Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time


      Thursday morning dawned with the terrible news of catastrophic blast in Beirut, the port city and capital of Lebanon.  For many parishioners and other people around with Lebanese heritage it was a heart breaking news.  The economic hardship and notorious corruption in Lebanon was already breaking the back of ordinary people.  Many of them have already been trying to help their dear ones back home, from out of the black hole.  Now this blast has not only flattened many buildings and destroyed the food reserve, it also devastated many lives.  Let us pray for those suffering in Lebanon and elsewhere that they may find hope and a way to rebuild their lives.  In this pandemic time it is not easy to make an appeal for financial support.  All the same, we shall cooperate with any initiatives the Archdiocese may have.  Meanwhile, you are welcome to support ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ (details on page 7).

As the Church there was being organised at the time of Peter, Christians in Antioch were also experiencing some kind of devastation, though it was very different to the recent incidents in Lebanon.  Matthew reflected on the experience of the early Church in his Gospel.  The Church was like a boat full of disciples rowing across the waters.  But it was a fearful time because the Lord seems to have left the disciples face the troubled water by themselves.  Matthew was reflecting on how much the early disciples were grieving the absence of Jesus physically.  But soon the disciples were to realise that the Lord has not left them orphaned. They could see Jesus, like the Spirit hovering over the waters in the beginning of creation (Ref Genesis 1:2), walking over the water.  Jesus who inaugurated a new life through his resurrection is within the vicinity of the disciples as they were labouring through the troubled waters to establish the Church.  Peter, the leader of the disciples, also shared the power to walk over the water of destruction, as long as he was focused on the person of Jesus.  Losing that focus he gets a sinking feeling.  The Gospel narrative of Matthew 14:22-33 assures us that Our Lord is with his disciples as they travel through the troubled episodes of their lives.  With the Lord on his or her side, a disciple would be able to see the storms and chaos in one’s life as a mark of a new creation commencing.

In this unprecedented times your lives may be troubled in some way or another.  It could be an acute or chronic sickness, or betrayal by an acquaintance, or losing your job, or even a rupture in the family relationships.  Let it be anything and you are in the dark.  But know that you are approaching the light of a dawn.  Focus your attention on the person of Jesus and he will calm the seas in your personal life and get you to the shore safely.  Even a crucifixion and death could not contain Jesus.  He won victory over death and brought a new life of joy and peace.  Therefore, do not be people of little faith.  Our Lord is with you and he is calling you to walk over the troubled waters to create a new life in your personal life and life at large.