The Walking on the Water
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Kyrygma
2015 COURAGE! “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” – Mark 6:50
Wikipedia defines “courage” as the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. Reading further down, it says, “Moral courage is the willingness to stand up when others want you to sit down.”
When I first got involved in the Charismatic Renewal movement, one of the first things I learned was to “stand upfor Jesus!” As a committed follower of Christ, I learned to do or not to do certain things for Him. Pray before meals. Bring my Bible and read it during the break. Go to Mass daily. Nicely refuse to work overtime on Sundays to serve Him. Refuse to lie even when superiors asked me to.
I chose to do these because I wanted to grow in my relationship with God. Was it hard? Absolutely! Was thererejection? Definitely! There were people who ridiculed me and made fun of me. They called me “Father” or “Monsignor” in the office. At home, I experienced disapproval in painful ways. People couldn’t understand why I had to do such things.
But I needed to make space for God in my life. Those times molded me to face life. It also allowed me to experience His love in a special, deeper way. Ariel Driz (email@example.com)
Reflection: Making a courageous stand for the Lord is beyond “worth it.” It makes Him smile and it makes a difference.
Lord Jesus, continue to grant me the courage to be Your witness in whatever situation I face. Amen.
2016 LOVE ABOVE ALL – The First Reading says that there is no fear in love because fear has to do with punishment. If you truly love, you need not fear. What does this mean? For married couples, this means you need not fear the day you committed to be there for each other until death separates you, amidst the uncertain future as you make your vows — because there is just so much love, there is no fear.
For those who decided to remain chaste and single for life in order to serve the Lord and His faithful, amidst the questions and doubts of people around them — because there is just so much love, there is no fear.
For those who persevere in their vocation to the priesthood and the religious life: our priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, including seminarians, their daily yes to God’s call to faithful service and genuine care for those who are in need, amidst the lures and challenges of the world — because there is just so much love, there is no fear.
In the same manner, today’s Gospel gives us a picture of the disciples who were battered by huge waves, perhaps afraid that it was already the end of their lives. Then, in the midst of the violent storm, Jesus comes walking on water, heading towards them, saying, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” From being hopeless, from being on the verge of disaster, even death, they were saved. They did not call on Jesus to save them, yet He rescued them, out of genuine love.
We, too, have countless concerns and issues that we feel we cannot overcome. Fear begins to envelop us, even paralyzing us at times. But the truth is, nobody has a worry-free life. We are bound to experience trials and difficulties, pains and sufferings. But we need not fear. There is always hope as long as we have Jesus in our lives. And because we love one another, “God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection in us.”
May we always be inspired to love one another as God commanded, to give Jesus our all, and to see Jesus multiply our deeds of love. Fr. Erick Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: What are your fears? Look beyond your fear and focus on love.
Dear Jesus, may Your love rule my every decision and action. May I cling always to Your love — the love that casts out all fears. Amen.
2020 LEGACY AND SIGNIFICANCE This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. – 1 John 4:13
We strive to be successful in whatever field of endeavor we are part of. In that quest for greater achievement, we try to do more. Increased effort and activity indeed impact our productivity. However, there comes a time when our effectivity wanes. I vividly remember when this happened to me. The more I pushed and worked, the more marginal my results were. It was like drinking profusely yet ending up thirsty.
It was frustrating.
It was during a moment of prayer when I was struck with a strong realization. No matter what I do, it has to be aligned with God’s purpose for me. Yes, not my purpose but His. I have to define my success in a way that serves His purpose and anything that will not be part of that is nonessential. From prospering myself, I have moved to prospering others, and consciously focused on legacy and significance.
Interestingly, it is when we are aligned with God’s purpose that life’s true rewards continue to flow. With a perspective ofsharing and giving, everything goes beyond ourselves and the personal success we earlier pursued. Rex Mendoza (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reflect: Have you thought about God’s purpose for you? If so, have you aligned all that you do with this?
Lord, please always use me for Your purpose and bless me in everything that I do.
2020 NO MORE ROOM FOR FEAR Last year, we welcomed ten-year-old twins at our center. They came from a very poor village and both their parents were mentally ill. Out of fear that harm would come to the children, the mother forbade them to go to school for two long years. She kept them by her side at all times from when they were eight to ten years old until we finally convinced her to let them live with us so they could study at the local school.
When they first came, they were happy but fearful children. They were afraid that their mom would one day come and take them back to the village, and so they tended to run and hide when things got uneasy. They feared being beaten up or punished if they had done wrong so they tended to lie. They feared being separated from each other, and so stuck together all the time. By caring for them, we tried our best to reassure them that they were now safe, that there was no more reason to fear.
Eventually, as they learned to trust us, we saw that the times they would lie or run and hide decreased. We saw them become more willing to help out with household chores. We saw them laughing and listening to us more and even seeking out our embraces which they were shy about in the beginning. Lately, they had even stopped being afraid of going home to visit their parents, which they now do regularly.
If we as humans, so limited and imperfect, are capable of such a love that can heal, what more God who is perfect love that casts out fear? In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ mere presence and words demonstrate that power.
Consider today your own fears in life. Bring them before the Lord and ask Him to teach you how to abide by His love that will leave no more room for fear. Fr. Mark Lopez, SJ
——- REFLECTION QUESTION ——- What are your fears? Bring them to the Lord and let Him vanish them.
Help me to trust in Your unfailing love, O Lord. Amen.
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