself in the hands of God to be an instrument for Him. He joined seminary at the age of 20, and was an average student or a below average student who could not easily pass the examinations. He was ordained priest out of compassion or sympathy. After Ordination he was appointed at a God-forsaken remote parish. But that parish was soon transformed into an ideal parish.

The explanation of this mysterious transformation of the village of Ars can only be grasped in the remarkable manner that this simple priest realized that a man must always begin with himself, and that even the rebirth of a community can only be achieved by its renewing itself. On the basis of this perception St. John Vianney set to work, in the first place, upon himself, so that he could attain the ideal which he demanded of his parishioners in his own person.  He took his own religious obligations with the greatest seriousness, and did not care whether the people noticed this or not.  And finally the inhabitants of Ars said to each other:  “Our priest always does what he says himself; he practices what he preaches.  Never have we seen him allow himself any form of relaxation.”

Vianney came to be known internationally, and people from distant places began travelling to consult him as early as 1827. By 1855, the number of pilgrims had reached 20,000 a year. During the last ten years of his life, he spent 16 to 18 hours a day in the confessional.

He is the patron saint of priests.

Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the priesthood, the night before He died at the Last Supper. Jesus did so, among other reasons, to leave the world a successive line of men who would be examples of Himself. For this reason, priests are known as, alter Christus, another Christ.

Priests imitate Jesus in the fact that they continue to give up their own lives to administer to the needs of their parishioners.

Priests confront many obstacles and must overcome great temptations in order to shed off their human nature and become more Christ-like.

Saint John Vianney is held up by the Church as a perfect example of how a man with the help of God and through penance and self-denial can transform into an alter Christus.

Pope Benedict reminds priests of this man’s holy example. “Saint John Vianney possessed the virtues of humility, sweetness, obedience and sacrifice, which were first displayed during his childhood and developed more deeply as he aged. Most prominent among his many virtues was his strong spirit of poverty. He did penance for his parishioners and spent many long hours adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”

About Holy mass St Vianney says, “All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.”

This fatherly care for his flock is the reason he was declared the patron saint of priests.



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Reflection for Tuesday August 2, Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 14:22-36

Reflection: How’s your faith in  Jesus?

There’s a contrast of faith in the gospel between Peter whose lack of faith is very evident and the strong faith of the people who wanted to touch the tassel of the cloak of Jesus.

Like Thomas who did not believe that Jesus has indeed risen.  Peter was also lacking in faith, but initially Peter had faith since he was able to walk a few steps on water. It was when he felt the strong wind that his faith began to wane, thus he began to sink (Matthew 14:30).

So, Peter cried out: “Lord, save me!” and Jesus said to him: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt (Matthew 14:31)?” Our doubts and lack of faith creates a wall amongst us and Jesus and if we are not careful this will slowly but surely eat away our faith.

What is the cure for this eroding faith in Jesus? Prayers, Faithful and Pious attendance at Holy Mass and frequent and humble submission to the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Reconciliation.

How’s your faith in Jesus? – Marino  J. Dasmarinas



August 2, 2016

REFLECTION: Today’s gospel reading contains two important lessons for us, follo­wers of Jesus, and both these lessons are learned from Peter’s behavior.

First, although we tend to concentrate more on Jesus’ criticism of Peter’s “little faith,” we forget that, initially, Peter did muster the courage to leave the security of his boat and try to walk on the raging water. As an experienced fisherman who had lived all his life fishing in the Sea of Galilee, he knew perfectly well that humans cannot walk on water because water is not solid enough a surface to allow that. Yet, he disregarded a lifetime of experience and gamely stepped out on the water. If that is not faith, what else is it?

The second lesson we learn is this one. As long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus and walked towards Jesus, he could do the impossible. But, the moment he took his eyes off Jesus and instead paid attention to the danger surrounding him, he began to sink.

In other words, if we take Jesus at his word (“Come!”), we can do extraordinary things. But we must not let ourselves become impressed by obstacles. We must just always look at Jesus in complete faith. Then everything becomes possible.



See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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